• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 205
  • Last Modified:

VOIP with no call records in the U.S.?

We are located in Panama but are looking to provide VOIP service with primarily U.S. numbers but do not want the call records in the U.S. We originally were going to do a DID number and asterisk system but the gateway in the U.S. keeps all incoming call records. Is there a way to get the number and make our own gateway here or something other then DID.
0
ostsupport
Asked:
ostsupport
  • 4
  • 4
1 Solution
 
kode99Commented:
This is kind of a either you use the phone network or you don't - at all.

Any call placed in the US is going to go through somebody's phone network that is also going to be recorded.  From my understanding the NSA is actually keeping (since 9/11) a full database of all call records that pass through 3 of the major telco's.  

I do not know the details but I believe that anybody operating a phone company in the US is required to keep records.  Further recent laws have been added so that even voip providers are required to be capable of providing on-demand recording of calls.

Normally getting phone records and wiretaps do involve warrants.  So although the records are there,  not just anybody can look at them.  I can't really see that this is going to be a problem for any kind of legitamate use.  

The only way to not be subject would be to provide your own service from end to end.  Skype is an example,  as long as you do not make/receive a call from a regular phone network the only records are whatever Skype keeps for thier own in-network traffic,  even then there are probably still records.

So you could give a person a IP phone that directly connects to your Asterisk server in Panama and not to any phone network in the US.  Of course this also means nobody can place a call to this phone using the regular phone network, as soon as you make a call - even from Panama to the US,  there will be a record in the US phone network.

You might be interested to know that the large majority of voip calls are also totally unencrypted.  So even if you give somebody a IP phone to connect with a Asterisk server the calls are easy to tap anywhere along the data stream between the phone and the server.  There are encrypted voip services or you can run the calls over a VPN.  I do not believe any of the major voip providers yet provide encrypted calls as a standard feature.
0
 
ostsupportAuthor Commented:
Yes we were looking to provide the service end to end. However wanted the numbers to U.S. Numbers. None of our customers are involved in anything illegal, but for example we have several gaming companies and with the constantly changing U.S. laws are just looking for an added level of protection.

So is there a way that someone could call a U.S. number but it reaches our panama server directly so there is not a gateway or point that records all incoming calls to that number?
0
 
kode99Commented:
The short answer is no there is no way.  

If somebody can phone the number,  whether its a US number or anywhere else,  there is going to be a record from where the call was placed.  So even if people call Panama,  that is tracked - but the record of the call will be with the phone company that the call was made from.

I think you misunderstand what I mean by a 'end to end service' because having a US phone number (or any number for that matter) is irelevant.  Its the equivalent of running the wire directly from the customers house to your operation in Panama.  It is a totally closed and private setup.  Having a US number makes no difference because nobody with a US phone can call anyway.  Its probably not the level of (in)convience you are looking for.

The phone system is pretty accountable as that is where the phone companies make the money from.  They need to know who is calling where and for how long in order to bill for it.  It is really only a side effect that it is also handy for keeping tabs on people.

Any way of creating your own service that is at all connected with the public telephone network will make you subject to the same rules that other telecom companies have to play by.  

Even data network activity is a lot more accountable than people think.

I'm no lawyer but if the law changed wouldn't that mean that you customers would be doing something illegal?


0
VIDEO: THE CONCERTO CLOUD FOR HEALTHCARE

Modern healthcare requires a modern cloud. View this brief video to understand how the Concerto Cloud for Healthcare can help your organization.

 
ostsupportAuthor Commented:
I know that the outgoing would be recorded on there side I am speaking of the incoming call record. Example on our current setup the DID number has a gateway in Dallas. So all numbers calling that DID would be recorded. We are looking to bypass that gateway or something like that where they call the U.S. number and it goes direct to our system. Now if we are required to keep the incoming call records that is fine as the warrant would have to be enforced by courts here in panama and we are living up to our expectations by the customer.

For the legal side if the laws change the customers change as well. The problem is with the ever changing fields that we deal with if an investigation is launched then the subpoenaing the call records and contact the people that called the number for example. Now once no criminal activity is found that is great by the clients costumers were contacted for investigation and the damage to business is done. By being offshore and having to obtain the records here it protects damaging a business when a client is innocent of any illegal activity.
0
 
kode99Commented:
I'm really not so sure it would make any difference which side of the call the records come from.  Each call record contain the information of both parties of the call.  I would also suspect that your side of the activity can be checked at whatever point it enters the phone network in the US as it is now with your gateway.  There is always going to be a path into the network that can be monitored.

Anybody who can issue a phone number is going have to have a FCC license.  For US or international services that are offer service to the US.  This has conditions.  So if you fail to provide records you probably would be cut out of the US market.

Even if no records did exist (or were beyond reach) a warrant can be issued to trace phone activity in the future.  So they can track all your activity for the next X months in detail while an investigation is ongoing.  This of course is kept secret while it goes on.

You probably should consult a lawyer that specializes in telecom issues to get firm answers on exactly how it all comes together legally.  I think it is more of a legal issue than a technical one.  The phone network is quite capable of keeping tabs on everything that goes through it and producing lots of reports .  It would seem to be just as easy to request all records that called OR received calls from your operation.  Either way it provides a full picture.

I have little doubt that the system is setup to prevent exactly what you are trying to do.  Probably more so in recent years with higher security concerns and better computer technology.
0
 
ostsupportAuthor Commented:
We have a large legal deparment that will deal with the legal issues.

The bottom line is how do you become a direct seller of numbers. So the numbers are owned direct and the gateway (server) is our server in a place of our choosing?
0
 
kode99Commented:
Well these are the guys that actually give out the numbers in North America,

http://www.nanpa.com/index.html

Normally you would have to be connected with a service provider in some way  to deal with NANPA direct.  They also are only give out 10,000 number blocks,  so not small scale stuff.

To get a license to provide phone service in the US you have to go through the FCC,
http://www.fcc.gov/

You can dig through the rules from here,
http://www.fcc.gov/searchtools.html#rules

There are number ranges that are not assigned to specific areas.  I believe that numbers that are for a certain geographic area do have to reside with somebody who provides service in that area.

I think that a telecom lawyer or consultant who deals with FCC applications etc. probably be able to give you quick answers about how viable it would be to pursue this.


0
 
ostsupportAuthor Commented:
Perfect thats what i was looking for i think thanks very much!
0

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

  • 4
  • 4
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now