Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

57 Federal Communications Law Journal 351 (2005)


In no industry has the impact of the events of September 11, 2001 ("9/11") been felt more strongly than in the communications industry. After 9/11, as the American people demanded a greater sense of security, Congress and the executive branch agencies reacted with new laws, new regulations, and new practices designed to protect our nation's critical communications infrastructure and enhance the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate those who would do us harm. The U.S. communications providers could do so consistent with their responsibilities to customers and to shareholders. That partnership, based upon rules developed over decades, has been strained by the vast changes since 9/11. In the few years since the attacks of that day, the industry has had to digest innumerable new and untested obligations. At the same time, the government has struggled to develop procedures for addressing the legitimate privacy and other concerns implicated by its new powers. The reach of these changes-from new authorities to demand customer information, to more stringent scrutiny of proposed mergers-has affected nearly every aspect of a communications provider's daily work. This Article attempts to look across the regulatory environment at the scope of these changes to identify the issues that have arisen for both the government and industry participants.