Feds seek wiretap access via VoIP

Friday, 9 January 2004, 10:00 AM EST

The agencies have asked the Federal Communications Commission to order companies offering voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to rewire their networks to guarantee police the ability to eavesdrop on subscribers' conversations.

Without such mandatory rules, the two agencies predicted in a letter to the FCC last month that "criminals, terrorists, and spies (could) use VoIP services to avoid lawfully authorized surveillance." The letter also was signed by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

This is not the first time the Bush administration has expressed concern about terrorists and other lawbreakers using VoIP to evade wiretaps. As previously reported by CNET News.com, a proposal presented quietly to the FCC in July sought guaranteed surveillance access to broadband providers. But the latest submission, which follows a recent FCC forum on Internet telephony, is more detailed than before and specifically targets VoIP providers as a regulatory focus.

By Declan McCullagh at CNET.

[ Read more ]




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