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Big Brother Wants Into VoIP At Any Cost 247

Posted by Zonk
from the cracking-the-seal dept.
wallaby fly-half writes "An amendment to the CALEA law would make it easier for the government to monitor calls made over VoIP and even temporarily store some packet traffic. Ars Technica reports that the 'bill will put the technology in place to buffer packet streams, and places the job of filtering those streams under government control. We know from the NSA warrantless wiretapping program that the government is not limiting itself to access to under court orders, and the CALEA bill must be considered in light of the capacity it generates.'"
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Big Brother Wants Into VoIP At Any Cost

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  • Oke... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:37PM (#15800823) Homepage Journal

    Raise your hand if you thought VoIP was a really neat idea when it first came out.

    Now raise your hand if you still think it is.

    Granted it's not really too different from recording Voice, but now you could expect yourself to be extraordinarily rendered if you choose to encrypt your converstations because you have the gall to actually believe the government has no right to recording and storing your conversations, Dub's dirty tricks or not.

    Hell, they'll probably outlaw encrypting your own phone calls, next, because (the flag waving) it's (an eagle poses rampant) in (strains of The Star Bangled Banner) the (In God We Trust) best(the blue angels fly overhead) interests (cascading images of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc.) of (Betsy Ross adds another star to her handicraft) America (fanfare of fife and drum) and everybody knows the real patriots don't question any of this.

    "sir, you served potential enemies of uh-merika with strong encryption" and we can't be having that.

    Ebay constantly in hot water would probably love to score some points with Washington, they're probably already serving tea and crumpets with the NSA right now, along with a side order of Skype backdoors.

    dangerous times call for dangerous laws

    • Re:Oke... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by symbolic (11752) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:42PM (#15800872)
      but now you could expect yourself to be extraordinarily rendered if you choose to encrypt your converstations because you have the gall to actually believe the government has no right to recording and storing your conversations, Dub's dirty tricks or not.

      That's only until a certain critical mass starts to understand the NEED to do this, and follow through. Yes, they can make examples out of a few people and try to scare everyone away from the idea, but that's no more effective than temporarily manning a speed trap to catch people exceeding the limit. Given the current government's quenchless thirst for things that are none of its business, I wholeheartedly support the use of encryption. PGP, TrueCrypt, and whatever else will get the job done.
      • Re:Oke... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Philip K Dickhead (906971) * <folderol@fancypants.org> on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:13PM (#15801113) Journal
        This America thing was a good idea - but I think we learned a lot building this one. Why don't we go back, and start it over again?
        • Re:Oke... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:51PM (#15801437)
          I think the Declaration of Independence strongly hinted that the founding fathers were aware government is an endless cycle of foundation -> golden age -> decline -> dark age. That whole bit about "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it"
          • Re:Oke... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Firehed (942385) on Friday July 28, 2006 @05:14PM (#15802071) Homepage
            Well, yes, if by 'hinted' you mean 'said outright':
            But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

            - DoI, emphasis obviously mine (note 'when' not 'if')

            I wouldn't try using that argument in court against your domestic terrorism and/or high treason charges, but that doesn't change the fact that The Founding Fathers Told You To Do It. Hell, that's WHY we have the right to bear arms - not for shooting each other, but for the purpose of defending ourself from and overthrowing corrupt governments.
          • Re:Oke... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by takeya (825259) on Friday July 28, 2006 @06:14PM (#15802530) Journal
            Well I hate living in this decline and I'll hate spending the rest of my life in the dark ages.

            Are there any countries out there experiencing a golden age? Or is the world so intertwined they all go together..
    • Strange... (Score:2, Funny)

      by bigtallmofo (695287)
      I realize you only posted this comment 4 seconds ago, but I find it strange on Slashdot that you're not modded to +9 SuperGenius yet.

      You don't get witty anti-Dubya sarcasm like this just anywhere:

      Hell, they'll probably outlaw encrypting your own phone calls, next, because (the flag waving) it's (an eagle poses rampant) in (strains of The Star Bangled Banner) the (In God We Trust) best(the blue angels fly overhead) interests (cascading images of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc.) of (Betsy Ross adds a
      • Re:Strange... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:49PM (#15800937)
        The biggest downside is that in just two short years, George Bush will no longer be president and we won't get to hear such cerebral commentaries any longer.

