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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

September 11, 1998


The Commission has done the right thing by extending the compliance date for meeting the assistance capability requirements of CALEA. The record indicated that manufacturers would not have equipment available in time for carriers to meet the October 25 compliance date. Therefore, it was essential that the Commission grant a blanket extension of the compliance date in order to avoid possibly thousands of individual petitions for extension and a tremendous burden on Commission resources.

In determining the new compliance date, we consulted with the Attorney General, as required by the statute. Based on the record, we believe that setting June 30, 2000 as the new date for compliance will give carriers the time they need to ensure that their networks and systems provide law enforcement agencies with the capabilities necessary to protect public safety.

The Commission is working on the next step in this process, which is to determine the scope of the CALEA capability requirements and establish CALEA standards. We will be initiating a rulemaking on this soon, and I am committed to resolving it as quickly as possible. To that end, further extensions of the compliance date should not be entertained, except under extremely compelling circumstances. As we go forward with this important proceeding, we need to make sure that law enforcement has the most up-to-date tools available to catch criminals. But we need to balance the needs of law enforcement with Americans' rights to privacy.

- FCC -