VoIP Call Recording and Interception
Manipulating VoIP Traffic
Since VoIP is an Internet application, it acquires all the characteristics of one. This includes an unprecedented flexibility since nothing is "hard wired" into the system. Everything can be changed and customized according to the needs of a business. For example, many firms would like to have the ability to record calls to and from customers. This might be for training purposes - many of us have heard the mundane announcement that our conversations may be recorded when placing a call to a customer service rep. However, there may well be other legal reasons to record conversations to protect oneself in the future. VoIP makes this easy and you can add on a package which does just that with as many configurable options as necessary.
The PSTN system makes it more difficult to record conversations. Special hardware needs to be set up and it might even interfere with the call quality. The configurability is poor and recorded conversations are not instantly saved, uploaded, categorized and time stamped. But a programmer can easily code these functions into a VoIP system without affecting call quality whatsoever. After all, it's all bits and bytes which can be copied and transmitted perfectly without error.
For a lot of people though, this can get scary. After all, there are privacy issues at play and though wiretapping can be illegal, the ease with which one can listen in on private conversations when unencrypted VoIP is being used can be disconcerting. But investigative agencies are actually having a lot of trouble with VoIP and that's because most good VoIP software uses encryption. Skype for example has its own special encryption which is pretty much uncrackable by government agencies and this is a cause for concern. The field is still murky in this regard and we're still not quite sure what is acceptable and what's not.
Several companies have come under fire for not allowing their systems to provide interception services to law enforcement agencies in other countries - and even in the US. Blackberry is a prime example. Surprisingly, a lot of VoIP providers don't provide encryption services to their customers and this poses a risk of eavesdropping by malicious elements. The moral of the story is that scalable hosted VoIP systems if left unchecked, can easily be the target of unauthorized access and interception. But a flexible HD voice system which is well configured is almost impossible to crack and can provide far better security than any regular telephone system is capable of.