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Europe ditches Skype probe

Calling for clarity

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Eurojust - the EU body for judicial cooperation - is not investigating ways to intercept Skype calls, contrary to reports earlier this week.

Eurojust originally said it aimed: "to overcome the technical and judicial obstacles to the interception of internet telephony systems". The group said it had been approached by Italian anti-Mafia cops who were struggling to keep up with La Cosa Nostra's use of new communications technology specifically Voice over Internet Protocol telephony services like Skype.

But in a statement Eurojust said it held a meeting with Italian authorities in 2006 about a separate case.

The participants were informed of the technical and legal issues of the subject. Representatives from the company Skype S.A. were invited and present at this meeting. There was a positive message from the Skype representatives during the meeting, showing their commitment to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities in the fight against serious, cross-border organised crime.

So does that mean they're not investigating how to listen to Skype calls because they can already listen to Skype calls?

Skype told EUObserver.com it was glad the situation had been clarified. The firm said it was committed to working with law enforcement authorities and did so: "as much as legally and technically possible.".

German and Italian authorities have both reportedly struggled with snooping on Skype. Although the way calls are routed makes snooping much more difficult Skype's technology is proprietary so it is unclear how secure it really is.

Bavarian police were forced to install spyware onto suspects' PCs in order to snoop on Voip calls. ®

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