TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 'Phone Tapping' Modem Traffic ?

Re: 'Phone Tapping' Modem Traffic ?

Robert Bonomi (
Fri, 10 Jun 2005 19:40:27 -0000

In article <>, <> wrote:

> Hi,

> I believe my 'voice line' is being tapped [the line feeds through the
> 'opponents' switchboard].

> How difficult is it for them to 'decode' my modem [to ISP] traffic ?
> I'm guessing/hoping that my modem has to 'synchronise' with the ISP's
> in analog mode, so it's difficult for a '3rd' party to listen ?

> Is this right ?

> Thanks for any info.

Short answer: "it depends".

With old 'Bell 103" type modems, 'copying' the line communication was
comparatively trivial with nothing more than an off-the-shelf modem.

With 'Bell 202' type stuff, it was even simpler -- they worked that
way automatically.

Bell 212 type stuff required some _very_ minor hardware tweaking to
turn an off-the-shelf unit into a 'tap'.

Above 2400 baud, you need some "somewhat specialized" equipment.
Nothing terribly exotic, but you have to know 'where to look'.
Generally impractical to modify 'retail, off-the-shelf' modems to the

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