August 06, 2004
FCC makes absurd wiretap decision

The FCC has made an unenforceable decision that VOIP providers must support wiretaps. What that amounts to is a decision to force people to set up more VPN's and use P2P voice messaging over VPN whenever they feel a need for privacy.
There is absolutely nothing that any broadband provider or VOIP provider can do to stop people from communication exclusively over secure channels as long as they have control over both endpoints of the conversation. All this does is hinder the adoption of VOIP because there'll be a lingering suspicion about wiretapping if you use a centralized VOIP service. If you're using a pure peer to peer voice messaging application you'll be completely safe.
Bad news for VOIP and voice telephony pricing. Completely inconsequential news for anti-terrorism, theft prevention or any other reason to make the decision in the first place.
All the reasons Cory Doctorow gave for why DRM does not work applies here as well. The decision won't even prevent "the average user" from using secure, untappable connections. The software to set up secure channels and consequently the software required to set up secure voice communication is readliy available from a large number of places and will probably be put together in standard distributions if commercial vendors of VOIP are forced not to offer truly secure communication.

Posted by Claus at August 06, 2004 03:40 PM | TrackBack (0)
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