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Cisco enables Internet wiretaps
From: "Richard H. Cotterell" <seec () mail retina ar>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 22:02:50 -0300

::: Cisco enables Internet wiretaps :::

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)   Addressing a major concern of law enforcement, Cisco Systems has
developed a way for police to listen in on Internet-based phone calls without detection. The
world's largest maker of networking equipment is testing surveillance products in its labs and
making the service available to customers on request, spokesman Jim Brady said.

He said Cisco has also built the capabilities into a "limited number" of its products, though
none of them have yet been purchased.

Cisco developed the "Lawful Intercept Control" service in response to requests from corporate
customers, including Internet service providers   but did not work with the government in
developing the standard over the past eight months, Brady said.

The San Jose-based company submitted a 37-page proposal on its surveillance service to the
Internet Engineering Task Force on March 30. The standards organization is accepting comments
for six months.

Internet phones, which turn voice signals into data packets for transmission over digital
networks, have been growing in popularity. Call quality has dramatically improved, and the price
is often less than a traditional call.

Police, however, have expressed concern that the technology could allow criminals to avoid
surveillance. No standard exists to tap into conversations, as officials have been able to do
for decades in the traditional phone system.

In most cases, judicial approval is required before a line can be tapped, and Cisco said it's up
to its customers to make sure wiretapping laws are followed.

The surveillance service includes an auditing mechanism by a third-party provider. The so-called
mediation device is meant to ensure that the surveillance complies with all laws governing
interception of communications.

Richard H. Cotterell  <mailto:seec () mail retina ar>

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