Microsoft & Skype, the un-happy end?
If there is one VoIP software known by everybody, it is Skype. Available on every platform, it allow any mere mortel to communicate with a excellent call quality with anybody in the world who also have Skype installed or call any landline or mobile for very low rates (+connection fee).
But Skype is also know for its security, as a matter of fact the protocol it used to use was based on the peer-to-peer allowing each computer connected to act as a server and making any communication very hard to intercept. In addition, Skype use encryption for any communications but the one to make to regular phones
Skype uses the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard*), also known as Rijndael, which is used by the US Government to protect sensitive information, and Skype uses the maximum 256-bit encryption. User public keys are certified by the Skype server at login using 1536 or 2048-bit RSA certificates.
Of course, thanks to this security and anonymity, Skype became also famous to political dissidents or anybody willing to comunicate out of the reach of governments, for good or for bad.
But here is the deal, Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5 billion dollars and Microsoft is very well know to work hand in hand to the American law informorcement and goverments around the world. And Oups, they did it again…
And after a few changes in the Skype infrastruture, Microsoft is now ready to give the keys of your communications to whoever wants/needs to. But that is not all, according to the Washington Post, they are also willing to share your credit card information as well as you address and personal details.
Of course, nothing is really surprising here when we know that for years the police and several governments complained about the difficulty to monitor Skype and communications passing through, look at Ethiopia, simply putting VoIP illegal. And of course we had to expect from Microsoft a move allowing law inforcement to intercept what terrorists or pedophiles can say, the problem here for me is that it also give them direct access to what I may say, and as far I as know every time someone has a “power” he comes to abuse it.
Also be aware:
The access to personal information and online chats, which are kept in Skype’s systems for 30 days, remains short of what some law enforcement officials have requested.
So Microsoft is kind of playing fair, giving authorities what they need but only a 30 days grace period. So, for those of you worried about privacy you’ll probably start looking for alternatives but the fact than Skype at the biggest VoIP user base make it hardly avoidable.
Finally, don’t forget, the easiest way to listen to your conversations, Skype or not is to hack the end point, your computer, your phone…
Source : Washington Post
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