A Dynamic Assessment of VoIP Adoption, Innovation and their Interaction with CALEA Regulation
21 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2012
Date Written: August 15, 2006
The need to expand Communications Assistance for the Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), also known as the wiretapping act, to VoIP is situated in a socio-technical context that is starkly different from the first passing of the act in 1994. A socio-technical context that is marked by service delivery models where the access provider and the service provider are separate entities, technology such as packet-switching that is not conducive to wiretapping, political environment where the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are paranoid about homeland security and, the Internet-criminal who is savvy about their choice of encryption and other VoIP innovations. Such a system can be envisioned as a complex feedback system where, regulatory decisions lead to technology and investment choices by the industry and the consumer which may have repercussions on the adequacy of the very decision that led to these choices. In such a system, are there ways to model the cause and effect of regulatory decisions that may be dispersed in time and space? In this paper we present a system dynamics model to understand the complex feedback system surrounding VoIP adoption, innovation and the current VoIP CALEA proceedings. System dynamics is a methodology for studying and managing complex feedback systems using a computer simulation. We model the adoption of the “managed” (facility-based or VoIP that interconnects with PSTN) and “unmanaged” (peer-to-peer) VoIP to understand the fraction of VoIP that will be under the CALEA jurisdiction. We then model the cost of compliance for the providers of the managed VoIP service and the resulting incentive structure for the new entrants to provide the unmanaged service, instead. Finally, we model the trends of the number of lawful intercepts required annually and the fraction of network that will have the CALEA-compliant technology deployed to carryout such enforcement wiretaps. Our model provides a framework as well as a computer simulation for understanding the overall CALEA compliance in a network, the cost of compliance as affected by various factors.
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