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CALEA requires telecoms to install surveillance equipment in their datacenters (wikipedia.org)
39 points by sxp on June 11, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

What is shocking about CALEA is what hasn't happened yet -- the requirement to integrate back-doors in servers providing VOIP services. Notice that VOIP services don't necessarily have to be sending traffic to a central server, it could be peer to peer like WebRTC so now CALEA gets updated and ... well I don't know what happens.

Companies would need to install back-doors on user's machine directly to divert copy of a stream of a audio, get fined or end up moving overseas.

But it has already happened... nearly 15 years ago it got pretty bad, and it continues to get worse. Anyway these "backdoors" already do exist in routers.

None of the big companies with statements (denials) about PRISM say anything about protecting data that flows through its networking equipment, only that they do not provide access to "stored" data on "servers" (without a warrant).

Here's how to configure a Cisco 7600's LI (Lawful Intercept) "feature":


* Note the cute assumption in the naming of this "feature" - it almost implies that the use of "Lawful Intercept" is necessarily lawful as the feature itself has the word "lawful" right there in the name!

Im getting the vibe that Peer-to-Peer encrypted mesh is the way of the future for the internet.

Client to server is just too easy for large organisations to abuse.

Also, CALEA doesn't require any kind of backdoor or automated access, it merely requires that you have the ability to transparently log traffic ("lawful intercept" being the official term).

Any ISP-grade gear will have this function.

What is it about PRISM that is so shocking to people?

This (knowing the NSA/CIA can and may actually listen to, record, and data-mine ALL electronically mediated communications) has been the default condition since the late 90's when CALEA came about.


Setting aside the issue of surveillance... the following clause seems a good way to ensure government contractors get plenty of work :

'Carriers are permitted to meet their CALEA obligations through the services of “Trusted Third Parties (TTP)” -- that is, they can hire outside companies, which meet security requirements outlined in CALEA, to perform all of the required functions.'

Nothing stated in the Rackspace or other ISPs posts says anything about the routers in place at these facilities. They're all quite careful to say how secure the customer's "stored data" is safe on the "servers" - nothing is said about data flows through routers.

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