Monthly Archives: October 2005

CALEA Expansion Under Fire

As I wrote on September 30th, the battle over the expansion of the CALEA regulations (which stands for the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Agencies) is underway. A lawsuit filed on October 25, 2005 before the D.C. circuit asks for review of the FCC’s final order. Seven organizations, including the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, have joined together into a coalition to request that the final order be vacated.

Interestingly, Kurt Opsahl of the EFF has reported on the views of Senator Patrick Leahy, the original sponsor of CALEA in 1994.

In relevant part, Senator Leahy said in his statement:

“Congress recognized the unique architecture of the Internet and explicitly excluded it from the scope of CALEA’s surveillance design mandates, and we did that to allow Congress to re-visit the appropriateness of such an extension as the Internet developed. Any extension of CALEA – a law written for the telephone system in 1994 – to the Internet in 2005 would be inconsistent with congressional intent.

“There are certainly legitimate law enforcement interests concerning ‘tapping’ the Internet, and they must be addressed appropriately. We need to develop suitable solutions after reaching a broad consensus. Congressional hearings are a good place to start.”

I agree that the FCC has overstepped its bounds to introduce this final rule without the congressional oversight required. Blindly applying a law designed eleven years ago to an entirely different set of technology is a scary idea.

Google Print: Now it’s the publisher’s turn

In September, I mentioned the case filed by the Author’s Guild over the Google Print initiative. Today, the Publishers have joined in. Here is a link to the press release from the Association of American Publishers.

“The publishing industry is united behind this lawsuit against Google and united in the fight to defend their rights,” said AAP President and former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder. “While authors and publishers know how useful Google’s search engine can be and think the Print Library could be an excellent resource, the bottom line is that under its current plan Google is seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the talent and property of authors and publishers.”

Publishers, you could make millions more by cooperating with Google, and thereby selling more books. This looks like nothing more than a suit to protect an outdated business model.

Stay tuned…

Anonymous Blogging Upheld

The recent decision of the Delaware Supreme Court in Doe v. Cahill is interesting. Evan Brown of InternetCases.com gives a great summary of the case in his posting today. The higher standard used by the Court before it would unmask the identity of the anonymous blogger is a good practice. The requester was required to… Continue Reading

Attention – Part III

Here comes the Attention Recorder! Introduced today by AttentionTrust.org is a Firefox extension that allows users to save their attention data and to share it with services that are als0 members of the Attention Trust. It doesn’t look like that there is anybody to share it with yet, I presume that the entry for “Acme… Continue Reading