Thursday, February 10, 2005

VoIP Security: the Story Overlooked in the Rush to Reprint the PR

When the VoIP Security Alliance was formed, the press release put (as Puck might put it) a girdle around the earth several times over.

And with the ready-made news story right there in the wire filler, nearly nobody saw any need to add value to the story by noticing that Skype and Vonage, the biggest brands in VoIP, have left industry standing at the altar like abandoned bridegrooms at a Moonie mass wedding.

Wired was the exception here: it spoke to the two VoIP firms, got their dismissal of the need for VOIPSA down and reported them, and left it at that.

Other than Wired, though, IT journalism worldwide was more or less content to stick with the simplistic. Going no further than the VOIPSA media release, which mentioned VoIP spam and eavesdropping, the top-and-tailers of the IT press view went no further.

This also means they were happy to take their lead in punditry from these two examples of threats; they assessed the need for VOIPSA according to their view of eavesdropping and VoIP spam, and looked for nothing more.

But the worst of it was the way the race to post the syndicated wire piece gave the world a nearly instant single view of VoIP security and VOIPSA. Around 60 stories were visible to Google News this morning; most of them identical and, through no fault of the VOIPSA press release, promoting a restricted of VoIP security.

Wired demonstrated that it wasn't that hard to call Vonage and Skype and get their comments; although the reflexive love for VoIP meant the Wired story didn't reflect much in the way of hostile, or even difficult, questioning.

Still, because it was the best of an otherwise inadequate bunch of reports, the Wired story is here:,1282,66512,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

Certainly more worthwhile than any press release reposts.

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