Recently, Microsoft’s Skype has been accused of eavesdropping on its users and providing data for U.S. government law enforcement. But in a recent statement, Skype says it hasn’t been spying on its users for the feds.
It’s hard to believe U.S. regulators haven’t at least tried to get access to Skype’s database. In the end, Skype is the favorite online calling service for many of today’s, let’s say, controversial figures. Criminals, hackers and God knows who else is using Skype just like the average user, only that their conversations are much more interesting that a family video call.
While Skype kept quiet about eavesdropping charges, under media pressure and most likely scrutiny from users, the company released a statement dismissing the reports. “Some media stories recently have suggested Skype may be acting improperly or based on ulterior motives against our users’ interests” said Skype Chief Development and Operations Officer Mark Gillett.
Mark Gillett published a thorough post yesterday answering some of the reports that went viral earlier this week. He said all rumors that Skype operated “changes in its architecture at the behest of Microsoft in order to provide law enforcement with greater access to our users’ communications” are false.
Chief Development and Operations Officer said the same of reports suggesting Skype “changed its posture and policies with regard to law enforcement” and of the eavesdropping allegations. Gillett explained the use of supernodes “does not provide for monitoring or recording of calls” and are used to “help Skype clients to locate each other so that Skype calls can be made”.
In a nutshell, Mark Gillett dismissed all recent allegations against Skype about spying on user on behalf of the feds. “Nothing could be more contrary to the Skype philosophy” he added.
“An industry official with Microsoft’s plans” wrote the Washington Post yesterday, explained Microsoft is being extremely delicate when it comes to pressure from the feds to have access to online forms of communications, such as Skype. The insider said Microsoft used “tremendous sensitivity and a canny awareness of what the issues would be” and given the company’s “long track record of working successfully with law enforcement here and internationally” it’s really not easy to ensure Skype users of their calls’ security.