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FBI Responds to CableLabs' Release of its Cable Broadband Intercept Specification For the Cable Industry to Comply with The Communications Assistance Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)

Washington, D.C. June 12, 2007
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

The FBI responded to CableLabs' release of a technical specification developed to facilitate the cable industry's compliance with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The Cable Broadband Intercept Specification represents the cable industry's interface specifications for broadband data communication services.

"This technical specification is an important milestone in the cable industry's efforts to effectively address court-authorized law enforcement concerns," said FBI Assistant Director Marcus Thomas of the Operational Technology Division, responsible for overseeing the FBI's CALEA implementation efforts. "Law enforcement must be able to protect the safety and security of the American public from criminals, spies, and terrorists who misuse the cable broadband communication access services to perpetrate their crimes. The FBI will continue to work with the cable industry in the refinement of this specification and development of future comprehensive solutions to address law enforcement's court-authorized needs."

CableLabs' effort to standardize a technical solution for court-authorized electronic surveillance of broadband data communications services was initiated shortly after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) found broadband data communications services fell within the scope of CALEA.

"Much to its credit, CableLabs recognized the importance of the issue identified by the FBI and Department of Justice in its petition before the FCC and started work on this specification almost immediately. They involved us from the outset and worked hard to address our concerns in a very timely manner," Assistant Director Thomas added.

As the FCC envisioned, CableLabs actively sought law enforcement input into its technical standard process to ensure law enforcement's court-authorized intercept needs were effectively addressed.

The FBI will continue to work closely with the industry regarding CALEA comprehensive solutions to address court-authorized law enforcement concerns.