[Politech] Update on Internet wiretapping for phone calls [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 08:49:43 PDT

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    Sununu's proposal also addresses the controversial issue of VoIP 
    wiretapping, saying that VoIP companies that provide links to the 
    existing telephone network--a category that would include Vonage, for 
    instance--must provide some "access to necessary information to law 
    enforcement agencies." But the access requirement, a key concern of the 
    FBI, would not apply to instant messaging applications or peer-to-peer 
    services like Skype.
    Law enforcement officers can now eavesdrop on every call made by Cox's 
    nearly 1 million voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone subscribers. 
    Police can already tap calls on 12 of Cox's 13 telephone markets because 
    they rely on traditional phone equipment equipped with eavesdropping 
    abilities. But in December, Cox deployed VoIP, a much cheaper 
    alternative that uses the unregulated Internet. Roanoke, Va., is the 
    first of several small markets where Cox is deploying VoIP technology.
    Net-phoning provider VoicePulse says it plans to use encryption to 
    secure calls, part of an industry trend that could pull in business 
    customers but raise problems for law enforcement wiretaps.
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