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

Thomas Smyth thomas.smyth at
Mon Sep 27 13:50:55 PDT 2010

Wouldn't tapping Skype-to-Skype calls be tantamount to tapping any SSL
encrypted digital communication?  That is, breaking public key encryption?
Unless that is there is a bug in the Skype client software, which would
surely be quickly patched..

On 27 September 2010 16:46, Alec Muffett <alec.muffett at> wrote:

> > 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.
> Thanks,
>        -a
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