Feeds

France demands Skype register as telco

Emergency calls, interception and tax

Business security measures using SSL

The French telecommunications regulator ARCEP has turned a critical eye on Microsoft's Skype and decided – more than a decade after the service was created – that it should register as a communications operator.

ARCEP believes the service is eluding “the duties and obligations” of a telecommunications operator, and according to Atlantico, (Google translation here), has flicked the issue to the Public Prosecutor in Paris, explaining that under Article L. 36-10 of the Post and Electronic Communications law, refusal to register is likely to be a criminal offence.

In particular, ARCEP wants to require Skype to route emergency calls and implement lawful interception of calls.

According to the New York Times, it's not the first time the regulator has been asking Skype to declare itself a communications operator since April 2012, but the company has not acted. The NYT says Microsoft has responded to French authorities that it is “not a provider of electronic communication services under French law”.

Such a declaration would make Skype's French earnings subject to tax, but ARCEP denies that this is a factor in its demand.

It's not the first time the question has arisen. Early in the life of Skype, South Africa declared it an illegal “network bypass” without much effect. A similar controversy arose in Ethiopia in 2012.

India is also looking at bringing Skype under its telecommunications regulatory regime. That country's Communications and IT minister Killi Kruparani, speaking at an event launching carrier BSNL's video calling services, said Skype and Google will be “looked at” after the government decided to bring IP telephony under the remit of a new unified licensing regime.

While France's motivation is intercept – with a side order of emergency service connection – India is also interested in money, since its local carriers and ISPs pay license fees to the government while Skype does not. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.