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Telcos: Feeling a Wee Bit Insecure about WebRTC?

WebRTC Single Page ApplicationWebRTC Single Page Application (Photo credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi)

I think there's a bit of "insecurity" going on within both the last gen and next gen telco providers when it comes to WebRTC. And honestly, it's the same old story. An instant replay of sorts. Honestly, is it live or is it Memorex?

As a matter of fact, the playbook now being being replayed at any analyst firm and media outlet near you seems to be the "new" WebRTC edition of FUD Volume One.

There's the first down play of "spreading fear", followed by the second down play of "uncertainty" and then the third down play of "doubt" especially in the face of what can't be trapped, tapped or tampered with. ---WebRTC--- as TMCnet's Tom Keating pointed out earlier this month.

If you want a text book example of FUDDING Up the mix it is all best exemplified today by Microsoft's brilliant, if not besmerching ad campaign called "Scroogle" as they attempt to take on Google that tells users of search engine not to get "Scroogled" ... Didn't they try this with Apple or was it the other way around?

That's all why Dr. Brent Kelly's recap of what can happen with WebRTC was such a good read over on NoJitter. It's so very good because it's reminds me of how transparently (if you know where to look) larger companies still softly attempt to do what we call "verbal martial arts" or "verbal judo" of leveraging the words the competition uses to weaken them. In this case the "sell on fear"angle is at work because to sell on security today means tell those who want to possibly change to stand pat and not change because you know what you have, not what you don't. Comprende? 

Now, don't get me wrong, Kelly's piece, like the writing of pal Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis is spot on about issues that will impact WebRTC, but in fact for those of us who have been around long enough to remember, are in essence, and at their very core, the very same types of arguments that the big telcos and other who were part of the supply chain (Nortel for example) tossed up about Skype and VoIP in the past. Back then too, they were starting with SECURITY to create insecurity.

In the communication's arts field we call this verbal judo, akido, jui-jitsu and it all works this way--find a common point of combat -- like taking calls away from the established carrier by the upstart (can you spell Skype), immediately raise a concern about the threat to your network under the guise of "security" --Sidenote Skype's encryption was in reality stronger than what was in place by the telcos you didn't see Skype giving up your call history when independent now did you????----and get the attention away from "our problem" by making the problem the "other guys problem" meaning the customer's problem.

In one of the historical cases of telco FUD, cica the mid-2000s, it was telcos and IT saying "we can't control Skype, so make them the problem" when in reality, Skype actually was the more the more secure communications protocol. What Skype really did was point out more security issues than it caused by swarming ports, finding what was opened, and driving its' traffic through it..all of it...but I digress..

Let's face it. In light of everyone, except the most paranoid, getting "Snowdened" it seems nothing is really secure, so get over it and move on. Take a line from Deborah Harry/Blondie hit son , "One Way or Another" which includes the great line "gonna get ya', get ya' ,get ya', get ya". To me this means your privacy may be a"priority" to some companies, but really now, it seems more like that priority of protection only can reallly go so far.

History always repeats. You can't rewrite it. Just like Skype disrupted the old guard Bell companies, and as VoIP is doing in business communications with everything from origination to termination, wholesale, retail, in business, with call centers, cable MSOs, conference calling, mobile operators and even inside the enterprise, you can bet WebRTC will do the same thing.

Reality time....."The Song Remains the Same." Remember ARAVOX, a long gone company that promised the telco world greater security via a SIP firewall. I bring this up because at the start of SIP Aravox was going to be the great network protector but it took the likes of Acme Packet and client Sansay to begin to really do it right, by drawing attention to the need for an Session Border Controller, by serving it up as an appliance to really protect the network and do things right.

So, don't be surprised to read the same old arguments pro-and con about it from our industry's best and brightest, because to see the future all one needs to do is look at the past as it's already been written.  Now, where did I leave my John Madden autographed Telestrator.......


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