VoIP Wiretaps

Here is a great article on VoIP wiretaps. Here are some excerpts:

According to a statement, the FCC stated that the order strikes a balance between fostering competition and innovation on one hand, and meeting the needs of law enforcement on the other.

"[I]t is critical to our nation’s security that VoIP and broadband Internet access providers have CALEA obligations," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a prepared statement. "Although I believe that new technologies and services should operate free of economic regulation, I also believe that law enforcement agencies must have the ability to conduct lawful surveillance over these new technologies."

One commissioner, while pleased with addressing large-scale law enforcement concerns, believes that the FCC still needs to address other CALEA-related issues such as regarding enforcement and cost recovery.

"Because litigation is as inevitable as death and taxes, and because some might not read the statute to permit the extension of CALEA to the broadband Internet access and VoIP services at issue here, I have stated my concern that an approach like the one we adopt today is not without legal risk," Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy said in a prepared statement. "[B]ecause some parties will dispute our conclusions, the application of CALEA to these new services could be stymied for years."

I wonder if products like Skype are going to be used to get around wiretap issues by criminals and others. Every new technology such as pagers and disposable phones seems to be picked up quickly by criminals. I think we need to be focusing not only on wiretapping VoIP service providers but coming up with ways of listening in on p2p VoIP calls.

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