        Right. In two short years, Hillary will be taking her turn with all of the expanded executive powers that Dubya is indulging in. Then it'll be your turn to stammer, "Uh, hey, wait a minute, guys, this executive-dictatorship thing isn't so cool."

        The worm will turn. It always does.
        • Well, if it's a choice between that or four years of Dick jokes..
        • "Right. In two short years, Hillary will be taking her turn with all of the expanded executive powers ..."

          Geez....ANYBODY but that bitch....

          I really do hope and pray we at least get some viable choices this next time around. I really, really, really hate having to consider my vote as the 'lesser of two evils'.

          • I really do hope and pray we at least get some viable choices this next time around. I really, really, really hate having to consider my vote as the 'lesser of two evils'.

            Al Gore would have been the best thing for the US, at least from a conscience point of view. I really like his present efforts on global warming. He is really a smart man... He was a viable choice, rather than the mimbo your country elected.
            • The people didn't elect him, the broken system did. I think in this day and age internet voting should be a viable method thereby bypassing faulty Diebold machinery and the backwards Electoral College systems altogether.
              • They couldn't even get electronic voting right, and now you think there's something safe about internet voting?

                Thanks, I like our system in Canada. Paper based voting. Go in, get a list of names, but an X in the circle. Can't figure out how to put an X into a circle? Your vote doesn't count. It's like a mini IQ test. Too dumb to write an X in the circle? Too dumb to pick a politician too :)
          1. The right wing makes the President immune from legislative or judicial oversight, making that office immune from the law and shrouded in secrecy.
          2. Hillary Clinton is elected as the next President
          3. A right-wing wacko attempts to assassinate her, thinking she's the antichrist, spawn of Satan, tool of the New World Order, whatever
          4. The right-wing pundits, in a rare moment of PR stupidity, overplay their hand by sort of (though not explicitly) supporting the assassination attempt. Even the Democrats, stupid as t
      • Re:Strange... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Roody Blashes (975889)
        I enjoy the fact that Bush's antics have gotten so severely anti-American that people like you don't even bother to try and defend them anymore, you just try and mock anybody who chastises him and hope people will automatically assume you're right....
        • I enjoy the fact that Bush's antics have gotten so severely anti-American that people like you don't even bother to try and defend them anymore

          People like me? You've obviously assumed that I'm some sort of partisan Republican blindly supporting Bush. I am not, and my comment said nothing to that effect. I am however sick of hearing the same unfunny, unclever, lame commentary on George Bush that obviously attempts to come across as clever. It's not clever, and I'm sick of hearing it. Similarly, I was
      • The biggest downside is that in just two short years, George Bush will no longer be president and we won't get to hear such cerebral commentaries any longer.

        That is if he leaves. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he suspended that whole 'limited to two terms' thing so he could Continue To Bravely Fight The Terrorists And Ensure Freedom Abroad. Or CTBFTTAEFA for short.
        • In 2004, there was actually talk about "delaying" the elections in light of a mysteriously convenient terrorist threat. Luckily, even Bush didn't have the cajones to go through with it. But they wouldn't hesitate for a second if they thought they could get away with it and were behind in the polls. Sadly, they probably could get away with it now.

          -Eric

          • I have to be a "translator" nazy. What you wanted to say was "cojones". Cajones = drawers ;)
          • In 2004, there was actually talk about "delaying" the elections in light of a mysteriously convenient terrorist threat. Luckily, even Bush didn't have the cajones to go through with it. But they wouldn't hesitate for a second if they thought they could get away with it and were behind in the polls. Sadly, they probably could get away with it now.

            That seems like fear-mongering to me. You do know that Bush actually doesn't have the right to delay elections anywhere, right? (Well, except maybe in DC) Ele

        • In the words of the great sage Lewis Black, "I would hope that would be... the dealbreaker"
        • Actually he plans on taking the rest of us with him. It is part of "Operation Last Term - Giant Asteroid Impact"
        • I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he suspended that whole 'limited to two terms' thing so he could Continue To Bravely Fight The Terrorists And Ensure Freedom Abroad. Or CTBFTTAEFA for short.

          I thought they were going to call it Preserving W's Natural Authority as God for Eternity, or PWNAGE for short.

      • he biggest downside is that in just two short years, George Bush will no longer be president and we won't get to hear such cerebral commentaries any longer.

        You mean, the same way we don't hear any cerebral commentary about Bill Clinton, Al Gore or John Kerry anymore, right?

