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BrettD
Premium
join:2009-12-26
Ottawa, ON

[Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian telephone

Today, voip.ms compromised the privacy of their Canadian customers and the Canadians they talk with, by rerouting our Toronto-based registrations to a US server (in my case, Toronto-->Tampa).

I expect voip.ms will tell us how they are made this change to avoid service disruption cased by a Toronto failure. Thanks for that consideration. But you did not think this through, voip.ms. As a Canadian company, you did not respect the privacy of your Canadian customers by your move. It's been long and widely known that the US government illegally intercepts and spies on foreign (Canadian) and domestic telephone calls. By routing Canadian's calls to a US-based server instead of another Canadian portal, voip.ms showed little or no regard for their privacy of their customers and the other Canadians who they talk with on the phone.

I chose voip.ms because I live in Ottawa and wanted to keep my traffic in Canada - just as I specifically use a Toronto data-centre (151 Front Street) for hosting for my business website: to best protect the privacy of my Canadian audience. Nothing is perfect of course, but I do what I can.

There's nothing particularly controversial in my phone calls. But my business calls and calls to and from my dentist and family are none of the damned US government's business.

I will be reviewing if a complaint to the Federal Privacy commissioner is appropriate.

voip.ms, you failed us. Canadians have a right to not have our communications illegally spied on and archived.

And in my case, my phone service *still* didn't work at Tampa. But it worked when I re-registered at Montreal. But I was discouraged from doing so by the voip.ms service rep.

voip.ms: I am asking for your confirmation that you will not route Canadian traffic through the US without our explicit permission from now on, and that you will make every effort to ensure Canadians' data and traffic in kept in Canada, where we have better legal protection and access to a legal and political system to better defend our rights of privacy. Thank you.

Brett

voxframe

join:2010-08-02

1 edit

Re: [Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian teleph

Are you really that naive to believe that this DOESN'T already happen in Canada?

Not that I'd be any less pissed off if I were in your shoes, but you're seriously an idiot if you think the same thing doesn't exist in some form in Canada already.

You also should learn a thing or two about your internet connection and routing. You'd be surprised to learn that probably a decent sized portion of your traffic TO Canada, actually passes through the US. To top that off, if your ISP has any issues what-so-ever, your precious data will re-route somewhere else (Most likely the US) so you're right back to the same issue VIA your ISP.

I'm 100KM from Montreal, yet a good portion of my traffic to there, routes either through Toronto, or New York. Pretty much 50/50. And if I go to Toronto, I still cross US soil at some point.

You're argument is nearly invalid.
Nice lawyers card though, well played argument too, but failed.


XCOM
digitalnUll
Premium
join:2002-06-10
Spring, TX
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·flowroute
·Comcast
reply to BrettD
said by BrettD:

Today, voip.ms compromised the privacy of their Canadian customers and the Canadians they talk with, by rerouting our Toronto-based registrations to a US server (in my case, Toronto-->Tampa).

I expect voip.ms will tell us how they are made this change to avoid service disruption cased by a Toronto failure. Thanks for that consideration. But you did not think this through, voip.ms. As a Canadian company, you did not respect the privacy of your Canadian customers by your move. It's been long and widely known that the US government illegally intercepts and spies on foreign (Canadian) and domestic telephone calls. By routing Canadian's calls to a US-based server instead of another Canadian portal, voip.ms showed little or no regard for their privacy of their customers and the other Canadians who they talk with on the phone.

I chose voip.ms because I live in Ottawa and wanted to keep my traffic in Canada - just as I specifically use a Toronto data-centre (151 Front Street) for hosting for my business website: to best protect the privacy of my Canadian audience. Nothing is perfect of course, but I do what I can.

There's nothing particularly controversial in my phone calls. But my business calls and calls to and from my dentist and family are none of the damned US government's business.

I will be reviewing if a complaint to the Federal Privacy commissioner is appropriate.

voip.ms, you failed us. Canadians have a right to not have our communications illegally spied on and archived.

And in my case, my phone service *still* didn't work at Tampa. But it worked when I re-registered at Montreal. But I was discouraged from doing so by the voip.ms service rep.

voip.ms: I am asking for your confirmation that you will not route Canadian traffic through the US without our explicit permission from now on, and that you will make every effort to ensure Canadians' data and traffic in kept in Canada, where we have better legal protection and access to a legal and political system to better defend our rights of privacy. Thank you.

Brett

I am starting to think you are a terrorist.
--
[nUll@dcypher ~]$

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to BrettD
Interesting points, but geez the guys at Voip.MS hardly have any more hair that they can pull out. Let them have a little peace until after the holiday, anyway.

If you are so concerned about avoiding US exposure, I would point out that you posted on a US-based website.

