posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 08:55 PM
This was all caused by CALEA.
But as far as phone conversations go (as opposed to internet communications), they were able to do this long ago.
The telephone central office switch system has been able to forward a "copy" of both sides of a phone call to a gubmint agent for decades. At least
since the 4ESS switch was in place. When you get a call, the agent's phone rings. When you make a call, same thing. He picks up, and listens/records
the thing. You don't hear clicks, you can't spot an impedance change. Nothing.
Heck, even when I was still a youngster, da gubmint could call the operator and ask for an emergency audio feed from the verification network from
whatever number you wanted. It took a few seconds to set up but then you could listen from wherever you were.
Before the switches at the ISPs had CALEA taps, the Feds went down there with a laptop and jacked it into the switch. That was Carnivore. Now, they
can lay back at the office and ask for the data to be copied and sent to them at whatever IP they want by the CALEA features in the ISP's equipment.
No more on-site required.
Supposedly it takes warrants, but if it's like it used to be, a convincing story and an ID is really all you need.