      • The smart people were 1st to think and the brave 1st to talk.

        Bush bashing is a no brainer at this point (except for the proud or stupid.)

        After bush is gone (should they choose to let him) and the next powerless puppet takes over, listen to those people who were ahead of the curve.
    • Given the fact that they can already tap your telephone conversations digitally, without so much as a blip to let you know you've been tapped, why shouldn't we use VoIP, even with a mandatory back door? How is it different from now?
    • Re:Oke... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by russ1337 (938915) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:47PM (#15800918)
      Its fantastic that the government listens to what you say and limits what you read [slashdot.org]. Its called freedom people!

      If your not with us your with the terrorists or must have something to hide. Yes we wiretap your calls, log all your intertet traffic, and look over your shoulder, but it is to protect you!

      You've got to be fucking kidding. Its tyranny.
    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:51PM (#15800951) Homepage Journal
      It's a lot more likely that millions of people will encrypt our VoIP streams than that we will all scramble our POTS conversations.

      Where's our Java applet with SIP over SSL?
      • The problem is POTS. People won't scramble their POTS conversations, because it requires extra equipment. It's not worth it the effort. But security can be build into a VoIP spec and applications, thereby becoming ubiquitous. Computers are cool! ;-)
    • Raise Hand Here (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tashanna (409911) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:34PM (#15801288)

      Do you think I'm suddenly going to freak out on VOIP because the US government might start listening in on my calls? I'm actually suprised that they're not already (they seem twitchy about that stuff right now), though this may be a political version of "it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission". Fundamentally, I don't care how my voice gets from point A to point B, but I'm in favor of doing it as cheap as possible. I like the idea of a world where they run one cable (or no cables, woohoo) to my house and all the information flows over it. The tinfoil hat wearers can roll their own VOIP [asterisk.org] for talking to whomever they want to talk to and encrypt it out the wazoo. If they're paranoid enough, they can get multiple wired and wireless connections, split up the packets across them all, and have a grand time of it. As best I can tell, VOIP was never about avoiding the government, it was about talking on the cheap using resources already available.

      Now, if they come for my encryption, they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead connection

      - Tash
      Vrrooommm... [tashcorp.net]

    • The real reason (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drooling-dog (189103) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:37PM (#15801322)
      Pretty much everybody without his/her head up his/her ass knows that "fighting terrorism" has very little to do with this.

      But then, spying on and harrassing political opponents a la Nixon may not be the main motivation behind it, either.

      The BIG concern within the Bush Administration is the threat from people inside of it. They need their own people to know that if they divulge any embarrassing or incriminating information, even anonymously, that they will be tracked down and punished. The war is against potential whistleblowers.

      Ever wonder why you never hear interviews with anybody who knew Dubya back in his wild days before he became governor of Texas? Every college friend of every other president had stories to tell, some positive and some not, but not so with George II. Why is this? Well, pretty much everybody with an embarrassing story to tell about cocaine or girls or his desertion from the National Guard now has a cushy high-level job in the government or the energy industry. Better jobs with more power than they'd ever dreamed they'd have, and jobs they're not going to jeopardize by telling stories.

      That's how you go from being a horse show official to being head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency with zero experience. Anybody who works in Washington knows there's hundreds - maybe thousands - of 'em.

      Without the extensive eavesdropping powers Bush claims, these people would be free to contact reporters or blog information anonymously. By advertising these "powers" via carefully planned "leaks", Karl Rove is letting insiders know that they're taking a big risk if they spill any beans.

      And you can bet they'll know who I am as soon as I hit the "Submit" button...

    • Three words: VOIP over TOR
    • Hell, they'll probably outlaw encrypting your own phone calls, next, because (the flag waving) it's (an eagle poses rampant) in (strains of The Star Bangled Banner) the (In God We Trust) best(the blue angels fly overhead) interests (cascading images of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc.) of (Betsy Ross adds another star to her handicraft) America (fanfare of fife and drum) and everybody knows the real patriots don't question any of this.

      I can't find it, but I think this is actually illegal in the US

      • It is not illegal to encrypt phone calls, and as far as I know, it never has been. At times, the government has tried to discourage the sale of encryption hardware to non-government users, but it hasn't been prohibited.

        Import and export are another matter, as encryption hardware is covered by ITAR [wikipedia.org] (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), which means you may need a government permit.

      • One time pad is about the only way I would really trust, and I don't trust that. Good thing I have little to hide...

