Vol. 60, No. 36


                          DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
                      Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

    Implementation of The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

                          Thursday, February 23, 1995


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is providing notice of initial
steps being taken to implement, on behalf of the Attorney General,
certain provisions in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement


Telecommunications Industry Liaison Unit, (TILU), FBI, 1-800-551-0336.

On October 25, 1994, the President signed into law the Communications
Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (Pub. L. 103-414) (the Act). This law
requires telecommunications carriers, as defined in the Act, to ensure
law enforcement's ability, pursuant to court order or other lawful
authorization, to intercept communications notwithstanding advanced
telecommunications technologies.

Under the Act, certain implementation responsibilities are conferred
upon the Attorney General. The Attorney General has, pursuant to an
Attorney General Order, as codified at 28 CFR 0.85(o), delegated
responsibilities set forth in the Act to the Director, FBI, or his
designee. The Director, FBI, has designated personnel in the Engineering
Section, Information Resources Division, to carry out these

To effectively implement this law, the Engineering Section has
established the Telecommunications Industry Liaison Unit (TILU) to
specifically address the responsibilities set forth in the Act. TILU
personnel will respond to questions and inquiries concerning this Act,
and act as the designated contact point for facilitating communication
with the telecommunications industry.

Definition of "Telecommunications Carrier"

The Act defines a "telecommunications carrier" as any "person or entity
engaged in the transmission or switching of wire or electronic
communications as a common carrier for hire" (section 102(8)(A)), and
includes any "person or entity engaged in providing commercial mobile
service, (as defined in section 332(d) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 332(d))" (section 102(8)(B)). This
definition includes but is not limited to local exchange and
interexchange carriers; competitive access providers; resellers, cable
operators, utilities, and shared tenant services to the extent that they
offer telecommunications services as common carriers for hire; cellular
telephone companies; personal communications services (PCS) providers;
satellite-based mobile communications providers; specialized mobile
radio services (SMRS) providers, and enhanced SMRS providers; and paging
service providers.

The definition does not include persons or entities insofar as they are
engaged in providing information services such as electronic publishing
and messaging services.

Capability Requirements

The Act requires telecommunications carriers to ensure that, within four
years from the date of enactment, their systems have the capability to
meet the assistance capability requirements as described in section 103
of the Act. A document entitled Law Enforcement Requirements for the
Surveillance of Electronic Communications, clarifies the generic law
enforcement assistance capability requirements set forth in the Act and
gives additional guidance to telecommunications carriers. This document
is available upon request from TILU.

Under section 107(a)(2) of the Act, a carrier will be deemed to be in
compliance if it adheres to publicly available technical requirements,
feature descriptions, or standards adopted by an industry association or
standard-setting organization relevant to the Act. Telecommunications
carriers may also develop their own solutions. In any case, carriers
must meet the requirements set forth in section 103 of the Act. If no
such technical requirements or standards are issued, or if they are
challenged as being deficient, upon petition, the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) has authority to develop them through a rule making.

Notice of Maximum and Actual Capacity Requirements

Within one year after enactment, the Attorney General is required to
publish in the Federal Register, and to provide to appropriate
telecommunications industry associations and standard-setting
organizations, notice of the estimated electronic surveillance capacity
requirements as of October 24, 1998, as well as the estimated maximum
capacity required to accommodate such surveillance thereafter.

Compliance, Payment, Enforcement, Exemption, Extensions, Consultation,
Systems Security, Cooperation

The mandated compliance with the requirements set forth in section 103
of the Act is affected by a number of interrelated factors, including
whether the Attorney General is required to, and has agreed to, pay for
needed modifications; whether the equipment, facility, or service was
deployed on or before January 1, 1995; and whether such modifications
are reasonably achievable under criteria set forth in the Act. Under
certain circumstances, telecommunications carriers also may petition
regulatory authorities to adjust changes, practices, classifications,
and regulations to recover costs expended for making needed
modifications. Unexcused noncompliance can lead to civil enforcement
actions by the Attorney General and imposition of civil fines. The Act
also includes provisions for exemption, extension of the compliance
date, consultation with industry, and systems security. In addition, it
requires telecommunications transmission and switching equipment
manufacturers, as well as providers of telecommunications support
services, to cooperate with telecommunications carriers in achieving the
required capacities and capabilities.

Commerce Business Daily Notice

The FBI Telecommunications Contracts Audit Unit will issue a Notice in
the Commerce Business Daily soliciting comments from the
telecommunications industry concerning cost accounting procedures and
other rules regarding payment procedures and criteria.

February 16, 1995.

Louis J. Freeh,


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