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Ready to Three-Way Your Skype Calls with the Government?

Some are concerned that recent changes to Skype’s services could enable such a feature under a wiretap authority. Does this concern you?

Ever worried about sharing your living room, or bedroom, with the government? Well, if concerns about wiretap authority being allowed on Skype turn out to have merit, virtual conversations are likely to become much more formal. 

According to a story on CNN, there is concern that recent changes to how Skype routes its calls could make it easier for law enforcement to monitor Skype calls. It’s all very technical, but in a nutshell there is a belief that recent changes at Skype could make it easier for any government agency to break the direct computer-to-computer link currently used by Skype. Whenever a third party service is used, in this case Microsoft through a third-party routing computer, it makes it easier to eavesdrop on the conversation. It is unclear from the CNN story whether that could just include audio and not the graphics. Whichever it is, however, is making some people uneasy.

It has been reported that drug cartels and other criminal enterprises had taken to using Skype as a means to communicate because it was considered more secure and free of the likelihood of wiretaps.

So how do you feel about this? Do you think changes that open up Skype to wiretapping are warranted to prevent criminal activity? Or do you think it is unlikely to ever actually bring the government into your personal space and is just much ado about nothing?

Ryan Smith (Editor) July 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I remember when the wiretapping scandal broke a few years back, several people I knew were of the attitude, "If you have nothing to hide, then what do you care if the government listens in?" My own personal feeling is that the government should have to jump some very high hurdles before they can wiretap a phone. I don't care if I'm talking to my Aunt Mabel about cornbread recipes, my conversations aren't the business of law enforcement. So I, personally, view any changes to make wiretapping easier as bad -- even if it's unlikely my phone will ever be tapped. How about you? Any thoughts on the issue?
SUNKEN SUB July 27, 2012 at 10:30 PM
"It has been reported that drug cartels and other criminal enterprises had taken to using Skype as a means to communicate because it was considered more secure and free of the likelihood of wiretaps." ---------------------------- As a former "SPOOK", communications is a two way street, This is different from broadcasting which is a one way street. How much real intelligence do we get from North Korea, the mid-east and such from broadcasts.?----- Slim to none. From "communications" ? A great deal. If these "communications" contain SIGNIFICANT intelligence, then both sides should be monitored. If it proves a dead end, then delete the information. Every foreign intelligence service does this with very little regard to privacy. You must bring a gun to a gunfight and intelligence to fight counterintelligence. Do it not and ...................................... ?? WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sharon Swanepoel July 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I have mixed feelings on this. I've also been of that whole, "if you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about." I certainly believe it should be limited to audio and not video since I think that violates privacy issues. But I agree, if someone listens in to me griping about my kids or my husband, they don't know me so it's really not significant. I'm just a voice on the end of a line - sort of like not bothering to really dress up when you go on vacation - you're not going to see those people again, right - so what does it matter. Video, however, I have a bigger problem with.

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