Skype watch

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The bottom line is that Skype, which is owned by the American company Ebay, cannot be trusted since it is closed source.

 

25.0.7.2008 - Speculation over back door in Skype [Is a trojan needed? http://www.itexaminer.com/german-pirate-party-raided.aspx]

According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the allegations. At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June, high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.

This has been confirmed to heise online by a number of the parties present at the meeting. Skype declined to give a detailed response to specific enquiries from heise online as to whether Skype contains a back door and whether specific clients allowing access to a system or a specific key for decrypting data streams exist. The response from the eBay subsidiary's press spokesman was brief, "Skype does not comment on media speculation. Skype has no further comment at this time." There have been rumours of the existence of a special listening device which Skype is reported to offer for sale to interested states.

There has long been speculation that Skype may contain a back door. Because the vendor has not revealed details of its proprietary Skype protocol or of how the client works, questions as to what else Skype is capable of and what risks are involved in deploying it in an enterprise environment remain open. [continued]

 

23.02.09 NSA Wants Help Eavesdropping on Skype

24.0.2.09 Anti-mafia cops want Skype tapping

 

12.02.09 NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution - Is this FUD or inverse-FUD? (Fear Uncertainty Doubt)

An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic.

The spybiz exec, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that Skype continues to be a major problem for government listening agencies, spooks and police. This was already thought to be the case, following requests from German authorities for special intercept/bugging powers to help them deal with Skype-loving malefactors. Britain's GCHQ has also stated that it has severe problems intercepting VoIP and internet communication in general.

 

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#Issues

Since September 2007, users in China trying to download the Skype software have been redirected to the site of TOM, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and Skype, from which a modified Chinese version can be downloaded.[36] The TOM client participates in China's system of internet censorship, monitoring text messages between Skype users in China as well as messages exchanged with users outside the country.[37][38] Niklas Zennström, then chief executive of Skype, told reporters that TOM "had implemented a text filter, which is what everyone else in that market is doing. Those are the regulations." He also stated: "One thing that’s certain is that those things are in no way jeopardising the privacy or the security of any of the users."[39] In October 2008, it was reported that TOM had been saving the full message contents of some Skype text conversations on its servers, apparently focusing on conversations containing political issues such as Tibet, Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, the Chinese Communist Party, milk powder, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and democracy. The saved messages contain personally identifiable information about the messages' senders and recipients, including IP addresses, usernames, land line phone numbers, and the entire content of the text messages, including the time and date of each message. This information was also saved for Skype users outside China who were communicating with a TOM-Skype user. Due to a server misconfiguration, these log files were for a time accessible to the public.[38][40][41]

 



25.03.09 Home Office defends plan to monitor social network conversations

Privacy campaigners expressed alarm today over government plans to monitor all conversations on social networking sites in an attempt to crackdown on terror.

A Home Office spokesman said that the internet eavesdropping plan, which would be set out in the next few weeks, would cover any social network that allows people to chat to one another, including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Twitter as well as internet calls on Skype.

Skype Apparently Threatens Russian National Security
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/07/25/0015250/Skype-Apparently-Threaten...