Microsoft enables China to spy on Skype users via keyword triggers

By Rick
Mar 8, 2013
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  1. University of New Mexico student Jeffrey Knockel claims to have revealed an encrypted list of 1,100+ keywords within China's version of Skype. This list, containing words like "BBC" and phrases like "Democratic Unionist Party", are thought to be used in...

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  2. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    WOW! Really Microsoft?? You have been shady and we knew that. But activly helping a communist regiem activly spy on its own ppl? Thats low even for Mr. Gates. I know you want the chinese yen but to enable a govt to side step a persons privacy just because you want more money sickens me. How far up does this go? How many countries have you made deals with to shatter ppls privacy? I had wanted to buy myself a nice gaming laptop with Win8 on it. Now, screw that!!! How do we know that Microsoft isnt doing something similar with the US market. I think its time we as a consuming public show MicroShaft how we feel about this.
    hammer2085 and khha4113 like this.
  3. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +90

    I stopped reading right about there.

    Also, why would Microsoft essentially break Chinese laws just so that it'll help those at home feel better? Whether those laws should be in place in the first place is another discussion, but I don't see how MS or any other western-originated company expanded in Asia is necessarily at fault for following communist rules.
  4. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 257   +74

    .. because it's perfectly acceptable in your book for an American company to support, promote and encourage censorship, probably detention and possible execution of people, through the use of it's 'accommodation' to communist laws. Yeah, your a fukin' hero..

    ,
  5. spectrenad

    spectrenad Newcomer, in training Posts: 69   +10

    If you make a trip to China, you'll have to follow their rules, even if you don't agree. It's the same here. If they want to be in that market (a HUGE market it is), you unfortunately have to play by their rules.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. tw0rld

    tw0rld TechSpot Maniac Posts: 609   +6

    Microsoft must be getting crazy.
  7. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Microsoft is a business. As such, things like censorship and spying should not be a prerequisist for doing business. It means MS took its original product and modified it in such a way as to allow a third party to access it and spy on its own ppl. I dont know about you, but I feel that is wrong. Basically MS is helping the communist govt to keep its own ppl down. I understand when you visit and different country you have to follow their rules ect. But this isnt about any one individual visiting somewhere else. Its about the fact that an American company who has a stranglehold on OS in the US is really just a commie supporter. They wanted the money SOOOOOO bad that they allow a govt to spy on its own ppl. Maybe the posters here have no idea that privacy is a basic human right. (I point to the the bathroom simply to show a connection). But I believe the people of China deserve better then half the posters above think they do. Top it off that its MS doing it and it stinks to high heaven.
  8. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,272   +90

    I explicitly said that whether those laws should be there in the first place or not is another discussion. Meaning I'm not agreeing with what China is telling Microsoft (or every other internet service there) to do. But the point is, I don't have to agree. Neither do you.

    Agreeing or not agreeing with it is irrelevant. The point is such laws are in place because the societal and political framework they were built upon allow it. The people living in that country know this and accept it, because it is a different culture. Or what, did you think people found out (just like you just found out) that their communist rule spies on them when they use Skype or any other internet service? Phew! Thank God for the University of New Mexico. If it hadn't been for Jeffrey the Chinese would have no idea their communist country spies on them.

    Do YOU want to be the hero? Good luck fixing that Stockholm syndrome.


    I said "western-originated company expanded in Asia." Key word: expanded. Not "moved."

    Microsoft has a Chinese president and Chinese employees that represent the company there. Or what, did you really think it was some republican white guy from Silicon Valley?

    Or here are your options: have thousands of people lose their job (and good luck finding a decent job in a 1+ billion market) and have your "conscience" clean by pulling Microsoft from China, knowing the same will still happen, you know, seeing how it is law... OR move on.
    spectrenad likes this.
  9. They probably have a similar list for the fbi et al.
  10. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,988   +66

    Difference, same is done in western world without much cry because ........... its done with the pretext of 'national security' (e.g. WOT), so I don't see much in to this news.
  11. I still believe in the secret correspondence but it seems to fade away with Skype. I switch to Brosix which claims to be much more secure than Skype and there is no display ads.
  12. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @ Lawfer
    Where I can respect your point of view, I cannot respect your acceptance. If everyone acted as you feel, there would be no freedom for afican americans of giving women of america the right to vote. Or any number of issues. What you are proposing is that we just stick our heads in the sand and bend over. Im not that kind of person. I refuse to let a injustice go simply because "nothing can be done". We are a human creature and when we see another human in distress we assist them. This is no different. I am only one individual, but there is tons I can do to make my voice heard. I CAN avoid purchasing MS products, I CAN get my freinds and family on board with this idea. I CAN send a letter to MS directly. I CAN ask my local media outlet to examine this story for broadcast. There is a lot I CAN do. Point is, if I choose to, I can make a difference the same as you can. But not if I do as you hint at and stick my head in the sand. Apathy may be your weakness but it is not mine.


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