Over the last week, wiretapping on VoIP has emerged as an issue on both sides of the border. Jeff Pulver wrote this morning in Warning: The FCC Extend’s CALEAs reach to the Internet that the FCC wants to include "pure" VoIP systems that don’t touch the PSTN in CALEA. In Wiretapping coming to Canada? Another fine mess…, Jon Arnold wrote that the Canadian Government wants to bring wiretapping to all forms of internet communication — voice email or IM.
Big brother, here we come. Our freedoms are surely being eroded, and the simple right to privacy compromised.
Jeff and Jon both make cogent arguments against wiretapping, but are also apologists for the "necessity" imposed on us in a post-9/11 world.
Jeff writes "Obviously, it is very hard to argue for such vague principles as liberty and privacy against the backdrop of government’s desire to control potential terrorist threats, even against unnecessary and overly-intrusive encroachment on the Internet."
Jon writes "In spirit, sure, I can see wanting something comparable to CALEA in this post-9/11 era. After all, Canada has been accused – rightly or wrongly – of being a safe haven for terrorists, among other things. And we’re one of the few Western countries not yet touched by any ugly terrorist incidents, so Ottawa wants to be proactive."
I love you guys. You understand the subtle issues, but softer heads won’t. That is what will allow the US Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security to usher in George Orwell’s world. Rent 1984, watch it thoroughly, and then mentally compare our world with Orwell’s dystopia. It ain’t far off!
Lawmakers need to be educated that this won’t prevent the bad guys from communicating over the internet. It won’t even put a dent in their ability to communicate. When software like Skype exists, with real time encryption of voice traffic, ill-conceived requirements are easily routed around. When anyone can put up an asterisk server, anywhere, private communication networks can be built for hundreds of dollars.
Citizens need to rally for their fundamental rights. Liberty, and personal security. That’s what this about. That’s why people should be hot under the collar.