TechSpot

Skype is spying on you

By spydercanopus
Jul 26, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. SKYPE, the online phone service long favoured by political dissidents, criminals and others eager to communicate beyond the reach of governments, has expanded its co-operation with law enforcement authorities to make online chats and other user information available to police.

    Surveillance of the audio and video feeds remains impractical, even when courts issue warrants, say industry officials. But that barrier could eventually vanish as Skype becomes one of the world's most popular forms of telecommunication.

    The changes to online chats, which are written messages conveyed almost instantaneously between users, result in part from technical upgrades to Skype that were instituted to address interruptions and other problems since Microsoft bought the company last year.

    Officials of the United States and other countries have long pushed to expand their access to newer forms of communications to resolve an issue the FBI calls the ''going dark'' problem.

    Advertisement
    Microsoft has approached the issue with ''tremendous sensitivity and a canny awareness of what the issues would be'', said an industry source.

    The company had ''a long track record of working successfully with law enforcement here and internationally'', he said.

    The changes, which give the authorities access to addresses and credit card numbers under a formal request, have drawn quiet applause in law enforcement circles but hostility from many activists and analysts.

    Authorities had for years complained that Skype's encryption and other features made tracking drug lords, paedophiles and terrorists more difficult. Jihadis recommended it on online forums. Police listening to traditional wiretaps occasionally would hear wary suspects say, ''Hey, let's talk on Skype.''

    Hacker groups and privacy experts have been speculating for months that Skype had changed its architecture to make it easier for governments to monitor, and many blamed Microsoft, which has an elaborate operation for complying with legal government requests in countries around the world.

    ''The issue is, to what extent are our communications being purpose-built to make surveillance easy?'' said Lauren Weinstein, the co-founder of the privacy group People for Internet Responsibility. ''When you make it easy to do, law enforcement is going to want to use it more and more.''

    Skype said: ''As was true before the Microsoft acquisition, Skype co-operates with law enforcement agencies as is legally required and technically feasible.''

    Political dissidents relied on Skype extensively during the Arab Spring to communicate with journalists, human rights workers and one another, in part because of its reputation for security.

    The Washington Post

    Source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/skype-j...urveillance-20120726-22v0t.html#ixzz21jxxUFNM
     
    DragonMasterJay likes this.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,560   +2,901

    This honestly does not surprise me at all.

    From a personal perspective, here I am spy on me all you want. If you feel the need to spy on me, you are more pathetic than I could have ever imagined.
     
    DragonMasterJay and Dawn1113 like this.
  3. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 6,619   +336

  4. Jay Pfoutz

    Jay Pfoutz Malware Helper Posts: 4,282   +49

    Why must companies spy and steal. It's becoming legal to steal, I'm telling you. What are they robbing: personal data.

    Why do we let them? It's the cool thing to do!

    But, a smart guy opts-out of tracking. That whole "send usage data" crap that programs ask you to do: don't do it! It's giving them permission to spy.

    Limit your exposure to social networking, and no one will be spying on you.
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...