Gov't Argument Labeled 'Gobbledygook'
The Bush administration wants to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to wiretap calls made over the internet. The FCC made its pitch to a panel of federal judges today, and the response is priceless:
A judge said the government's courtroom arguments were "gobbledygook."
The judge also characterized the arguments as "nonsense." It gets even better:
"Your argument makes no sense," U.S. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards told the lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission, Jacob Lewis. "When you go back to the office, have a big chuckle. I'm not missing this. This is ridiculous. Counsel!"
In the current case, Edwards appeared especially skeptical over the FCC's decision to require that providers of Internet phone service and broadband services must ensure their equipment can accommodate police wiretaps under the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, known as CALEA. ...
The 1994 law was originally aimed at ensuring court-ordered wiretaps could be placed on wireless phones.
The Justice Department is worried that a mode of communication might exist that makes private communication possible, without fear of government interception. It should take its complaints to Congress, which specifically exempted "information services" from the reach of the 1994 law.
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