July 27, 2006 | Glyn Wintle

Tapping VoIP

We have seen attempts to add more legislation to voice over IP in America so I guess it was only a matter of time.

"The Guardian has learned that police and security agencies have been lobbying ministers and senior officials, expressing fears about the potential for voice-over-internet-protocol technologies to hide a caller's identity. Their aim? To get VoIP providers to monitor calls and find ways to identify who is calling whom - and even record them."

Lifting the veil on internet voices - The Guardian

The proposed requirement for all VoIP services to have to provide 999 services would kill any free VoIP service, unless the government is offering to cover the costs. If they want to log and trace VoIP why not Instant Messages? If they want to log and trace IM then what about email… (You get the idea)

Comments (4)

  1. Jonathan:
    Aug 03, 2006 at 02:10 PM

    This entry is quoted in today's Technology Guardian, but the URL given is wrong!

  2. chrs:
    Jul 27, 2006 at 01:58 PM

    What nonsense. It assumes that there a limited number of VoIP providers much like traditional telcos. But there's nothing stopping anyone running open source VoIP software on their home PC.

  3. Julian Bond:
    Jul 28, 2006 at 10:00 AM

    Hey. Instead of pushing downwards, how about we push it upwards. Will these regulations cover personal VideoOIP as well as Voice? How about 3D MMRPGs? Will Second Life have to include the ability of the forces of Awe and Boredom to listen in to conversations? Will 2nd Life be forced to include Police phone boxes that can place 999 calls? (Actually that's a brilliant idea. The Police box will of course be bigger on the inside than on the outside)

    One thing fascinates me in all this. Take a very P2P VoIP system like Skype with minimal centralisation. Technically, I'm not sure it's going to be possible to tap or to build in a backdoor that isn't fairly obvious and will be discovered quickly. And if that happens, I look forward to the Slashdot story "Skype phones authorities".

    You can look at all this as a way to control Telco replacement systems from people like Tescos. But they're only one part of the landscape.

  4. Glyn:
    Jul 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM

    Interested in finding out more or want to help ORG collect more information about this issue? Pop on over to the wiki page.


    You can see the Regulation of VoIP Services consultation responses there. Please feel free to add more content. Thank you.