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VoIP wiretapping required, deal sealed

Ryan Block, @ryan

When we last checked in, the FCC had given the ok on wiretapping commercial VoIP providers; this decision, of course, went straight to appeals, as we'd hope and expect. We're sorry to report, however, the case which  appeared before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has officially been settled upon, and it's been decided that we'll continue to live under the provisions outlined in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). As upheld in a 2-to-1 decision, companies like Vonage and Skype would have to open up to authorized government intrusion, the same as any landline phone provider -- private networks (like those on college campuses), however, will theoretically remain legally secure from the wiretaps. Kind of a bummer, but we're not gonna lose too much sleep over this one; we all know how easy it is to secure P2P VoIP, and really the law's only effectively leveling consumer landline VoIP with analog landline telephony and cellphone calling with regard to wiretaps, so it's almost more about upholding status quo than breaching civil liberties. So, everybody know how to create an SSH tunnel yet?

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