01.02.15

New NSA Leaks Confirm That Microsoft Skype is a Wiretapping Hub

Posted in Microsoft at 12:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old phone

Summary: More documents leaked by Edward Snowden serve to validate claims that Skype is about as bad as one can get when it comes to private communication

GIVEN Microsoft’s very special relationship with the the NSA we were never shocked to learn about spying on Skype users (both audio and video, in real time even). Days ago more information was made available. One journalist said that the new documents show spy agencies could grab all Skype traffic. To quote: “A National Security Agency document published this week by the German news magazine Der Spiegel from the trove provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden shows that the agency had full access to voice, video, text messaging, and file sharing from targeted individuals over Microsoft’s Skype service. The access, mandated by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant, was part of the NSA’s PRISM program and allowed “sustained Skype collection” in real time from specific users identified by their Skype user names.”

“Thanks to Snowden they now have it confirmed as truth with original documents to prove/validate it.”Here is another take which quotes: “The nature of the Skype data collection was spelled out in an NSA document dated August 2012 entitled “User’s Guide for PRISM Skype Collection.” The document details how to “task” the capture of voice communications from Skype by NSA’s NUCLEON system, which allows for text searches against captured voice communications. It also discusses how to find text chat and other data sent between clients in NSA’s PINWALE “digital network intelligence” database.

“The full capture of voice traffic began in February of 2011 for “Skype in” and “Skype out” calls—calls between a Skype user and a land line or cellphone through a gateway to the public switched telephone network (PSTN), captured through warranted taps into Microsoft’s gateways. But in July of 2011, the NSA added the capability of capturing peer-to-peer Skype communications—meaning that the NSA gained the ability to capture peer-to-peer traffic and decrypt it using keys provided by Microsoft through the PRISM warrant request.”

The authors of the original article previously linked to our Wiki page about Skype and also some articles we wrote about Skype. We wrote about this well before Microsoft bought Skype (proprietary software) and years before the NSA leaks. Thanks to Snowden they now have it confirmed as truth with original documents to prove/validate it.

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