Thursday, October 20, 2005

Internet bugging may dictate technolgies and call-routing for VoIP services

While Canadians are fretting over lawful access, our friends south of the border are dealing with the second generation, or rather an extension of the rules begun with the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act. CALEA, as it is called, required telecommunications companies to build-in wiretapping capabilities. A recent set of rules published by the Federal Communications Commission extends that wiretapability requirement to VoIP providers. Any company that provides a service that connects calls to or from the traditional phone system is required to provide central bugging features for law enforcement.

Wired News is asking where that leaves VoIP companies that use a peer-to-peer model. These providers don't route calls centrally so there is no easy place to intercept the calls. And the rules apply to all calls on the system, not just those that go to or from traditional switches. According to the regs, that's no excuse.

This may be a case where law enforcement access requirements will be dictating the technology that a company can use. Read more: Wired News: Furor Grows Over Internet Bugging.

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