Under the hateful CALEA wiretap law, telco equipment has to be designed and configured to allow the Feds to snoop on communications. Now the same agencies that brought CALEA to America are advocating that Voice-over-IP equipment be likewise regulated to be amenable to eavesdropping, and they suggest that this is just a runup to a general regulation of broadband ISPs to allow for DSL and cablemodem sniffing.
Opponents of the CALEA expansion include AT&T and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. But the government's argument for the additional capabilities is the same one that persuaded Congress to pass CALEA in the first place eight years ago, and it only carries more weight today. "Although we cannot describe in this forum the particular circumstances, the FBI has sought interceptions of transmissions carried by broadband technology, including cable modem technology, in terrorism-related ... investigations involving potentially life-threatening situations," the Justice Department wrote [pdf] in one of its filings last year. "Unless carriers are required to ensure such access, law enforcement surveillance capabilities will suffer a serious and dangerous gap." If the FCC adopts the government's position, then broadband's last mile will be the FBI's listening post, and Free World Dialup will be off the hook.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]