We're quickly coming to the stillpoint of the privacy hurricane. The "eye" of a perfect storm in IP services.
The stage is set, somewhat by the Bush/FISA/NSA fracas in which the president of the last superpower is claiming that domestic wiretapping in the name of fighting terrorism is legal, to the best of his (staff's) knowledge. Add to the infusion, the demand by the Justice Department of Google records so they can demonstrate that children aren't being adequately protected from Internet porn.Then, to complete the trifecta, we have the FCC's final rule on CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act) which mandates a "back door" built into Internet communications hardware so that law enforcement can get access to VOIP calls.
That's being challenged by civil liberties groups and Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who was the chief sponsor of the CALEA legislation. Perhaps the senator is thinking, good law, bad application.
Clearly privacy is under attack by a number of governmental institutions.
The defense is, of course, powerful encryption, about which we've posted here previously.In recent talks with Phil Zimmermann indicate that the Z-Phone, which would provide VOIP calls with the same powerful encryption he brought to PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is still a product in search of funding. Maybe with growing awareness of the intrusion an increasing Americans (and others) are likely to face, Mr. Zimmermann's idea will find broader acceptance.