Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Why Cisco Is The FBI's Best Friend

The FBI is apparently drafting a law that would require makers of network hardware to sneak backdoor wiretapping capabilities into their gear --- and Cisco couldn't be any happier.
As my Networking Pipeline compadre David Greenfield notes in his blog, CNet reports that "router and switch manufacturers will need to upgrade their equipment to support Internet wiretapping."

In addition, ISPs will have to agree to wiretap a wide range of applications for the FBI, ranging from VoIP to instant messaging, to pretty much any Internet service.

So why is Cisco licking its chops over this?

Because Cisco already has a headstart on a lot of networking gear makers -- it's already building in those backdoors. That's according to Brad Templeton, chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). As I wrote in a previous blog, Cisco has been building in these backdoors since at least January of this year, and most likely much earlier. In fact, Cisco has built in the backdoors even before the specifications were finalized.

By building in the backdoors early, Cisco gets to be best friends with the federal government, and the government buys a whole lot of networking gear.

  • 1