A new technology now allows the government to check and silently record conversations on internet chat services like Skype. Till now the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services have been difficult to tap due to the way they send information across the web.

Analogue audio signals are converted by the service into digital data packets which are sent in a way that is costly and complex for third parties to intercept. However, a businessman from California has obtained a patent for a legal intercept technology he said would allow the governments to silently record the voice over internet protocol.

Dennis Chang, the president of VoIP PAL, which is a chat service similar to Skype, claims that the new system will allow authorities to monitor users just by accessing their username and subscriber data. The patent allows for users to be tracked down using billing records, which associate names and addresses with usernames. However, some users of the internet are paranoid enough to use fake subscriber data to mask their IP address, so as to circumvent identification.

The patent is also capable of restructuring the way VoIP data is sent over the internet to make it easier for the authorities to track calls.


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