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Wire tapping on the internet

The move towards Internet telephony seems to suggest a new line of security issues. Given the extensive use of Skype and other internet telephony tools, due to their inherent economical costs, it is but natural to ponder  on how vulnerable are these channels.

Wire tapping or eavesdropping into conversations has always been a human and government fad. In the  traditional setup, you need to attach a tapping device to the phone to listen in. In the world of Internet telephony, I wonder how easy it is to put a device on a server and get direct access to millions of conversations.

I am sure the security agencies must be pleased to see conversations moving through the internet. If it is convenient for security agencies to access conversations on cyber space, it must be equally the same rule for criminals to eavesdrop as well.

Again, what laws and regulations will apply to wire tapping on the Net? Surveillance laws are generally restricted to a country level. How does one regulate the entire gamut of internet telephony effectively?

Any suggestions or thoughts from anyone?

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 October, 2008, 03:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

One can only assume that the deafening silence on the issue coming from governments is indicative that they are all enjoying an earful and prefer to remain silent lest their own eavesdropping activities might be impeded.

It is hard to imagine the US government allowing US companies to bug the citizens of non-democratic countries along with their own US citizens on behalf of non-democratic governments and dictators, unless of course they are enjoying the same or perhaps even more extensive services.

Although I don't really think we'll see the US government 'investing' in Google and Ebay if their share price falls too far, merely to guarantee continued use of their spying capabilities, we may see some less than balanced treatment of either company by regulators as a sign.

Perhaps the Queen or Royal Family already has an investment in Google? Her Majesty most certainly has an 'interest'...