Monday, June 11, 2007

CableLabs Issues CALEA Spec for Broadband Surveillance

CableLabs issued its Cable Broadband Intercept Specification (CBIS) to assist cable operators and law enforcement agencies in meeting legal mandates under the federal Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

CableLabs is positioning its CBIS as a "safe harbor under CALEA, meaning that cable operators who are compliant with CBIS are, therefore, deemed to be CALEA compliant.

Under CALEA, if a voice or broadband provider is not in compliance with the law, the provider could be subject to a daily fine of $10,000 until compliance is reached.

CALEA, enacted in 1994, mandates that providers of communications services, which now include VoIP and broadband services, be able to isolate, pursuant to a court order or other lawful authorization, the content of a communication as well as call identifying information.

The CableLabs CBIS initiative is cable's second CALEA safe harbor. In July 2004, CableLabs issued a similar specification creating a safe harbor for PacketCable digital voice. This latest broadband surveillance effort began after the Federal Communications Commission May 2006 order that broadband service providers comply with the CALEA mandate.

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