Skype goes Big Brother, allowing police to monitor text chats

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Skype, Big Brother, text chats

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Inuit Elders tell NASA Earth Axis Shifted
(NaturalNews) Long sought and used as a communications tool beyond the reach of Big Brother's probing eyes, Skype has recently announced the company plans more cooperation with police, to include sharing of text chats.

While surveillance of the audio and video feeds of the online phone service remains impractical - even when courts issue warrants - that barrier, too, could eventually be dismantled as Skype transforms into one of the globe's premier forms of telecommunication, The Washington Post reported recently.

Nothing, it seems, will get in the way of the Leviathan's ability to see all, know all.

"The changes to online chats, which are written messages conveyed almost instantaneously between users, result in part from technical upgrades to Skype that were instituted to address outages and other stability issues since Microsoft bought the company last year," the Post said. "Officials of the United States and other countries have long pushed to expand their access to newer forms of communications to resolve an issue that the FBI calls the 'going dark' problem."

'Yes, officer - what else can I do for you?'

Once more, it appears, the reason being given for requiring the access is "national security," though the excuse hasn't been lost on Microsoft. An industry official familiar with the tech giant's plans told the Post that the company is approaching the issue with "tremendous sensitivity and a canny awareness of what the issues would be" regarding, most likely, privacy concerns.

Then again, the source said, Microsoft already has "a long track record of working successfully with law enforcement here and internationally," whatever "successfully" means.

The changes will give police access to credit card numbers and addresses, among other information. That's made cops and government agencies happy, of course, but privacy advocates are understandably cringing - again.

Law enforcement agencies - and most likely those on the federal level - have been whining for years that Skype's encryption technology and other add-ons made it difficult to track pedophiles, drug lords, and terrorists (while also making it more difficult to track the 98.9 percent of users who were not criminals). The Post said authorities would see recommendations on Jihadist Web sites to use Skype to communicate, and would allegedly overhear suspects they were monitoring with traditional means suggest using the online phone service.

The techies knew the truth

For months hackers and some privacy experts had guessed that Microsoft - known to roll over for governments around the world - changed the Skype software architecture to make it easier to monitor users.

Peter Eckersley, technology projects director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, even went so far as to recommend that anyone living under an authoritarian regime - such as the one in Syria, which is currently engulfed in a civil war - not use Skype, according to a CNN report.

"Reportedly, Microsoft is re-engineering these supernodes to make it easier for law enforcement to monitor calls by allowing the supernodes to not only make the introduction but to actually route the voice data of the calls as well," adds Tim Verry, from the website ExtremeTech. "In this way, the actual voice data would pass through the monitored servers and the call is no longer secure. It is essentially a man-in-the-middle attack, and it is made all the easier because Microsoft -- who owns Skype and knows the keys used for the service's encryption -- is helping."

So yes, the techies suspected all right. More like they knew already.

"The issue is, to what extent are our communications being purpose-built to make surveillance easy?" Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People for Internet Responsibility, a digital privacy group, told the paper in an interview. "When you make it easy to do, law enforcement is going to want to use it more and more. If you build it, they will come."

Understandably wanting this issue to go away, Skype was slow issuing a statement, the Post noted. When the company finally did, it was akin to a sheepish admission.

"As was true before the Microsoft acquisition, Skype cooperates with law enforcement agencies as is legally required and technically feasible," the statement said.

Whatever makes Skype and Microsoft executives sleep better at night.


Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Skype at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.