Cox Announces Ability To Wiretap VoIP

From the Verisign press release:

VeriSign, Inc. and Cox Communications today announced that Cox has implemented VeriSign NetDiscoveryServices to help ensure compliance of its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)-based cable telephony services with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). Cox Communications launched its 12th telephony market in December 2003 in Roanoke, Va., and its first using VoIP technology. Eleven other Cox systems offer Cox Digital Telephone using circuit-switched technology, all CALEA-compliant since first introduced in 1997.

VeriSign NetDiscovery Services, which was tested and implemented to support the Cox data network infrastructure used in VoIP deployments, assists Cox in meeting CALEA compliance through an outsourced model of service, which will minimize Cox’s capital and operational expenditures. To implement the service, VeriSign worked with the VoIP network infrastructure vendors supplying to Cox and integrated the end-to-end NetDiscovery solution.

Cox’s announcement underscores VeriSign’s commitment and ability to provide carriers and service providers with the necessary services they need to introduce integrated next-generation communications services and comply with CALEA. This announcement also marks VeriSign’s first CALEA compliance implementation with a major cable provider. VeriSign will utilize its heritage in security, Internet infrastructure and telecommunications to aid cable providers via a unique managed communications services model to quickly deliver the integrated, next-generation services that wireless, cable and wireline subscribers are demanding.

“VeriSign provides a full spectrum of other tools and services aimed at top-tier carriers, including NetDiscovery,” said Bill Dame, director of network switch engineering at Cox Communications. “Cox has always considered CALEA compliance as a top priority in our circuit switched markets, and realized that CALEA in new markets served by VoIP would be a challenge. VeriSign came in with a total solution, using the same equipment we had evaluated, and made it easy and cost effective.”

Vernon Irvin, executive vice president of VeriSign Communications Services, said: “Being the leader in managed security services, VeriSign is delivering a service via its NetDiscovery platform to Cox Communications in order to assist them with CALEA compliance. VeriSign can help all types of service providers meet their legal obligations both securely and at a low cost.”

CALEA requires carriers to assist Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in lawfully authorized surveillance. To comply, carriers often have to purchase dedicated hardware, have trained operation staff and are called upon to maintain connectivity with a variety of LEAs. VeriSign’s NetDiscovery Service greatly streamlines the CALEA compliance requirements and eliminates the need to purchase costly equipment.

The service offers a secure and streamlined administration, along with a multitude of connectivity options that make it easy to fulfill lawful interception mandates and take the burden and expense of compliance out of a service provider’s hands. By outsourcing the service to VeriSign, service providers maintain continuous, hassle-free compliance.

Greg Caressi, vice president of Frost & Sullivan said: “It used to be that to satisfy regulations, a carrier had to do it themselves. VeriSign’s NetDiscovery Service offers carriers a safe, secure and trusted way to reach CALEA compliance without having to utilize a great deal of internal resources.”

For more information on VeriSign’s NetDiscovery