[IP] more on more on E-mail intercept ruling - good grief!! (fwd from dave at farber.net)

Sunder sunder at sunder.net
Fri Jul 2 11:31:22 PDT 2004

On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:

> Call me cynical (no... go ahead), but if VOIP is found to have no 4th 
> Amendment protection, Congress would first have to agree that this *is* 
> a problem before thay could "fix" it.  Given the recent track record of 
> legislators vs. privacy, I'm not at all confident Congress would 
> recognize the flaw, much less legislate to extend 4th Amendment 
> protection.  After all, arent more and more POTS long-distance calls 
> being routed over IP?  The only difference, really, is the point at 
> which audio is fed to the codec.  If the codec is in the central office, 
> it's a "voice" call.  If it's in the handset or local computer, it's 
> VOIP.  I think we can count on the Ashcroftians to eventually notice 
> this and pounce upon the opportunity.  And as for the SCOTUS, all they 
> have to do is sit back on a strict interpretation and such intercepts 
> aren't "wiretaps" at all.

If VOIP gets no protection, then you'll see a lot of "digital" bugs in
various spy shops again - and they'll all of a sudden be legal.  I thought
the Feds busted lots of people for selling bugging equipment, etc. because
they're an invasion of privacy, etc.

Ditto for devices that intercept digital cellular phone conversations, 
spyware software that turns on the microphone in your computer and sends 
the bits out over the internet, ditto for tempest'ing equipment ("But 
your honor, it's stored for 1/60th of a second in the phosphor! It's a 
storage medium!"), etc.

Hey, they can't have their cake and eat it too.  It's either protected or
it isn't.

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