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August 4, 2004

FCC Votes for CALEA for VoIP [8:46 pm]

Talk about an architecture change in the Internet — F.C.C. Seeks Equal Wiretap Access to Phone Calls via Internet.

The Federal Communications Commission voted for proposed rules that would require Internet service providers to ensure their equipment will allow police wiretaps.

Lawyers for the Justice Department, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration asked the FCC in March to affirm that Internet calls — or Voice Over Internet Protocol — fall under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

Unless I’m missing something, this means the death of VoIP over an open internet (i.e., VoIP will end up relegated to its own network), thus killing VoIP by requiring special CALEA-capable switches. Unless *all* switches become CALEA compliant, in which case it now becomes that much easier to tap packets.

Slashdot: FCC Rules VoIP Must Be Tappable; NYTimes: F.C.C. Supports Surveillance Rules on Internet Calls

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