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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cerf: Wire Tapping VoIP Will Kill Innovation

Building standardized wiretap backdoors into Internet telephone systems is a bad idea that will lead to increased cyber security concerns.  “The network architectures of the Internet and the public switched telephone network (PSTN) are substantially different,” the report states.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said VoIP calls are no different than traditional telephone service when it comes to wiretap laws.  At issue is the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), a 1994 law mandating traditional telephone companies build their technology in specific ways in order to make wiretapping easier for law enforcement officials.

Last August, the FCC ruled CALEA also applied to Internet phone services and gave VoIP providers 18 months to comply with the order.

The ITAA report, co-authored by Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist of Google and Whitfield Diffie, chief security officer for Sun Microsystems, among others, notes that in some cases, VoIP calls are essentially the same as a traditional call.

Posted on 06/14