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Codebreaker

Can Skype now spy on you? “Personally, I always feel like someone is,” says 80s singer Rockwell

John Moe Jul 24, 2012
Codebreaker

Can Skype now spy on you? “Personally, I always feel like someone is,” says 80s singer Rockwell

John Moe Jul 24, 2012


On the surface it appears to be an inconsequential bit of news: Skype, the video chat and VOIP service now owned by Microsoft, is making a change to how it routes calls. Instead of bouncing the calls to various machines over the Internet, calls will now be routed through Skype/Microsoft headquarters and the machines therein. This is leading to some worry that calls can now be snooped upon and that Microsoft is doing this to be more compliant with wiretaps requested by the federal government.

CNN tried to get to the bottom of this and didn’t get very far:

The problem? It’s unclear what exactly changed, and a Skype spokesman contacted by CNN for clarification would not release more than a pre-written statement.
Chaim Haas, the spokesman, would not say, for instance, if the update actually enabled the company to tap into and record Skype calls. He also would not answer questions about when the update took place or whether wiretapping was a motive.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve the Skype user experience, we developed supernodes, which can be located on dedicated servers within secure datacenters,” the statement from Skype says. “This has not changed the underlying nature of Skype’s peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, in which supernodes simply allow users to find one another (calls do not pass through supernodes).
“We believe this approach has immediate performance, scalability and availability benefits for the hundreds of millions of users that make up the Skype community.”

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