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Phone Cos. Seek Wiretap Extension

April 24, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The telephone industry asked regulators Friday for another two years to install technology so that police can tap digital phone lines.

The United States Telephone Association’s request to the Federal Communications Commission to extend the Oct. 25 deadline by two years joins several other similar requests.

A 1994 law requires telecommunications companies to make digital wiretapping technology available to law enforcement agencies. But after three years of negotiations, the industry and government couldn’t agree on the degree of technology needed and who will pay for it.

Without an extension, companies that fail to make technical changes by Oct. 25 would face fines.

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