More on FCC VoIP wiretaps

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More on FCC VoIP wiretaps

It appears that the new FCC rules to allow a backdoor for wiretapping is not going to happen without a fight. Declan McCullagh reports that The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Wednesday that it plans to file suit against the new federal rule. The only thing that Declan may have gotten slightly wrong is this part in bold where he only refers to SkypeOut:

the Federal Communications Commission said that broadband providers and Internet phone companies that link to the public telephone network (Vonage, Packet 8, SkypeOut) must rewire their networks to readily accommodate police wiretaps. If they don't comply, they must shut down.

As I have recently stated here and here, it appears that not only is SkypeOut applicable to this new FCC wiretapping rules, but plain-ole' Skype (Skype-to-Skype) calls fall under the FCC wiretap guidelines as well.

Note: The EFF is suing based on the FCC's intention to wiretap ALL forms of VoIP comminication, including IP-to-IP calls. See EFF's site for details

From the FCC order, the bold is for emphasis:
To be clear, a service offering is “interconnected VoIP” if it offers the capability for users to receive calls from and terminate calls to the PSTN; the offering is covered by CALEA for all VoIP communications, even those that do not involve the PSTN. Furthermore, the offering is covered regardless of how the interconnected VoIP provider facilitates access to and from the PSTN, whether directly or by making arrangements with a third party.

Thus, right now, GoogleTalk for example would not fall under the FCC jurisdiction to be wiretappble since they don't currently offer PSTN termination. However, since Skype does offer PSTN termination via SkypeOut, ALL of their services MUST also be wiretappable, including
even IP-to-IP calls using the Skype client that never touch the PSTN.

This is major news that I have been pointing to for the past couple of days. I expect this from the slow-moving traditional media, but how did the VoIP blogosphere miss this? If I am mistaken, post a comment with a link to others who have written about this.

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