Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

Inside Cisco's eavesdropping apparatus

Inside Cisco's eavesdropping apparatus

By Declan McCullagh

April 21, 2003, 4:00 AM PT

Cisco Systems has created a more efficient and targeted way for police and intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on people whose Internet service provider uses their company's routers.

The company recently published a proposal that describes how it plans to embed "lawful interception" capability into its products. Among the highlights: Eavesdropping "must be undetectable," and multiple police agencies conducting simultaneous wiretaps must not learn of one another. If an Internet provider uses encryption to preserve its customers' privacy and has access to the encryption keys, it must turn over the intercepted communications to police in a descrambled form.