Lawful interception (aka wiretapping) is the interception of telecommunications by law enforcement authorities (LEA's) and intelligence services, in accordance with local law and after following due process and receiving proper authorization from competent authorities. -- Wikipedia
CableLabs issued the Cable Broadband Intercept Specification (CBIS) to help cable operators comply with federal Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) mandates. (See CableLabs Issues Spec .)
That's a fancy way of saying VOIP (and Docsis traffic) wiretapping -- or the more genteel term: lawful interception.
However, if the following story marks a trend, wiretapping may become less important for effective law enforcement. According to this AP story from Gulfport, Fla.:
A 14-year-old boy was arrested after dialing a wrong number and offering to sell drugs to the person on the other end - who happened to be a police detective.
After the call, Gulfport detective Matt Parks arranged to meet the teen in the parking lot of a school to buy an ounce of marijuana and some crack cocaine, a police report said. When the boy showed up Sunday, he was arrested ... Parks' phone number is unlisted, and there were no similar phone numbers found in the boy's cell phone, police said.
Some folks just hit it big when dialing for dollars.
— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News