VoIP providers must adhere to CALEA by May 14

One of the current hot-button issues in the VoIP Security industry is the argument between end-to-end media encryption versus hop-by-hop media encryption. The folks on the hop-by-hop side of the argument have been making the case that end-to-end media encryption schemes like ZRTP are just not feasable for use in a business environment due to the requirement for law enforcement to be able to lawfully intercept or wire-tap VoIP Calls as is similarly required by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) for traditional telephony providers. It seems that a recent court ruling may have just backed those folks argument. ComputerWorld has coverage on a recent court ruling on the subject. From the article:

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld the FCC’s August 2004 ruling saying interconnected VoIP providers must allow wiretapping by May 14, 2007.”

“The FCC ruling requires VoIP providers that offer a substitute service for traditional telephone service to comply with a 1994 telephone wiretapping law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, in requesting the ruling, argued that their surveillance efforts are “compromised” without CALEA rules for VoIP.”

Thanks to Brian Honan for sending the referenced article to the VoIPSec e-mail forum.

4 thoughts on “VoIP providers must adhere to CALEA by May 14

  1. Randell Jesup

    This has nothing directly to do with hop-by-hop versus end-to-end (other than making end-to-end much more attractive).

    This just states that CALEA applies to any provider who has PSTN in-and-out capability (even through a 3rd party), and that it applies to ALL calls by that provider, even IP-to-IP. CALEA does not (currently) require that the provider decrypt the call or block end-to-end encryption, only that they provide the keys for the call IF they have them.

  2. Pingback: Voice of VOIPSA » Blog Archive » Internet pioneers say VOIP wiretapping complicated

  3. Frank

    The strange thing is in Holland, that we need first a PSTN line, and THEN a VOIP connection. Allowing is 1 thing, ability is second.


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