February 6, 2023

Proposed FBI Surveillance Law Targets Skype, Truphone, Viber and Other VoIP Apps

Voice over IP, VoIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol Apps

Hot on the heals of an announcement of new wiretapping technologies for VoIP services comes a proposed FBI surveillance law that specifically targets VoIP providers as the Bureau continues its push for new ways to gather information on “criminal activities.”

The law would require providers of voice over internet protocol services like Skype or Viber to alter their code to make their products and services wiretap-friendly.

“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding” says an industry insider.

Traditionally, law enforcement agencies and government agencies have had a very difficult time tapping VoIP providers. The difficulty in wiretapping VoIP providers is primarily due to the costs and complexity in intercepting the data packets, which are converted from audio signals into digital data packets. VoIP-PAL president, Dennis Chang, has obtained a patent that would allow the government to record VoIP communications. The patent’s underlying technology helps authorities monitor suspected criminals through their username and subscriber information.

Mobile VoIP apps would be heavily impacted by this proposed law; mobile VoIP apps allow users to make cheap local and international calls from their smartphones.

Of course, many would feel that their privacy is being violated due to this proposed law, so it will likely take time for this to see the light of day, if ever. Do you think VoIP calls should be monitored?