VoIP / News Briefs

Lawrence Lessig: FCC Beyond Repair, Should be Abolished

Lawrence Lessig has proposed that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is corrupt beyond repair and that "President Obama should get Congress to shut down the FCC and similar vestigial regulators, which put stability and special interests above the public good." In a Newsweek exclusive opinion piece, Lessig urges that failure to "demolish regulators" charged with overseeing the nations digital pipelines will stifle the Skypes and YourTubes of the future. "In their place, Congress should create something we could call the Innovation Environment Protection Agency (iEPA), charged with a simple founding mission: 'minimal intervention to maximize innovation.' The iEPA's core purpose would be to protect innovation from its two historical enemies-excessive government favors, and excessive private monopoly power." more

German Court Bans VoIP App for iPhone

Germany's Higher Regional Court of Hamburg has banned the use of a VoIP application called Sipgate on the Apple iPhone. The application enables iPhone users to make VoIP calls when via local Wi-Fi hotspots in Germany. The court case was brought by T-Mobile, which is the exclusive distributor of the iPhone in Germany. The application is however currently still available for sale on Apple's iTunes, as it has not been banned for use outside Germany. more

Wi-Fi Alliance Now Certifying Devices for Voice Over Wi-Fi Applications

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced today its plans to make voice a part of Wi-Fi networks, and has introduced a program to certify products. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal stamp of approval means a product is capable of making or handling good-quality voice calls in the home or a small office environment. Access points, wireless routers, handsets and laptops can all be tested and certified. more

U.S. Bill Grants VoIP Providers Full 911 Access

The U.S. Senate this week passed legislation that requires 911 network operators to allow VoIP callers to connect, no matter what service they're calling from. The New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act passed by unanimous consent Monday. It's meant to ensure that traditional telecoms, which operate the emergency networks, connect VoIP providers with the same rates and conditions they use when connecting mobile phones. more

VoIP Compression Technique Vulnerable to Ease Dropping

Plans to compress internet (VoIP) phone calls so they use less bandwidth could make them vulnerable to eavesdropping. Most networks are currently safe, but many service providers are due to implement the flawed compression technology. A team from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US, has shown that simply measuring the size of packets without decoding them can identify whole words and phrases with a high rate of accuracy. more

Telcos Must Become Major Destination Websites, Says Sun Chairman

Telecommunication companies need to go beyond just providing bandwidth and look into acquiring Internet destination sites that are heavily trafficked, Sun Chairman Scott McNealy said on Friday. "I have explained to every telco that either you become a destination site, or the destination site will become a telco," McNealy said at a news conference at Sun's Worldwide Education and Research Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday... more

Uniting the Internet and Phone Network, ENUM Project Starts in UK

Enum, or Telephone Number Mapping, aims to do for phone numbers of any kind what the Domain Name System did for the World Wide Web. BBC is reporting that UK's Enum directory has begun and it will be run by Nominet -- the administrator of the .uk top-level domain. more

Stealing VoIP Services: Convicted Hacker Interviewed

Convicted hacker Robert Moore, who is set to go to federal prison this week, says breaking into 15 telecommunications companies and hundreds of businesses worldwide was incredibly easy because simple IT mistakes left gaping technical holes. more

Study Says Email Has Surpassed Telephony as Corporate Communication Tool

New research recently released by Dimension Data suggests that email usage has surpassed telephony as communication tool of choice in the workplace. The research surveyed 390 IT managers and 524 enterprise users across 13 countries in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa. According to the research, 100% of the end-users surveyed use e-mail, followed by fixed-line telephony (80%), mobile telephony (76%) and instant messaging (66%). more

Spam About to Get Worst, Says Former Spammer in New Book

A spammer who goes by the name "Ed" (and sometimes SpammerX ), has gotten out of the business and written a book, "Inside the Spam Cartel: Trade Secrets from the Dark Side". The book, which has had a particular level of interest in the law enforcement circles eager to learn more about the spam business, predicts the spam problem will only get worse. Ed says: "As broadband speeds increase, spammers will increasingly look to market goods by making VoIP calls or sending out videos..." more

VoIP and IP-Based Network Skills in High Demand

Network World is reporting that VoIP and wireless LAN network skills are in high demand as companies are looking for better support of wireless LANs, VoIP and IP-based networks. From the report: "Forrester Research recently released data that showed the number of network systems and data communications analysts surged by 11% from 2005 to 2006, and the research firm expects that number to grow another 6% in 2007 and 6 % by 2008. With some 178,000 IT workers filling those positions in 2006, Forrester says the market will demand close to 198,000 network systems and data communications analysts in 2008." more

Web Traffic Overtakes P2P as Largest Bandwidth on the Network

After more than four years during which peer-to-peer (P2P) applications have overwhelmingly consumed the largest percentage of bandwidth on the network, HTTP (Web) traffic has overtaken P2P and continues to grow says a report released by Ellacoya Networks. These findings are based on usage data of approximately one million broadband subscribers in North America. more

VoIP Deployments Soaring, Cost Still a Barrier

Plans to deploy VoIP are soaring, but enterprises still have a hard time justifying costs to upper management. According to a survey by BT INS, 62% of respondents either have deployed or are in the process of deploying VoIP across their networks -- up from 44% in 2005. Another 18% are designing or testing VoIP deployments for limited network segments. At the same time, however, cost is becoming a more significant barrier to adopting VoIP, the survey found. more

Dial-through Fraud Made Easier Using VoIP

Telephone switchboard hacking is not new, but criminals are now using the latest technology to cover their trails. Anyone who cracks the protection around the codes can make unlimited calls at the company's expense... "Before VoIP this kind of fraud required considerable investment, specialist skills and sophisticated equipment. Now, with VoIP, the equipment is readily available, low cost and easy to set up and then move when discovered," says one senior consultant. more

Security Experts Warn VoIP Attacks May Be Just Around the Corner

It's become a familiar pattern in online security. A groundbreaking way to communicate emerges, spreads like wildfire, and then hackers find a way to use it to their advantage. Security companies react--but not before the problem has succeeded in wreaking havoc. It happened with e-mail and is happening now with instant messaging and mobile devices.

The next area that could be targeted: Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, which lets people make low-priced phone calls using the same technology that delivers e-mail. And the results could be just as damaging, if not worse, than with other technologies, some security experts warn.  more