Interceptability of Telecommunications: Is United States and Dutch Law Prepared for the Future?

Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 31, pp. 45-67, 2007

23 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2007 Last revised: 25 Mar 2009

See all articles by Bert-Jaap Koops

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Abstract

For many decades, governments have successfully intercepted telecommunications to collect information about - potential - criminals and terrorists. A crucial part of contemporary policy is legislation that requires telecommunications providers to make their networks and services interceptable. This paper discusses two examples of interceptability legislation: the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in the US and the Telecommunications Act in the Netherlands, in order to focus on basic questions, considerations, and trade-offs relevant to designing legal interceptability laws.

In particular, the sustainability of interceptability policies as laid down in these laws is questioned, since they are under significant pressure. Technical and market developments challenge their effectiveness and costs. These developments include IP-based services, seamless roaming, default encryption at various telecommunications layers, and the 'identity boom'. Market challenges include substantial shifts in the value chain and the explosion of traffic volumes. This paper aims to determine which interceptability policy is best suited for coping with the challenges that lie ahead.

Keywords: interceptability, telecommunications, United States, Netherlands

JEL Classification: K14, K23, K42, L96

Suggested Citation

Koops, Bert-Jaap and Bekkers, Rudi, Interceptability of Telecommunications: Is United States and Dutch Law Prepared for the Future?. Telecommunications Policy, Vol. 31, pp. 45-67, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1005378

Bert-Jaap Koops (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Rudi Bekkers

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

Den Dolech 3, PO Box 513, Room IPO 2.40
Eindhoven, 5600MB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.ieis.tue.nl/rbekkers/

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