Microsoft won't comment on if Skype can eavesdrop on calls

A couple of months ago, it was reported that Skype had changed the server network that handles it Internet phone calls. The reports claim that Skype, now owned by Microsoft, had ditched its previous peer-to-peer network of client-hosted supernodes in favor of 10,000 Linux-based PCs, all hosted by Microsoft.

Now some people claim that those network changes have made it easier for Skype and Microsoft to set up back doors in order for law enforcement authorities to listen in on Skype conversations. There has been more and more pressure from the US and other countries to put in such features in VOIP services such as Skype, as more criminals use these methods to communicate with each other.

Slate.com tried to get Microsoft PR person for Skype, Chaim Haas, to comment on if they now have the ability to listen on Skype chats. Haas reportedly would not give a direct comment, saying only that Skype "co-operates with law enforcement agencies as much as is legally and technically possible."

Last week, as part of its quarterly financial results, Microsoft said that Skype use jumped up 50 percent in the April-June quarter, with a whopping 115 billion minutes worth of calls generated via Skype. Microsoft plans to integrate Skype features in more and more of its products.

Source: Slate.com

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Pretty soon no one will be able to buy or use a piece of tech without some hack, backdoor in it or someone watching/listening in .. then whoever argues about it will instantly be called a criminal!

Microsoft is an American company that does business in America.

Guess what that means? It means they have to follow local laws. This isn't Microsoft putting wiretaps on every conversation and listening to Bob tell his girlfriend how he wants to have sex with her. It's just if MS ever gets served papers from the FBI saying Bob's conversations need to be tapped, they can comply with it.

-Razorfold said,
Microsoft is an American company that does business in America.

Guess what that means? It means they have to follow local laws. This isn't Microsoft putting wiretaps on every conversation and listening to Bob tell his girlfriend how he wants to have sex with her. It's just if MS ever gets served papers from the FBI saying Bob's conversations need to be tapped, they can comply with it.

So what you're saying is that the FBI won't ever go into another country to arrest a person that's not a citizen of the United States?

The news tells a different story.

KCRic said,
So what you're saying is that the FBI won't ever go into another country to arrest a person that's not a citizen of the United States?

The news tells a different story.


The FBI can't make the arrest themselves because they wouldn't have jurisdiction. Now the FBI can contact the authorities of said country and ask for permission to arrest / help arrest someone for the purpose of extraditing them. It's upto the police / judicial department of the other country to allow it.

I don't want anyone to eavesdrop on me, that's why I stick to my morals. If I'm not doing anything bad then I have nothing to fear. They have the ability to help law enforcement. What if law enforcement couldn't eavesdrop on any types of phone calls or e-mails?
Think about it...

How very nice of you. But solely you. What if law enforcement doesn't stick to such morals as it is often the case? What if service is hacked by people without morals as it is often the case? As it is often not the case, think about it...

Radium said,
I don't want anyone to eavesdrop on me, that's why I stick to my morals. If I'm not doing anything bad then I have nothing to fear. They have the ability to help law enforcement. What if law enforcement couldn't eavesdrop on any types of phone calls or e-mails?
Think about it...
What if, stay with me here. What if there was a law that required the police to get a signed document from a judge allowing them to do it. The requirements for getting it would be to prove that it's necessary and will gather further evidence. Also they much produce legitimate evidence showing that this person may be guilty of a crime in the first place and it relates to the evidence they seek to acquire from the electronic interception.

Wouldn't that be neat?! Oh wait, that's already a law. Hmm, seems they like to ignore laws meant to protect the innocent.

I'll leave the practice aside and say shame on Microsoft for not growing the balls to just admit they can and will.
"won't comment" is as much a "yes" as you need it to be. Just admit it already, get the bad press for it and be done with it, but don't try to pull the "we won't tell" card, hoping that when things have settled, nobody will care anymore anyways.

GS:ios

I think their comment was pretty clear. Conversations can be monitored but only in cases involving law enforcement. This is pretty much standard operating procedure on any legit service you sign up for.

E:amstradcpc

So why single out Skype, why not ask apple about facetime, google about google voice, the makers of Tango, Viber, etc? Or are we to assume only Microsoft deserves such scrutiny because they are "the evil empire"?

efjay said,
So why single out Skype, why not ask apple about facetime, google about google voice, the makers of Tango, Viber, etc? Or are we to assume only Microsoft deserves such scrutiny because they are "the evil empire"?

Because FaceTime and Google Voice are no match AT ALL for Skype.

It's like comparing Walmart to a local shop around the corner

Jarrichvdv said,

Because FaceTime and Google Voice are no match AT ALL for Skype.

It's like comparing Walmart to a local shop around the corner

Doesn't matter. If there is one person who is subject to wiretapping on Google Voice, FaceTime, etc., then there is no difference between Skype or the alternatives. If that local shop around the corner is doing something that you dont like, is it OK because Wal-Mart does it also?

Jarrichvdv said,

Because FaceTime and Google Voice are no match AT ALL for Skype.

It's like comparing Walmart to a local shop around the corner

"AT ALL" by what? Usage time? Marketshare?

Technically, eavesdropping is still eavesdropping, no matter how. Every company providing such talk services can do just about the same.

Easier to get companies to provide backdoors than to drive technological innovation to not have to need them.

Jarrichvdv said,
I wouldn't mind if they can.

especially because microsoft is most likely only going to do it if needed by law enforcement.. google would do it just to see what kind of mid call ads you want

Lachlan said,

especially because microsoft is most likely only going to do it if needed by law enforcement.. google would do it just to see what kind of mid call ads you want


I must admit, I laughed

Jarrichvdv said,
I wouldn't mind if they can.
Of course you wouldn't. Hey, I'm in fear for my safety from your woman - I feel it's necessary for me to watch her get dressed everyday to make sure she isn't hiding anything under her clothes.

Are you comfortable with that? (waits for the "I don't have a girl" or "she's a beast" comment)

KCRic said,
Of course you wouldn't. Hey, I'm in fear for my safety from your woman - I feel it's necessary for me to watch her get dressed everyday to make sure she isn't hiding anything under her clothes.

Are you comfortable with that? (waits for the "I don't have a girl" or "she's a beast" comment)

I think you're going a bit overboard with this... If Microsoft's only going to use this when a law enforcement agency tells them to do so, they're not going to use it to watch people get dressed...

JaykeBird said,

I think you're going a bit overboard with this... If Microsoft's only going to use this when a law enforcement agency tells them to do so, they're not going to use it to watch people get dressed...

Because they only use every law when it's only necessary...

You seem to have this misunderstanding that wealthy people with power desire to do what's right for everyone else.

KCRic said,
Because they only use every law when it's only necessary...

You seem to have this misunderstanding that wealthy people with power desire to do what's right for everyone else.

I was just saying I don't see Microsoft, or really any company of its size, to use this eavesdropping thing to really do something like that. And even if they had some way to do it automatically, then every hour, they'd be collecting hundreds of hours of video calls that they have to process and store somewhere.

And even if they got something like your credit card information, your credit card company is going to notice when purchases start to occur in other locations. And if they got your address, it's not like they have a fleet of vans ready to show up at your house and do who-knows-what. To me, it just seems like too much of a waste of resources and time to really make it feasible.

Besides, Microsoft said that eavesdropping isn't possible in this new system, anyway, so it doesn't matter.

So now everyone who starts complaining about this stop using your cellphones aswell as most operators say plain out if they are required they will eavesdrop on you.