Skype may or may not allow police access to calls now, it won't say
23rd Jul 2012 | 15:40
Hazy, opaque answers seem suspish
As governments around the world finally get around to updating surveillance laws to let them 'snoop' through your online correspondence, Skype is keeping its cards close to its chest.
Hackers have reported that Skype has made some changes to its architecture that will allow it to be more easily jacked into for nefarious purposes or monitoring crime suspects' communications.
This doesn't exactly jive with Skype's previous assertions that it would not conduct wiretaps, partly due to the encryption and specific P2P architecture it uses.
Although Skype has said that this update is all for the betterment of user experience and not to do with keeping an eye on what users are saying, it is reluctant to comment any further.
When we spoke to the company, a spokesperson would only tell us, "Skype co-operates with law enforcement agencies as much as is legally and technically possible."
Skype wouldn't be drawn on any other point. We asked if there was the potential for it to release stats on how many requests for user information are made each year in the same vein as Google and Twitter now do but it would not give us any information.
While it's not for us to knock any company for co-operating with law enforcement, particularly where legally obliged, it does seem a bit odd that Skype is being so cagey about the whole thing.
After all, don't Skype users have a right to know exactly what Skype is willing and able to share with outside agencies?