The impact of surveillance state
Summary: The “Skype is Spy” campaign is started following clearer evidence that this software is a worldwide surveillance tool
OUR WIKI has this new page about Skype. It is becoming an important subject as the network effect Skype has enjoyed can be intercepted with Google Talk, SIP, Viber, etc. Skype shows how proprietary programs directly affect people’s liberties, usually by just taking them away and leaving no way around these civil liberties declinations. Things got a lot worse when Microsoft, a US-based convicted monopolist, took over.
New surveillance laws being proposed in countries from the United States to Australia would force makers of online chat software to build in backdoors for wiretapping. For years, the popular video chat service Skype has resisted taking part in online surveillance—but that may have changed. And if it has, Skype’s not telling.
Historically, Skype has been a major barrier to law enforcement agencies. Using strong encryption and complex peer-to-peer network connections, Skype was considered by most to be virtually impossible to intercept. Police forces in Germany complained in 2007 that they couldn’t spy on Skype calls and even hired a company to develop covert Trojans to record suspects’ chats. At around the same time, Skype happily went on record saying that it could not conduct wiretaps because of its “peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques.”
Now that Microsoft owns Skype and the NSA has nearly unlimited powers to access all this data one must assume that wiretapping is part of the package with Skype, or “Spype”. █