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[liberationtech] NYT report on Obama admin's wiretap plans

Alec Muffett alec.muffett at
Mon Sep 27 13:46:35 PDT 2010

> Interesting if true. Given Skype's past famous resistance to attack, I'd
> have to see more than a fuzzy report of a half-remembered comment at a
> conference notorious for grandstanding before I believe such a tap
> facility exists.

So I'll take it that the answer to my question is "no".

> Note that Skype calls to and from POTS are trivial to intercept, as is
> everything on ordinary phone lines.

I was given to understand that tapping SkypeIn/Out at the point where it hits the POTS was the typical corporate response to most Government agencies at that time.

> I've also heard persistent rumors that the NSA is offering a very large
> sum of money (a billion dollars according to one report) to anyone who
> creates a dependable Skype intercept[1][3], and that this prize is
> unclaimed.

Isn't it odd how this mainstay of snake-oil marketing is somehow more compelling than - for instance - a suggestion like throwing a similar amount of money at the company itself. 

Seeing as Skype plan to IPO for $100 million, I daresay a black-budget billion would buy quite a lot of re-engineering; however that is purely a hypothetical observation on my part.



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