I would assume it applies to telephones everywhere in the world, though my experience was specifically in the US. Off hand I'd assume the security is worse in other places!
You've perhaps never heard just how automatic switching came to exist in the telephone industry? Back in the good old days you picked up the transmitter, rang the line, and told the operator who to connect you to.
Well a fellow named Almon Strowger was an undertaker in Kansas City, and he became convinced that the local telephone operator was "misdirecting" business calls to his competitor. The operator was the wife of the other undertaker in town! So he went to work on what he later called the "Girl-less Telephone".
He spend a few years working on it, and in the early 1890's came out with the first automatic telephone switch, designed to get rid of that pesky telephone operator. A 1901 advertisement read:
THIS SYSTEM OF TELEPHONING INSURES ABSOLUTE SECRECY
Could be, but I've never seen *any* of those versions! The only variation that I've seen on it was whether he actually *knew* she was doing it at the time, or just suspected and only confirmed it much later.
Well, I don't know about "paranoid nut", but he was certainly a "little strange"!
I mentioned that he called it the "Girl-less Telephone", but I left out the rest of the description. The whole bit was, "girl-less, cuss-less, out-of-order-less, wait-less" telephone.
Obviously Almon had issues with the telephone company... But gee, a hundred years later and that would *still* describe about half the population in the US! (Maybe across the pond people love telephone companies, but that isn't generally the case here.)
Of course, I have to tell you that that reminds me of something too!
Traditional Eskimo culture was based on almost exactly that concept! They didn't have wormholes, but something just about as good. *Everything* has a spirit. If you can conceive of its existence, it has a spirit. And of course all spirits have moral sensitivities, and act according to what they perceive humans are, or are not, doing by the rules.
Hence as young Eskimos became adults they moved into a world that required them to be "aware". That is, aware that *every* thought, *every* word, and *every* action, would have an effect on the spirits of anything and everything involved. That effect would be directly responsible for how various spirits react towards all humans; hence, inappropriate actions could easily cause all of the resources needed by an entire village to disappear!
Talk about big brother watching! Same thing as a wormhole, except it wasn't personal privacy that you might loose, but the lives of your entire family and everyone in the village.
(I also believe that one of the distinctions between more and less violent societies is that those who have a single "God", can always either be forgiven or have God be on their side. Either way, it's do what's necessary and worry about the consequences later. As opposed to that, in cultures with multiple Gods a person cannot live long enough to round up forgiveness... so they learn to be more respectful first, and do not expect forgiveness later.)
Since long range microphones are possible and bugs, I guess you should change this to " Never say anything ever anywhere [that you would not want to live to see published...]. Or since your actions could be filmed anywhere, do not do anything.... Or, the best way to cope with the uncertainties of life is to die.
Not for most of us very helpful advice and certainly not an answer to his question.
IF your VOIP is is not encrypted then yes it could be "overheard". If the wireless link from your laptop to the access point is not encrypted, then yes, it could be overheard. I have no idea if VoicePulse encrypts the stuff.
This thread reminds me of the novel The Light of Other Days (Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter.)
In the story, science creates a wormhole camera - a device that can open a stable wormhole at any location on the planet, or in the universe, and observe the goings on. That idea is uncomfortable enough; having to be worried that you can be on camera even while sitting on the pot with the door locked and no windows.
Then one clever guy figures out that if the wormhole camera can be sent out to any location in space, even light-years away, then it stood to reason that it could be sent years, or eons, back in time also.
At that point, people not only had to worry about being on camera at any given moment, but they also had to fret about the fact that any action they ever took in life could now be viewed, and there wasn't a thing they could do about it.
Turned out to be great for proving beyond all doubt the guilt or innocence of people in prison. They instituted a policy by which any prisoner could request a wormhole examination of the crime for which he was convicted, provided he consented to an examination of the rest of his life to see if he committed any felonies for which he was suspected or accused, but never charged. That greatly reduced the number of requests.
Solving previously unsolved crimes became a snap. Simply send a wormhole cam back to the approximate time of the crime, then sit and watch it happen.
Current crimes, of course, dropped to nearly zero.
Then the technology became affordable on the consumer level...
It was bad enough pondering the idea of God remembering everything you have done... now we can imagine science saying "Hey, why not?"
Neat story regardless, but the part about the operator being the wife of his competitor is just weakly anecdotal and can't be verified. Other versions claim the operator was the cousin of a competitor, or that all the operators had conspired against him, suggesting bribery.
It is pretty much accepted that Almon was reportedly a paranoid nut. Either way, nice going Almon!
| >IF your VOIP is is not encrypted then yes it could be "overheard". | >If the wireless link from your laptop to the access point is not encrypted, | >then yes, it could be overheard. I have no idea if VoicePulse encrypts the | >stuff. | | So you are admitting it is exactly as I said. If *you* don't | provide the encryption, it is *not* secure. | | And I *guarantee* you that on occasion there *are* people | listening.
Do not assume that if it is encrypted that at some point it will not be decrypted, either today, tomorrow or some n-th day after tomorrow.
And one acronym: CALEA (US "wiretap" legislation that [VERY roughly] requires providers to be able to let law enforcement listen into anything. This preceded the Patriot Act.)
If legalities interest you, you might also want to search on "Council of Europe Cybercrime". Among many other things, this applies to VoIP, if the relevant jurisdiction has signed and ratified the treaty.
I always joke to my friends to explain tele snooping that they just need to talk about killing the president and watch the FBI show up at their door step. But yes to guarantee privacy use a encrypter before the tele mic and be in a sound proof room, etc,,,
And the conclusion anyone is to draw from this? /do not assume that time travel or mind reading cannot occur in the future. So what does that mean? One lives life rationally by examining alternatives and the liklihhod of them. One does not live by simply listing all possibilities no matter how outlandish and stopping at that point.
Yech. You don't have to resort to such hacker tools to sniff VoIP.
The industry has a variety of commercial vendors who sell VoIP test, quality monitoring, and call analysis tools. For example:
are commonly found in telemarketing tanks and large corporate or government networks. Ethereal will also capture and decode most VoIP protocols and RTP streams. It's a bit tricky but not impossible. Here's some clues:
There are some technical difficulties with wiretap via wireless which are obvious to anyone that has ever tried to actually obtain useful data from a wireless sniff or capture. I won't mention what they are as I believe that aspiring criminals should learn such things the hard way.