VOIP-Tapping

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The FBI has asked the FCC to help it get expanded access to the "full pipe" of broadband signals in order to more easily intercept Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) messages that don't route through a central server. That'd leave it to law enforcement to sift through a flood of data in search of the bits they were looking for. (Thanks Jo.)

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  1. H&R is a moving target.

    A very fast moving target.

    (Good luck “hitting” anything)

  2. The way the VOIP system works is that all voice messages are coded data. Seems to me that they are asking for access to the data “traveling” through a specific Internet Service Provider (ISP), If they get that full access, then that data can be searched for the proper calling parties message. Can be done in “real” time or later if the data has been recorded. Problem I have is that intermixed on that “Pipe” are many voice messages and data bursts that have nothing to do with the person whom the agency wishes to monitor and this mixing can lead to invasions of privacy problems and/or violation. The old voice switching systems were less of a problem for law agencies with court ordered line taps.
    Interesting problem here……..

  3. Two words: “hard crypto”. It works just as well for voice as it does for web pages and email. Silly feds …

  4. But the question is, will their ISPs secretly cap their connection speeds to save bandwidth? Ah, those underhanded tricks of the trade.

  5. Gene, the government has mandated that all old voice switching systems be modified to allow the feds direct access to wire tapping. The days of a tech asking to see a warrant before tapping into your line are over. See CALEA. The problem with tapping aggregate information was solved with the government’s promise that they won’t use any information unrelated to the warrant. Feel any better? Also, they can now “tap” a person instead of tapping a line, meaning that while in the past a warrant was issued to tap into a phone line, a single warrant now allows for the tapping of any and every communication media the person might use (Home phone, business phone, cell phone, friend’s phone, neighbor’s phone)

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