Skype encryption stumps German police

German police are unable to decipher the encryption used in the Internet telephone software Skype to monitor calls by suspected criminals and terrorists, Germany's top police officer said on Thursday. Skype allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet from their computer to other Skype users free of charge.

Law enforcement agencies and intelligence services have used wiretaps since the telephone was invented, but implementing them is much more complex in the modern telecommunications market where the providers are often foreign companies. "The encryption with Skype telephone software ... creates grave difficulties for us," Joerg Ziercke, president of Germany's Federal Police Office (BKA) told reporters at an annual gathering of security and law enforcement officials.

"We can't decipher it. That's why we're talking about source telecommunication surveillance -- that is, getting to the source before encryption or after it's been decrypted."

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9 Comments

Is this legal? I mean, if a government is hacking a certain service, that is not considered illegal hacking, but if an individual is hacking the same service, that would be considered illegal hacking.

As mentioned, I highly doubt that if they couldn't crack it, they would advertise to the world that they couldn't.
This is just a ploy to lull dumb terrorists into using a system they have complete control over... and I say 'dumb' because smart terrorists wouldn't be gullible enough to believe them if they said this.

My advise: Don't be a terrorist. It's just mean. If your angry enough to plot mass murder, call lifeline or maybe play a round of golf. Yoga and incense are also great relievers of stress.

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