Feeds

Anti-mafia cops want Skype tapping

Euro search for tech solution

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A European Union agency is investigating how to snoop on crooks using Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol services to avoid traditional police wiretaps.

Eurojust, the EU agency dealing with judicial co-operation, is to coordinate the investigation into Voip services, such as Skype, after requests from the Direzione Nazionale Antimafia in Rome.

The purpose of Eurojust’s coordination role is to overcome the technical and judicial obstacles to the interception of internet telephony systems, taking into account the various data protection rules and civil rights.

Peer-to-peer based VoIP technologies such as Skype pose a technical challenge for surveillance because it's impossible to simply tap communications in a telephone exchange. In addition, Skype use a proprietary encryption scheme, which potentially further complicates matters. Eurojust's statement is here.

As previously reported, police in Italy and elsewhere in Europe are worried that crooks are using Skype to avoid possible mobile phone surveillance. Police in Milan reckon organised crime, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings are using Skype and other Voip services to sidestep possible wiretaps. Milan police highlighted the example of a suspected cocaine trafficker advising an accomplice to switch to Skype in order to obtain details of a 2kg drug consignment.

Following a meeting with the authorities in Milan, Eurojust Italian rep. Carmen Manfredda said: "The possibility of intercepting internet telephony will be an essential tool in the fight against international organised crime within Europe and beyond. Our aim is not to stop users from taking advantage of internet telephony, but to prevent criminals from using Skype and other systems to plan and organise their unlawful actions."

"Eurojust will make all possible efforts to coordinate and assist in the cooperation between Member States," she added. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.