Did you know that the costs of complying with federal, state and local subpoenas can be passed along to the requesting authorities?
The big providers of telephone, cable, and data services process hundreds of law enforcement requests for data every month. If you are a smaller provider, you may not get that many requests but when you do it’s a major disruption to your operation. We have had several requests from smaller clients to support them in their efforts to comply with subpoena requests so we thought we would summarize how the CALEA process works.
What authorizes government bodies to request information?
There are a number of laws on the books that govern the process of sharing customer information with law enforcement agencies including:
- The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984
- The Electronic Communications Privacy Act
- The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
- The Telecommunications Act of 1996
What kind of subscriber account identification information could be requested?
- Subscriber account and related records including:
- Court order or search warrant (signed by a judge)
- Pen Register/trap and trace devices
- Wiretaps and Interception of communications
- Judicial summons
- Grand jury administrative subpoena’s
- Identification based on IP address
- Identification based on email address
- Identification based on provider account information
How long do I have to retain my records?
Each company must decide what their retention policy is, but the following minimum periods apply for law enforcement purposes:
- IP assignment logs. up to 6 months
- Subscriber information. 3 years
- Call records. 18 to 36 months depending on state
- Home security activity logs.
- Alarm activity info. 3 months
- Video and images. 6 months
- Alarm and event information. 13 months
- Audio from central monitoring stations. 24 months
Can I get reimbursed for legal requests?
Yes, you can get reimbursed for processing and responding to subpoena’s and other CALEA related requests.
What kinds of requests can I get reimbursed for?
The following are examples of the kinds of legal process requests that you can get reimbursed for:
- Basic account information
- Alarm activity information
- Toll record requests
- Call detail record requests
- Pen register/trap services
- Wiretap and intercept
- Data records
I don’t get that many requests so why should I worry about establishing a process for compliance?
- The costs of data storage continue to decline, so now is a good time to consider storing as much of your data as possible.
- There is a wealth of information in the data so you want to keep it and have the ability to get at it quickly.
- Non-compliance or slow compliance to subpoena requests inhibits local authorities from keeping all of us safe.
And last but not least the costs for providing information to law enforcement agencies can be recovered!
The law enforcement guidelines we have discussed in this blog pertain to United States, but many countries have enacted similar requirements. Whether you receive a thousand or just a few of these requests, good business practice dictates that providers have the ability to respond as quickly as possible to these important requests.
If you would like to hear more about how we are helping other companies in this area, please let us know.