And as [voxframe] said, your data can and does pass through the US all the time anyway....

---------------

Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) is a partner with the American NSA and the British GCHQ, rest assured.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8

2 recommendations

reply to BrettD
Wow. Crazy people out there.


XCOM
digitalnUll
Premium
join:2002-06-10
Spring, TX
said by nitzan:

Wow. Crazy people out there.

rofl!!!
--
[nUll@dcypher ~]$
Expand your moderator at work


Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:6
reply to BrettD

Re: [Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian teleph

Has voip.ms given you a written contract stating that your traffic will remain in Canada at all times and under all circumstances?

Did they guarantee that once your traffic hits their servers, they do not relay it through the US at any point?

I suspect the answer to both is no, in which case you really need to chill out. The very nature of the Internet makes it impossible to guarantee traffic will remain on sovereign soil.
--
Wondering what I do? Find out at »www.digitalcon.ca
Get your Obihai ATA in Canada.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to BrettD
said by BrettD:

Today, voip.ms compromised the privacy of their Canadian customers and the Canadians they talk with, by rerouting our Toronto-based registrations to a US server (in my case, Toronto-->Tampa).

I expect voip.ms will tell us how they are made this change to avoid service disruption cased by a Toronto failure. Thanks for that consideration. But you did not think this through, voip.ms.

If they did this, I assume that they HAD to, it was not avoidable, AND that if they routed all the way to Tampa it meant that other servers were not available and/or lacked sufficient overflow capacity.

I think that MOST customers would be glad that their phone service kept working....!

Given a choice between brief exposure to US soil (oh, the tragedy!!) compared to losing phone service, I am sure that Voip.MS made the right decision.
Expand your moderator at work

voxframe

join:2010-08-02
reply to PX Eliezer70

Re: [Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian teleph

said by PX Eliezer70:

Given a choice between brief exposure to US soil (oh, the tragedy!!)

LMAO Can picture walking across the border back into Canada and doing a full body shudder thinking about touching something hideous.

Bllllllllllllleeeeeeeeech! I need a shower!

ROFL


JohaMart

@ovh.net
reply to BrettD
What's with these negative Voip.MS posts lately? Voip.MS is a North American company headquartered in Montreal Canada, nothing prevents them from either restricting services to, or notifying subscribers which servers carry traffic. I think it's well know that for a while ALL traffic in Voip.MS's beginning days were terminated at Dallas and Houston TX.

You are being too paranoid.


Catarrh

@fastwebserver.de
reply to BrettD
I would like to keep my conversations out of the hands of those slimeballs too, but I think I read that a lot of the telephone communication between Eastern Canada and the West goes through the US anyway.

I guess it is cheaper to route it that way than over the top of Lake Superior.

What is needed, obviously, is encrypted communications - telephone, email, video, text - everything. But try to get a friend or family member to use any sort of encryption on any sort of communication. They don't want to be bothered.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw

1 recommendation

reply to BrettD
You could mitigate this to a certain extent by configuring your device to use the IP address of VoIP.ms' Toronto equipment rather than toronto.voip.ms. Note that I said "mitigate" and not "eliminate" - for the reasons others have already explained, there aren't very many ways to guarantee what you want with this technology. Note that by doing this you would prevent DNS failover from working, but if this issue is more important to you than reliability you can certainly do it.

EDIT: I just checked and discovered that both major ISPs in Western Canada route traffic to montreal.voip.ms via Chicago.

If you require a very high level of security, you should set up a VPN between you and the locations you want to call securely, and make direct IP calls over it, bypassing the PSTN. You may however decide that this is more trouble than it's worth.

Also I suggest you try to be a little more understanding towards the staff at VoIP.ms who are trying desperately to satisfy the majority of customers who just want a working phone.

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA

1 recommendation

reply to BrettD

Canadian traffic that goes through the US

BrettD See Profile, I think in principle you have a valid point that I respect and can sympathise with.

However, in reality, lots of traffic goes through the US, whether you like it or not. And that includes Canada-Canada traffic, too; more often than many people would think.

I presume you use VoIP.ms SIP-to-PSTN services, too; are you really sure they aren't buying it from carriers through servers in the US? (I dunno the answer in case of voip.ms, but I recall CallWithUs buys calling to Canada through US-based carriers, which probably involves US servers of such carriers.)

Also, did you check where voip.ms has their main web-site and user database? IIRC, it was New York; so, all your base are belong to US, anyways.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Excellent points, ConstantineM.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to BrettD

Re: [Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian teleph

said by BrettD:

voip.ms: I am asking for your confirmation that you will not route Canadian traffic through the US without our explicit permission from now on....

As others have said, this is simply impossible.

Internet traffic does not stop at the border any more than broadcast signals do.

