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Vodafone says VoIP is 'expensive' and 'unsafe'

Shhh, don't tell the terrorists

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Vodafone is telling customers that VoIP services are insecure - even as Sky News is reporting that VoIP calls threaten our war on terror because such calls can't be intercepted.

Several El Reg readers have been in communication with Vodafone about their VoIP policy, and one sent us a received email from Vodafone Customer Services.

This explains that VoIP is an expensive and unsafe way to communicate. "Expensive" is certainly true, depending on the data tariff, "unsafe" should really be justified, especially with Sky News whipping up a storm about terrorists using VoIP to evade detection.

According to Sky, "police and intelligence agencies are putting huge investment into trying to crack these sorts of communications, but the challenge is formidable".

Which comes as a surprise to VoIP operators such as Truphone which, like every other telecommunications company in the UK, is required to comply with the Interception of Communications Act 1985.

Of course, "terrorists might be using the internet to communicate" stories always go down well, but real terrorists have been using decent encryption for decades, and the security services know there are better ways of getting information.

In related news, Vodafone Australia is selling the Nokia N95 unrestricted, but its UK incarnation still considers the VoIP capabilities of that model too confusing for UK customers. ®

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