We get subpoenaed all the time. It’s the reality of being a managed wireless service provider and one of the most important, and often least talked about, aspects of the service we provide to our building owner clients. CALEA (The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act) Compliance is one of the main differentiators between offering your residents WiFi services from a managed provider and hotspot services from a cable company or telco.
Just this week we were called out west to testify in a trial where illegal activity took place over the WiFi network of one of our properties. Luckily, when the government needed to obtain network activity, the property had Spot On UserSafe® WiFi services and was therefore in compliance with CALEA. We, as the service provider, work with the government entity to provide all the necessary information, testimony and technology pathways to gain information. If the property in question had simply provided unmanaged hotspot WiFi connectivity, they would not have been able to provide the pathways to information gathering that the government needed and could have been subject to a fine of $10,000.00.
CALEA fines are no joke, they are real and they are enforced. We have had multiple customers come to us for services after having incurred a fine for being out of compliance with CALEA. No property owner should have to incur this fine, it is completely preventable. While a simple hotspot can be very inexpensive or even free to put unmanaged hotspot WiFi into your amenity areas but the whole thing falls apart if a CALEA request comes in and the property is out of compliance.
For those who are not familiar with CALEA, it requires a “telecommunications carrier” to ensure that they have the ability to enable law enforcement officials to “conduct electronic surveillance”. Essentially if a property throws up a router to provide WiFi services to residents, they become the “telecommunications carrier” and are liable for fines and other acts of law enforcement if they cannot fulfill CALEA requirements. As a managed service provider, we handle all aspects of CALEA compliance so the building owner does not need to worry.
In addition to CALEA requests, another common issue we run into are government requests related to Copyright Infringement. This is another very real scenario where building owners find themselves subject to fines and even in some instances could be labeled a “co-conspirator” to illegal activity that took place over their network. A managed service provider handles Copyright issues as well.
To sum it up, a managed service provider is much different than a Comcast or AT&T, our mission in everything from our network monitoring to our network architecture is design with the building owner in mind. While you may pay less for cable or telco services, sometimes even getting them for free, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. That is what UserSafe® WiFi is all about: peace of mind for the building owner and providing a great service for residents that increase property value.