(via http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1o7zfr/skype_under_investigation_in_luxembourg_over_link/)

  • The NSA was offering billions to anyone who offers a reliable eavesdropping solution for Skype. 1)
  • Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion, more than twice what Google or Facebook were offering. 2)
  • A month later, Microsoft was granted a patent for a “legal intercept” technology designed to be used with VoIP services like Skype, which enables silently copying communications transmitted through them. 3)
  • MS moved Skype's supernodes to its own in-house data centers, getting rid of the decentralized P2P architecture of Skype (which was hindering eavesdropping).4) and 5)
  • MS continued to state that the move to this new architecture is to ensure stability/reliability of the network. 6)
  • However, they continue refusing to comment on whether they eavesdrop on the communications, and their ToS/privacy policy make no guarantees about this. 7)
  • MS buying Skype for a whooping $8.5 billion, makes it a telecommunications carrier. And under CALEA, “telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment are required to modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure they have built-in surveillance capabilities, allowing federal agencies to monitor all telephone, broadband internet, and VoIP traffic in real-time.” 8)
  • Skype developed a backdoor access system for the NSA before the Microsoft acquisition as part of a secret project involving only a dozen people and created by the government.9)
  • Report: Skype Formed Secret “Project Chess” to Make Chats Available to Government 10)

What should I use then?

An alternative for your IM/VoIP needs is Jitsi. It's open source, supports every popular protocol, and out of the box full end-to-end encryption (uses OTR for instant messaging encryption and SRTP and ZRTP for XMPP and SIP encryption).

  • skype_surveillance.txt
  • Last modified: 2013-10-12 06:01
  • by nik