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Microsoft Privacy Security Your Rights Online

Privacy Advocates Demand Transparency From Skype 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain dept.
tsamsoniw writes "Dozens of privacy advocates, Internet activists, and journalists have issued an open letter to Skype and Microsoft, calling on the companies to finally get around to being clear and transparent as to who has access to Skype user data and how that data is secured. 'Since Skype was acquired by Microsoft, both entities have refused to answer questions about exactly what kinds of user data can be intercepted, what user data is retained, or whether eavesdropping on Skype conversations may take place,' reads the letter, signed by such groups as the Digital Rights Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation."
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Privacy Advocates Demand Transparency From Skype

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  • by simoncpu was here (1601629) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @06:33PM (#42685301)
    Direct-connect can be achieved with IPv6 without having to set up expensive infrastructure for getting around NAT. Of course, you do have to set up your network for IPv6.
  • by epp_b (944299) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:36PM (#42685885)

    I'm sure that alternatives like jitsi, Retroshare and other open source options work just as well or better, but, unfortunately, the network effect creates a huge barrier.

    Are *you* able to convince your family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates, acquaintances ... all to use some other VOIP solution because it's open source and can better guarantee privacy? Do you think they even give a crap when they'll gladly sign away their privacy for Facebook?

  • by r1348 (2567295) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:49PM (#42686057)

    http://www.gnutelephony.org/index.php/GNU_Telephony [gnutelephony.org]

    Feel free to contribute.

  • by Dagger2 (1177377) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:04PM (#42686781)

    apt-get install miredo (or just make use of dependencies to install it automatically.)

    With Teredo, you get NAT traversal... and you only have to set it up once, rather than once per application. As a bonus, anything that can use Teredo can also use native IPv6, sidestepping the need to do NAT traversal once you have v6.

    Oh, and Windows comes with a client too, so you don't have to worry about that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:29PM (#42686955)

    The old Skype use to use the quickest nodes, Skype users whose connections where fast enough and open enough to route calls. The new Microsoft enhanced version routes all calls through their US servers. Which for me (other side of world) means incredible lag.

    I always thought this was the reason Microsoft bought it:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_for_skype_pwnage/

    It would be an instant profit center to let the NSA watch Skype calls.

    "Counter Terror Expo News of a possible viable business model for P2P VoIP network Skype emerged today, at the Counter Terror Expo in London. An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic."

    "Skype in particular is a serious problem for spooks and cops. Being P2P, the network can't be accessed by the company providing it and the authorities can't gain access by that route. "

    Except it's not P2P now, once Microsoft bought it, they stopped the direct routing.

  • by alantus (882150) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:47PM (#42687083)

    I created a Skype account long before it was bought by Microsoft, and I used a secret and unique email address for this purpose.
    After Microsoft acquired Skype, I started receiving emails from Facebook to this email address.
    I also started receiving emails from Skype saying that they have suspended my credit "temporarily" in Skype because I haven't used it in a while, but that I can "reactivate" it any time I want in their website. To me this sounds like "its just the tip".

    Microsoft business practices at its best.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:18PM (#42687659)

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/11/29/facebook_likes_skype_used_to_build_fbi_case_against_california_terrorism.html

    "Other sections of the complaint detail how the FBI was somehow able to obtain audio and video recordings of Skype conversations in which their confidential informant participated. "

    Slate says it possible they installed software on the persons PC that intercepted Skype. (yet it didn't record video outside the skype call??? or audio outside the skype call??? Not likely).

    No, Microsoft controls the supernodes now, it hands out the keys, it can simply intercept any conversation at any time and that's most likely what happened here.

    That's why the FBI didn't have video or audio outside the skype conversation.

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