Is "Gobbledygook" A Legal Term?
from the hooray-for-understanding dept
Last summer, the FCC ordered that broadband ISPs and VoIP providers had to rework their networks to make it easy for law-enforcement groups to carry out electronic wiretaps. They based the order on the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which was specifically designed to make it easier for police to get voice wiretaps, so a group of privacy and technology groups sued, saying the FCC overstepped its bounds in using the law to justify easier data wiretaps as well. A federal appeals court judge has now slammed the FCC's argument, calling it "wholly ridiculous", "gobbledygook" and "utter nonsense". While no judgment was given, it doesn't look like the judges are looking too kindly at the FCC's contention that CALEA could be used to justify forcing broadband ISPs to implement the wiretapping measures, though it would appear that they will let the order stand for VoIP services. The FCC's contention that broadband services should fall under this particular law contradicted their stance that they weren't telecom services and not subject to extensive regulation -- and appears the appeals judges have noticed. When it's so common to see the legal world misunderstand technology, it's nice to see some judges actually appear to understand the tech issues of what's going on in a case.