        As long as the key material is really random, not just generated-by-a-computer pseudo-random, one-time pad encryption is perfectly secure if applied correctly. No re-using pads, in other words (cf. Venona et al).

        The definition of "perfectly secure" is a precise one: no attack by an enemy cryptanalyst can determine the correct plaintext with any greater probability than any other putative

    • I HIGHLY doubt we will ever see encryption made illegal, but it will remain legal for the wrong reason: to prevent corporate espionage. Corporate America will use their senators to make sure their trade secrets remain secret.
    • I'm a resident alien in the US and call home regularly. Echelon etc have been around for ages; I basically assume any call I make that's not via VoIP is going through some sort of surveillance filter. With VoIP calls I at least have the option of adding encryption, and doing so in a transparent-to-the-end-user way so my mother will actually use it. By contrast, while I *could* use hardware to add encryption to a non-VoIP call, but my mother would never use it.
  • The New Bolshevism (Score:4, Insightful)

    by (1+-sqrt(5))*(2**-1) (868173) <1.61803phi@gmail.com> on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:37PM (#15800830) Homepage
    From TFA:
    We know from the NSA warrantless wiretapping program that the government is not limiting itself to access to under court orders, and the CALEA bill must be considered in light of the capacity it generates. [...] Most of the wiretaps—81 percent—dealt with drug crimes. Second on the list was racketeering. Homicide came third. Gambling was fourth. What's missing here? Terrorism.
    We can safely assume that the lion's share of our empire's surveillance, terrorism, goes unreported; and that the most insidious state must hide from its citizens.

    Haven't we learned any lessons from the hideous Bolsheviks [antiwar.com]?*

    ____________________
    * Peter Holquist, "'Information Is the Alpha and Omega of Our Work': Bolshevik Surveillance in Its Pan-European Context," Journal of Modern History, 69: 3 (September 1997), pp. 415-450.

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:44PM (#15800889)
      > We can safely assume that the lion's share of our empire's surveillance, terrorism, goes unreported; and that the most insidious state must hide from its citizens. Haven't we learned any lessons from the hideous Bolsheviks?

      Of course we have! Who do you think's been testing it for us all these years?

      The USSR was the alpha test site. We learned that it doesn't work too well in a pen-and-paper world; you end up with something like East Germany's STASI, in which your economy implodes because a third of your population is busy filing reports on the other two thirds of your population... but nobody can actually find the reports to use them for anything.

      China is the beta test site. A technologically-advanced state, a mixed economy, and strict information controls. Data storage is too expensive to store everyone's everything, so if you search for something naughty, it just gets blocked. Citizens quickly learn how to circumvent the censorship and/or the logging.

      With what we've learned, we're ready to go to full implementation. Search for whatever you like. Talk about whatever you like. Everything gets delivered to you, you're never aware that you've crossed the line until... hang on a sec. There's a knock at my door.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:38PM (#15800835) Journal
    It's a document like this [fcc.gov] that make you want to install an application like this [philzimmermann.com].

    From the FCC Mandate:
    First, the Order affirms that the CALEA compliance deadline for facilities-based broadband Internet access and interconnected VoIP services will be May 14, 2007, as established by the First Report and Order in this proceeding. The Order concludes that this deadline gives providers of these services sufficient time to develop compliance solutions, and notes that standards developments for these services are already well underway.
    From Phil's site:
    Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which is better than the other approaches to secure VoIP, because it achieves security without reliance on a PKI, key certification, trust models, certificate authorities, or key management complexity that bedevils the email encryption world.
    The stupid part of this is that we shouldn't have to do this ... but with the way the wind is blowing inside the beltway, you need to adapt and avoid the risk. The FCC & NSA can walk all over you until the climate changes, be patient and resist.

    You are innocent. You have done nothing to give the government the right to investigate you or collect your phone records with the intent to prosecute you. If you're an American, take a few hours to protect what so many people have fought and died for: your rights to privacy and being innocent until proven guilty.

    What next? Is the King of England going to be able to listen in on my VoIP calls?
    • by HugePedlar (900427) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:44PM (#15800888) Homepage
      "What next? Is the King of England going to be able to listen in on my VoIP calls?"

      Yes, even if you encrypt, and if by King you mean Prime Minister. The RIP Act forces suspects to reveal encryption keys on pain of imprisonment, whether charged with a crime or not. Useful, huh?
      • The RIP Act forces suspects to reveal encryption keys on pain of imprisonment, whether charged with a crime or not. Useful, huh?

