The New York Times reports that several U.S. universities are protesting a government mandate to upgrade computer networks. The upgrades are required so that it will be easier for law enforcement officials to access them, particularly for monitoring eMail and IP-based phone conversations. The schools are upset because of the enormous cost of these upgrades ordered by the FCC and because they don’t see how the upgrades would be of tremendous long-run benefit to the government. The order stems from the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which originally forced phone companies to pay for their own investigator-friendly upgrades. (Note: This site requires registration.)