There's a lot more to it than that -- there's also access without
involving telco personnel, and possibly the ability to do many more
wiretaps (have you looked at the capacity requirements lately), but
funding is certainly a large part of it. From Section (e) of
18 U.S. Code § 2518 - Procedure for interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications | U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute :
Any provider of wire or electronic communication service,
landlord, custodian or other person furnishing such facilities
or technical assistance shall be compensated therefor by the
applicant for reasonable expenses incurred in providing such
facilities or assistance.
That is not part of CALEA.
I know; that's precisely my point. (CALEA is 18 USC 2522, I believe.)
The passage I quoted is from the older wiretap law -- and it requires
the government to pick up the costs. As you note below, that cost was
shifted by CALEA.
Carriers found to be covered by CALEA must provide certain capabilities
to law enforcement. For telecommunication equipment, facilities or
services deployed after January 1 1995 the carrier must pay all reasonable
costs to provide the capabilities.
The capacity requirements are interesting. In some cases, the carrier is
required to have more law enforcement tapping capacity than customer
capacity. The government sets the capacit requirements without any
regard for the cost of maintaining the capacity. If there are multiple
competitive carriers in the same area, all of the carriers must have the
same capacity. If you have a single customer in Los Angeles, you must
provide the capacity for at least 1,360 simultaneous interceptions. How
many SPAN ports do you have?
As I mentioned, the wiretap acts and CALEA are really independent.
--Steve Bellovin, error