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Privacy Groups Challenge Internet Phone Call Wiretapping Rule

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By Admin on October 27, 2005 11:07 AM

Privacy and technology groups are challenging a federal rule allowing law enforcement agencies to tap Internet phone calls more easily.  On October 25, a coalition of public interest and business groups, including the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Sun Microsystems, filed a Petition for Review  with a federal court, asking the court to overturn a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling requiring that broadband Internet and interconnected voice-over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services be designed to make government wiretapping easier. 

Although law enforcement agencies can already subpoena contents of VoIP calls from Internet service providers, the new rule would require providers to rewire their networks to allow more direct access to Internet conversations.  John Morris, staff counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) said that the requirements under the rule would pose a great cost to providers and stifle innovation.

Learn more about the lawsuit: CDT press release; press coverage.