        I hope they have enough room for all of us [gnu-designs.com]...

        I'm not the only one who downright refuses to hand over encryption keys, there are thousands and thousands of us (just in the US). We used to be called Patriots (standing up for what we believe in and all), and now we're Un-American.

        Oh how the Doublespeak times have changed, eh Orwell?

      • The RIP Act forces suspects to reveal encryption keys on pain of imprisonment, whether charged with a crime or not.

        So, just hand over the keys.

        I'm going to get flamed for this, but perhaps this actually hits the right balance of power between the law enforcement agencies and the public. They can't easedrop on you without you knowing it, and they can't mass eavesdrop on everyone. But if they have good reason to suspect you, and you actually did do something wrong, then they can get evidence they need t

        • We already have a nice balance: government agencies can intercept voice communications at the endpoints, where they are (by necessity) analog. It has about the right amount of overhead: you need to physically bug the place or the phone.

          The problem with trying to break encrypted messages is that it just can't be done: the government never knows whether they got it, and, on the other hand, such laws are likely primarily going to be used for harrassing people.
    • Didn't we fight a revolution against the King of England? Is it time for another already?
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:38PM (#15800840)
    An amendment to the CALEA law would make it easier for the government to monitor calls made over VoIP and even temporarily store some packet traffic.

    ...for values of "temporarily" approaching the heat death of the Universe. For legal precedent, see any case regarding DMCA and/or copyright extension.

  • Encryption? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HugePedlar (900427) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:39PM (#15800843) Homepage
    I assume VOIP can be encrypted just like anything else. So once again this will do nothing towards preventing terrorism, but everything to alienate The People.
    • by Kesch (943326)
      So once again this will do nothing towards preventing terrorism, but everything to alienate The People.


      Oh, ha ha ha ha! You thought they were REALLY trying to stop terrorism. Oh, bwuahaha, that's a good one! I'm in tears. Hey, hey Bob! Come over here and look a this, it's hilarious!
      • Indeed. I'm just waiting for someone to trot out The Ayn Rand Quote.
        • "Indeed. I'm just waiting for someone to trot out The Ayn Rand Quote."

          OK, which dumbass Ayn Rand quote might this be, then?

          There are SO MANY that the Randroids jerk off over, it's hard to keep track of them all.

          " "Libertarianism, the autism of politics."
          Heterodox, commentator on samizdata.net
          "
          • He's probably talking about her only worthwhile bit of writing ever: the part in Atlas Shrugged where she (or, rather, one of her characters) says that governments aren't interesting in having law-abiding citizens, and would prefer to have an entire population of people who are all breaking one law or another, so that everyone is a "criminal". That gives them the justification to hassle anyone they like, and thus gives them enormous power.
  • if (encryptionUsed || slightChangeInProtocolFormat || differentPortUsed) {
    governmentCantTap();
    }
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:52PM (#15800957) Homepage Journal
    Remember Clipper chip? Yeah ole Sammy wanted in then too but they changed their tactics by using patent law when that initiative failed.

    For those who don't know, the DES patent is owned by N.S.A. so when you see that Verizon's latest gadget that is triple DES encrypted don't be impressed, Uncle Sammy can get right in.

    Seems like what we need at this point is OSS encryption that can't be so easily cracked by N.S.A. It's just a matter of time before Skype/Vonage, etc are required to change their encryption to DES or something that the government can read.

    It used to be that the government had better technology always, not so true anymore. So /. geeks, create a solution.
    • Yay paranoia (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181)
      For those who don't know, the DES patent is owned by N.S.A. so when you see that Verizon's latest gadget that is triple DES encrypted don't be impressed, Uncle Sammy can get right in.

      First off, the patent is owned by the NSA because they developed it.

      They developed it because they're the most qualified to come up with encryption and guarantee its security for government use.

      Despite a decade plus of DES being in wide use, brute-force attacks remain the most practical means of "breaking" DES encryption

    • For those who don't know, the DES patent is owned by N.S.A. so when you see that Verizon's latest gadget that is triple DES encrypted don't be impressed, Uncle Sammy can get right in.

      Bullshit!

      Stop repeating urban legends as fact.

