VoIP disrupts Aussie national security efforts

It's interesting to see the worries expressed by the NSA in the US over VoIP transmissions and their inability to be tapped, are now being echoed in Australia.

Except that the Ozzies seem to be prepared to take action over the problem, as Helen Coonan, the Australian IT Minister, has announced plans to keep law enforcement interception channels open, regardless of whether a call is VoIP or circuit switched based.

Coonan's comments follow in the wake of a review of Australia's Telecommunications Act, which started late last year, with the brief of assessing whether changes are needed to allow the Act to keep up to date with VoIP technology.

The review, which is currently before Coonan, has recommended that ISPs and telcos must ensure that the interception of VOIP calls is as available as for regular voice call traffic.

What's really interesting is that the Australian newswires say the legislative changes are similar to these taking place in the US, where "the government has amended the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to extend regulation to VoIP services."

Since when? Since earlier in the year, apparently, except that the US government hasn't publicly announced the changes, presumably to prevent the tipping off of would-be terrorists.

All good news, but I find it a bit worrying that I have to go to an Australian news source to keep me up to date with what is happening on US telecommunications legislation...