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Re: Telephone switch capacity -Reply
[about the FBI supposedly wanting the ability to tap 1% of all phones in
the US simultaneously]
EPIC, CDT, and the original source confirm that they're talking about
capacity, not total circuits. So what the FBI was asking for (not
demanding, certainly not dicatating) by early 1999 (not Oct 1998, because
the ticker starts at the end of the comment period) was between 0.25% and
1% of the 10-20% of lines that the phone system can handle at once, or
between 0.025% and 0.2% of the lines.
Of course the FBI doesn't have the staff to listen to all these lines, and
they need an individual court order to authorize each individual
interception, so this numbers game is a bit of a joke.
There is no controversy about the number of wiretaps that have been
authorized, except as manufactured by the Spotlight folks and other
conspiracy loons. The EPIC FOIA request and lawsuit concerns the rationale
for the FBI's capacity request.
It all makes a little more sense now. I had been wondering what the hell
the FBI had been smoking. Something not quite as strong as the stuff the
Spotlight people are smoking, it turns out.
The FBI proposal is still Not A Good Thing, and deserves your interest
and opposition. See http://www.epic.org/privacy/wiretap/oppose_wiretap.html
for facts and reasonable responses. The CDT's page, at
http://www.cdt.org/digtel.html, is better.