Feeds

Skype denies system upgrade enables in-call spying

No snooping going on, company insists

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.