Can Encrypted VoIP Be Bad For VoIP?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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Can Encrypted VoIP Be Bad For VoIP?

An article in the New York Times today titled Voice Encryption May Draw U.S. Scrutiny starts out with the following sentence:

Philip R. Zimmermann wants to protect online privacy. Who could object to that?

The answer of course is no one except law enforcement agents. While I admire what Phil Zimmerman is doing I hate the fact that he is associating VoIP with the ability to encrypt conversations. The implication is for many that VoIP will be used to evade listening from law enforcement officials.

While Mr. Zimmerman clearly states this is not his intent, I still read an article today where VoIP is associated with the ability to keep others from listening in.

While the article touches on the fact that this technology can keep hackers from listening in I am left with a bad taste in my mouth.

Perhaps I am misreading this whole situation as Jeff Pulver has helped Zimmerman with this project and I can't believe Jeff would do anything that would intentionally result in bad PR for the VoIP industry.

I just hope this article doesn’t result in a media frenzy where VoIP is presented as the ultimate tool for terrorist’s phone calls.

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