A Granite telecommunications company is challenging an injunction that the US Justice Department issued last month against its telecommunication services.
The court ruled last week that Granite’s telecommunication service was a “telecommunications service” that is subject to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The ruling was made after the US government filed a complaint against Granite in federal court in Brooklyn.
Granite has argued that the Communications Decency Act of 1995 (CDA) does not apply to its services, but the court ruled that it does.
In a lawsuit filed on February 9, the company claimed that the CDA “has no application to communications between the United States and a foreign government, a foreign public entity, or a private entity” and thus is not covered by the Communications Act.
“The CDA does not protect a foreign state or private entity from liability under the CEA or for an alleged violation of a statute or regulation that prohibits the transmission of a protected communication, including telecommunication signals, which constitutes a violation of the CTA,” the court wrote.
The court also ruled that the company’s telephony service is not subject to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Acts because it does not provide a service that is “broadcast or transmitted without an appropriate license.”
“The court concludes that the defendant Granite telecommunication network does not have the requisite license, and thus, does not qualify for Section 707,” the decision stated.
The judge noted that Granatet is a foreign entity, and therefore its service is subject “to the CAA, which protects only the communications of a foreign State, or an entity that has not complied with the requirements of the U.S.C.,” the court added.
This ruling comes on the heels of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed a similar lawsuit in October on behalf of Granite.
Last month, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled that Granitet is not a telecommunications service, but rather a “commercially distributed” communication network that is a “subscriber service.”