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[liberationtech] Call for Open Letter on Skype

Ryan Gallagher ryan at rjgallagher.co.uk
Sat Dec 22 08:24:29 PST 2012


Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc> wrote:

>
> Isn't it time for an open letter regarding Skype?
>

I think this is a great idea. I tried and failed back in July to get
straight answers from Skype regarding the data it is in a position to hand
over to authorities. I found the level of obfuscation extremely
frustrating.

Skype has since denied that its architecture changes had anything to do
with enabling comms interception (
http://blogs.skype.com/en/2012/07/what_does_skypes_architecture_do.html);
however, it has failed to respond to other crucial questions, such as: why
did Microsoft file a patent for a "legal intercept" technology specifically
designed to help intercept Skype VoIP calls? Is the eventual aim to
integrate this technology into the Skype architecture? I think Skype's 600
million users around the world have a right to know the answer to that
question.

As far as an open letter is concerned, it's worth noting that Eric King at
Privacy International previously wrote to Skype asking some pertinent
questions:
https://www.privacyinternational.org/blog/skype-please-act-like-the-responsible-global-citizen-you-claim-to-be

I'm not sure what response (if any) Eric received. Either way, I'm pretty
sure he'd be willing to get involved with a fresh open letter effort.

Personally speaking, I think any open letter should be endorsed by as
diverse an array of groups as possible to reflect the broad range of
stakeholders with legitimate concerns over Skype's security. This issue is
extremely important to people working in my line of work (journalism), and
of course it also matters not only to activists but to everyday citizens
who want to know exactly what Skype can and can't do with their data.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you are pushing forward with this,
Nadim. I'd be more than happy to try to get on board some groups that
represent the interests of journalists.

Best,

Ryan
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