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IP: FCC Proposes Location Tracking for Wireless Phones




From: Ari Schwartz <[email protected]>
Subject: IP: FCC Proposes Location Tracking for Wireless Phones
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 11:12:21 -0500 (EST)
To: [email protected]


   The Center for Democracy and Technology  /____/     Volume 4, Number 27
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      A briefing on public policy issues affecting civil liberties online
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 CDT POLICY POST Volume 4, Number 27                   October 28, 1998

 CONTENTS:
(1) FCC Proposes Location Tracking for Wireless Phones
(2) Public Comment Sought - CDT Launches Citizen Action Site
(3) FCC Opens Inquiry into Wiretapping in Packet Networks
(4) Other Surveillance Features
(5) Subscription Information
(6) About CDT

  ** This document may be redistributed freely with this banner intact **
        Excerpts may be re-posted with permission of <[email protected]>


_____________________________________________________________________________

(1)  FCC PROPOSES LOCATION TRACKING FOR WIRELESS PHONES

Rejecting privacy arguments, the Federal Communications Commission on
October 22 proposed turning wireless phones into location tracking devices.

Ruling under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994
(CALEA), the Commission proposed requiring cellular and other wireless phone
companies to track the location of their customers, identifying the cell
site at the beginning and end of every call. This decision, if finalized,
would allow the FBI to get out of the privacy deal it struck in 1994 when
CALEA was adopted.  At the time, the FBI said that location information was
not required by CALEA, and the Congressional intent is 100% clear on the
point.

For background on CALEA and the FCC's proceeding, see CDT's digital
telephony page: http://www.cdt.org/digi_tele/

_____________________________________________________________________________

(2)  PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT - A CHANCE TO TELL THE FCC THAT CELL PHONE
TRACKING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!

The FCC decision on cell phone tracking is only a tentative decision, known
as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  The Commission is seeking public
comment on its proposal.  The public comment period has not been set, but
could be between 30 and 60 days.  Until now, the discussion on this issue
has been held by policy-makers in Washington, but this decision will affect
the entire nation. Since this will likely be the only chance for those
outside the beltway to weigh in with a comment, CDT urges citizens to let
their voice be heard.

CDT has established a special "Action" page to make it easy for citizens to
contact the FCC and file comments opposing the location tracking proposal:
http://www.cdt.org/action/filing.html

_____________________________________________________________________________

(3)  FCC LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO WIRETAPPING IN PACKET NETWORKS

On a separate issue in the same CALEA proceeding, the Commission agreed
with CDT and other privacy advocates. The FCC said that industry's initial
plan for conducting surveillance in so-called "packet" networks was
insufficient, and the Commission asked for further technical and legal
comment.  Packet networks break communications up into many small packets,
each one consisting of a segment of content with addressing information
attached to rout it to its intended destination.  Under the industry's
proposal, carriers could have provided to the government a person's entire
packet stream, including both routing information and content, even when
the government did not have the authority to intercept the content of the
communications.  CDT argued that the carriers should be required to
separate addressing information from the content of communications and only
give the government what it was authorized to intercept.

The Commission decided that it needed to launch a technical inquiry. This
could determine the future of surveillance. The question is whether
carriers have an obligation to protect the privacy of communications the
government is not authorized to intercept.

For CDT's discussion of the packet issue, see:
http://www.cdt.org/digi_tele/980426_fcc_calea.html#ivc
_____________________________________________________________________________

(4)  OTHER SURVEILLANCE FEATURES PROPOSED

On other items sought by the FBI, the Commission tentatively decided that
carriers should be required to continue tapping parties on a conference
call after the subject of the court order has dropped off the call, and to
extract dialed number information from the content stream and provide it to
the government under a minimal standard.  In all, the Commission
tentatively accepted five out of nine new surveillance capabilities sought
by the FBI.

As of today, only a sumamry of the Commission's decision, not the full
NPRM, was not publicly available.  CDT will make the full text of the NPRM
available on-line as soon as it becomes public.

____________________________________________________________________________
____
(5) SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

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civil liberties online and how they will affect you! Subscribe to the CDT
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publication of the Center For Democracy and Technology, are received by
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become the leading source for information about critical free speech and
privacy issues affecting the Internet and other interactive communications
media.

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____________________________________________________________________________
____
(6) ABOUT THE CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGY/CONTACTING US

The Center for Democracy and Technology is a non-profit public interest
organization based in Washington, DC. The Center's mission is to develop
and advocate public policies that advance democratic values and
constitutional civil liberties in new computer and communications
technologies.

Contacting us:

General information:  [email protected]
World Wide Web:       http://www.cdt.org/


Snail Mail:  The Center for Democracy and Technology
             1634 Eye Street NW * Suite 1100 * Washington, DC 20006
             (v) +1.202.637.9800 * (f) +1.202.637.0968

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End Policy Post 4.27                                             10/28/98
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------------------------------------
Ari Schwartz
Policy Analyst
Center for Democracy and Technology
1634 Eye Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
202 637 9800
fax 202 637 0968
[email protected]
http://www.cdt.org
------------------------------------





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