In plain English, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) says that by providing Internet access, your property is becoming an "Internet provider". It is the responsibility of an Internet provider to be able to provide certain information about who was on their network and when in the event of a goverment issued supeona. That is why it is so important that your property have a MANAGED Wi-Fi network. When a business simply puts up a router to provide the WiFi amenity to residents or guests, the business is unable to provide the information that is required by CALEA and is liable for substantial fines. The cost of recieving a fine for being out-of-compliance with CALEA is substantially more that the cost of protecting your property with a managed WiFi network.

The following information about the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) has been taken from http://fcc.gov. For more information about CALEA and how it affects your multifamily property, hotel or business, please visit: http://fcc.gov/CALEA

INTRODUCTION: In response to concerns that emerging technologies such as digital and wireless communications were making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to execute authorized surveillance, Congress enacted CALEA on October 25, 1994. CALEA was intended to preserve the ability of law enforcement agencies to conduct electronic surveillance by requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have the necessary surveillance capabilities. Common carriers, facilities-based broadband Internet access providers, and providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service – all three types of entities are defined to be “telecommunications carriers” for purposes of CALEA section 102, 47 U.S.C. § 1001 – must comply with the CALEA obligations set forth in CALEA section 103, 47 U.S.C. § 1002. See CALEA First Report and Order (rel. Sept. 23, 2005).

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CALEA COMPLIANCE – SOME BASIC INFORMATION

Pursuant to CALEA, industry is basically responsible for setting CALEA standards and solutions. Unless a party files a special petition pursuant to CALEA § 107(b), the Commission does not get formally involved with the compliance standards development process. CALEA also does not provide for Commission review of manufacturer-developed solutions. Entities subject to CALEA are responsible for reviewing the Commission’s regulations and analyzing how this regulation applies per their specific network architecture.

A telecommunications carrier may comply with CALEA in different ways. First, the carrier may develop its own compliance solution for its unique network. Second, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from vendors, including the manufacturers of the equipment it is using to provide service. Third, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from a trusted third party (TPP).

Regarding the use of trusted third parties, the Commission provided the following guidance on the use of TTPs in the CALEA Second Report and Order, at paragraph 26:
“The record indicates that TTPs are available to provide a variety of services for CALEA compliance to carriers, including processing requests for intercepts, conducting electronic surveillance, and delivering relevant information to LEAs. Given the effectively unanimous view of commenters that the use of TTPs should be permitted but not required, we conclude that TTPs may provide a reasonable means for carriers to comply with CALEA, especially broadband access and VoIP providers and smaller carriers. We emphasize, however, that if a carrier chooses to use a TTP, that carrier remains responsible for ensuring the timely delivery of CII and call content information to a LEA and for protecting subscriber privacy, as required by CALEA. Thus, a carrier must be satisfied that the TTP's processes allow the carrier to meet its obligations without compromising the integrity of the intercept. Carriers will not be relieved of their CALEA obligations by asserting that a TTP's processes prevented them from complying with CALEA. We note DOJ’s concern about carriers attempting to use TTPs to shift costs to LEAs, but we make no decision here that would allow carriers who choose to use a TTP to shift the financial responsibility for CALEA compliance to the Attorney General under Section 109…. We will evaluate whether the availability of a TTP makes call-identifying information “reasonably” available to a carrier within the context of section 103 in acting on a section 109 petition that a carrier may file. As noted by several commenters, telecommunications carriers and manufacturers have legally-mandated privacy obligations, and we take no action herein to modify those obligations based on potential broadband access and VoIP provider use of TTPs. Finally, in accord with the consensus of comments, we will defer to standards organizations and industry associations and allow them to determine the degree to which the ability of a TTP external system to extract and isolate CII makes that information reasonably available for purposes of defining CALEA standards and safe harbors. See CALEA Second Report and Order at para. 26 (emphasis added).

To contact TPPs, carriers may conduct an Internet search using such key words as “CALEA compliance” and “CALEA compliance help,” or any combination that will yield a display of TPPs.



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