      DES
      U.S. Patent: 3,962,539
      Filed: February 24, 1975
      Issued: June 8, 1976
      Inventors: Ehrsam et al.
      Assignee: IBM

      The Data Encryption Standard (DES) patent was assigned to IBM Corporation in 1976. After establishment of DES as a government stadard, IBM placed the patent i

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:59PM (#15801019)

    Big brother is already into my credit card records, phone call records, credit and purchase history and library records. Why would anyone think VOIP would get a break?

  • by pashdown (124942) <pashdown@xmission.com> on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:00PM (#15801028) Homepage
    More punishment for Americans who obey the law. As if a criminal would be stupid enough to not use private encryption or alternate communication channels that the government didn't have a listening ear to. Why don't they go all the way and pass an amendment to the constitution that prevents citizens from protecting themselves from government monitoring? Isn't that what they really want?
    • What recourse do we have? Peaceful protests? Voting? Voting with our dollars?

      Nothing but force can change the sway of the government back into the favor of the people instead of just the favor of the governmentpeople.

      'The American Dream' is nothing but a cunning bit of propaganda the government spreads. If you have 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, and a house that will be paid off in just a few more decades..what incentive do you have to fight or risk all of that because Uncle Sam might be listening to your call
  • I am suprised they aren't mandating backdoors in every piece of costumer electronics.
    • I am suprised they aren't mandating backdoors in every piece of costumer electronics.

      If it hasn't happened already, you can bet it will soon. Just let them find one "terra-ist" with an iPod using it to hide their activities, and you'll see some serious heavy hands coming down on the industry.

  • Encrypt Everything? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danga (307709) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:15PM (#15801127)
    So wouldn't the logical thing to do be encrypt everything? If they had to try and decrypt every packet in the "buffer" I think the point of even trying to unencrypt anything would be worthless. If I had a VoIP system I would want it setup in such a way that I control how the conversation is encrypted so I could use whatever algorithm and passcodes I damn well want. I am sure the government will try to make this type of setup illegal or demand a backdoor though.
  • SpeakFreely (Score:5, Informative)

    by really? (199452) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:20PM (#15801157)
    I could be wrong, but I am not aware of any vulnerabilities in SpeakFreely - http://www.speakfreely.org./ [www.speakfreely.org] So, if you are worried about people intercepting your calls .. there are solutions. And, yes, it does run on Linux, or, if not, the source is there ...
  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:21PM (#15801165) Journal
    then I will be setting up a script to make VOIP calls into Saudi Arabia and Iraq at 4am every morning, and have a text-to-speech program start reading off an Arabic or Farsi translation of Dr. Seuss. Let the NSA have fun with that one, 'cause I know I will.
  • ok, well maybe not the devil, but someone reinstated my legendary noob status.

    then they had me look at a old 1 and a $5 and a $20. sorry.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:47PM (#15801399) Homepage Journal

    The reason our phones are vulnerable to these kinds of attacks, is that we view phone service as .. um .. well, I just used the word: service. You use a "service provider's" network. I'm not talking about your ISP.

    But with IP, you don't need to use a "phone service provider" except to interface with POTS. Have your phone contact my jabber server to start a conversation, and we'll use PGP on top of that. Now there isn't any "provider" to regulate and force to implement MitM attacks. They would have no choice but to regulate the users themselves, and we've seen how great that works with the War on Drugs. I guess it'll be another excuse to throw people in jail, and another way to make good people live in fear of their government, but one thing you can be sure of: it won't work for anything else. It won't prevent the behavior that they're trying to suppress.

    Death to "service providers." We just need open phone hardware (that we can install our own application on) and a network connection.

  • See this Robert Cringely article:
    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20030710. html [pbs.org]

    "Israeli companies, spies, and gangsters have hacked CALEA for fun and profit, as have the Russians and probably others, too. They have used our own system of electronic wiretaps to wiretap US, because you see that's the problem: CALEA works for anyone who knows how to run it."

  • As the Network Administrator for an ISP that has customers who use VoIP, I have had to read, understand and plan for CALEA. I can tell you: if the men in black show up without a warrant, they will not get access to customer data. If they come bearing a warrant, I will tap a single stream of data from a single customer, so no other customer data will be included. There is no need to fear conspiracy from responsible ISPs. There's no 'Carnivore' sitting in our data centers, you simply record all the in-ou
  • Sad day? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nude-fox (981081)
    its a sad day when your average citazens biggest threat is its own government

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman

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