Feeds

Skype denies system upgrade enables in-call spying

No snooping going on, company insists

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Skype has issued a formal denial to reports that it has been allowing law enforcement to listen in on users' calls following a change in its system architecture.

"Some media stories recently have suggested Skype may be acting improperly or based on ulterior motives against our users' interests. Nothing could be more contrary to the Skype philosophy," said Mark Gillett, Skype's chief development and operations officer in a blog post.

The allegations came after Skype reconfigured its system architecture so that some of the supernodes on its peer to peer network were moved inside Microsoft's data centers. This shift, coupled with a patent for "legal intercept" systems Microsoft was granted shortly after taking over the company, caused concern among some that Skype was selling out its users to the Feds.

Gillett categorically denied this was the case, saying that shifting the supernodes was begun before Microsoft bought out Skype, and that it is being done purely to improve service and make it more reliable and easier to upgrade in the future.

While Skype has had a policy of working with law enforcement on monitoring in exceptional circumstances he said, the rules of engagement for such a tactic are clearly stated on its website and Skype hasn’t changed its position. Calls are fully encrypted and information on users is not being kept.

"The enhancements we have been making to our software and infrastructure have been to improve user experience and reliability. Period," he said.

In El Reg's opinion, Skype appears to be talking sense on this. Shifting part of the VoIP provider's backbone into Microsoft data centers makes a lot of sense for Redmond, as it is looking to integrate Skype more deeply into its cloud offerings as it tries to make money on its $8.5bn purchase. ®

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!
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
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.