May 14th is the official deadline for cable modem companies, DSL providers, broadband over powerline, satellite internet companies and some universities to finish wiring up their networks with FBI-friendly surveillance gear, to comply with the FCC’s expanded interpretation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.
Congress passed CALEA in 1994 to help FBI eavesdroppers deal with digital telecom technology. The law required phone companies to make their networks easier to wiretap. The results: on mobile phone networks, where CALEA tech has 100% penetration, it’s credited with boosting the number of court-approved wiretaps a carrier can handle simultaneously, and greatly shortening the time it takes to get a wiretap going. Cops can now start listening in less than a day.