I used Skype for the first time today and thought it was pretty cool… I’d used Voice Chat apps before (iChat, AIM etc…) but was wondering what the big deal with Skype really was until just now when I read a post from Dan Gilmore who was commenting on the FCC’s declaration and vote to tap VOIP lines like my Vonage line as they can with landlines…
This is a stunningly bad decision, and it is going to take us down a road we’ve already traveled.
It ignores reality. Consider Skype, which encrypts calls from end to end. It runs on peer-to-peer networks. In other words, law enforcement can’t eavesdrop — because VOIP is, for all practical purposes, a software application.
Unless we have new laws banning the private use of strong encryption, the FCC/FBI alliance here just means the bad guys will move their communications — if they haven’t already — to services that can’t be tapped. Then, only average folks will be monitored. [Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]
So obviously I don’t like the FCC decision (perhaps not so obvious to you new visitor), but the capability to encrypt my discussion through a P2P network is pretty slick and though I had read that when I first learned of Skype it was lost in time as I waited for a Mac version…. still waiting on the Mac version, but the PC version is here now and works quite well. Makes me think that it might make a better choice now than a softphone from anyone else especially given the encryption angle.