But I am also going to say: Voip.MS has VERY cheap prices in the Canadian market, especially considering the features that they offer.

Making this kind of demand of them seems a bit much.

If you were paying sky-high prices to BellCanada it might be a different story....

MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
·voip.ms
·Rogers Hi-Speed

1 recommendation

reply to BrettD
I used to do a lot of traceroutes and similar things "for fun". Sometimes just sending an e-mail across town, the e-mail would bounce around a few servers, including in the U.S. The Internet is distributed. If you don't want it to happen, well...

I'm currently using the newyork.voip.ms server. Now the CIA knows I canceled an hydro account this morning. ack!!!!

ancodia

join:2006-07-10
reply to BrettD
Well I'm pissed about this for a different reason. I'm trying to get work done and I start getting complaints that some of the inbound lines are down. After spending 10 minutes checking into it I see that voip.ms changed SOME of my DID #'s (without permission or notice) to Tampa & knocked them offline! WTF. FU voip.ms, F U

rblizz

join:2001-12-16
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

Interesting points, but geez the guys at Voip.MS hardly have any more hair that they can pull out. Let them have a little peace until after the holiday, anyway.

I'll second that. I could never understand "piling on."

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw

1 recommendation

reply to ancodia
This is a configuration issue that can typically be solved on the user side. If you configure your device or PBX with the hostname toronto.voip.ms instead of the IP address, your device should fail over automatically when they change the A record. If it didn't do that, I suggest you ask in the forums for advice, or contact VoIP.ms.

sokhapkin
Premium
join:2003-05-08
North Fort Myers, FL

2 recommendations

reply to ancodia
said by ancodia:

Well I'm pissed about this for a different reason. I'm trying to get work done and I start getting complaints that some of the inbound lines are down. After spending 10 minutes checking into it I see that voip.ms changed SOME of my DID #'s (without permission or notice) to Tampa & knocked them offline! WTF. FU voip.ms, F U

Let me guess - you run something based on asterisk and have dnsmgr turned off. Am I right? It's a typical example of user error.
--
»www.callwithus.com


XCOM
digitalnUll
Premium
join:2002-06-10
Spring, TX
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·flowroute
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to Mango
said by Mango:

This is a configuration issue that can typically be solved on the user side. If you configure your device or PBX with the hostname toronto.voip.ms instead of the IP address, your device should fail over automatically when they change the A record. If it didn't do that, I suggest you ask in the forums for advice, or contact VoIP.ms.

Nice catch.
--
[nUll@dcypher ~]$

ancodia

join:2006-07-10
reply to sokhapkin
said by sokhapkin:

said by ancodia:

Well I'm pissed about this for a different reason. I'm trying to get work done and I start getting complaints that some of the inbound lines are down. After spending 10 minutes checking into it I see that voip.ms changed SOME of my DID #'s (without permission or notice) to Tampa & knocked them offline! WTF. FU voip.ms, F U

Let me guess - you run something based on asterisk and have dnsmgr turned off. Am I right? It's a typical example of user error.

? When they moved the DID home to a different server (to Tampa), the device is still connected to the original server so the inbound call fails. The ip address on the A records for each server didn't change.

Maybe they should tell their customers before they start f*cking with their accounts.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
It did from here.

avocet:~# host toronto.voip.ms
toronto.voip.ms has address 68.233.226.97
avocet:~# host tampa.voip.ms
tampa.voip.ms has address 68.233.226.97
 
Expand your moderator at work

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to sokhapkin

Re: [Voip.ms] voip.ms compromised the privacy of Canadian teleph

said by sokhapkin:

Let me guess - you run something based on asterisk and have dnsmgr turned off. Am I right? It's a typical example of user error.

How often does Asterisk re-lookups a DNS entry for a server it's registering to? I'd think this would be based on the TTL for the DNS entry, is it not?

sokhapkin
Premium
join:2003-05-08
North Fort Myers, FL
No, it is a parameter in dnsmgr.conf.
--
»www.callwithus.com


XCOM
digitalnUll
Premium
join:2002-06-10
Spring, TX
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·flowroute
·Comcast
reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

said by sokhapkin:

Let me guess - you run something based on asterisk and have dnsmgr turned off. Am I right? It's a typical example of user error.

How often does Asterisk re-lookups a DNS entry for a server it's registering to? I'd think this would be based on the TTL for the DNS entry, is it not?

You can specify the time it does the look up...

refreshinterval=3600
--
[nUll@dcypher ~]$

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to sokhapkin
I realize that, but if dnsmgr is turned off (it's off by default at least on some versions) - wouldn't Asterisk re-lookup a DNS entry after it's expired (TTL) anyway?? if not then that's a serious design flaw...