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[liberationtech] Skype Open Letter: CALL FOR SIGNATORIES

Jochai Ben-Avie jochai at
Wed Jan 23 13:01:28 PST 2013

Hi Nadim,

Access is happy to sign on.

We were on a staff retreat last week, so apologies for sending these
thoughts over a bit late. We'll sign whether or not there's the opportunity
to incorporate these suggestions, but just wanted to raise them here:

As folks here know, what companies say in their policies and what their
employees do in practice can often be widely divergent. To that end, it
would be instructive to understand Skype’s internal guidance/instructions
to employees:

*5. Skype's interpretation of its responsibilities under the Communications
Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), its policies related to the
disclosure of call metadata in response to subpoenas and National Security
Letters (NSLs), and more generally, the policies and guidelines for
employees followed when Skype receives and responds to requests for user
data from law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the United States
and elsewhere.*

In addition to the number and nature of requests Skype receives from which
countries and the extent to which Skype complies with these requests, we’d
be interested (and suspect others would be too) to know on what grounds
those that weren’t complied with were rejected. A suggestion:

*1. Quantitative data regarding the release of Skype user information to
third parties, disaggregated by the country of origin of the request,
including the number of requests made by governments, the type of data
requested, the and proportion of requests with which it has complied,. and
the basis for rejecting those requests it does not comply with.*

Finally, while there are now at least seven companies with transparency
reporting of some kind, none use the same reporting framework--making it
difficult to get a holistic picture of requests for user data. It may be
worth including a line encouraging Skype to work with others in the tech
industry to move towards some kind of common reporting framework. For
example, ONI developed some guidelines a while ago:



Jochai Ben-Avie
Policy Director
Access |

P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM, Eleanor Saitta <ella at> wrote:

> Hash: SHA256
> On 2013.01.23 01.09, Nadim Kobeissi wrote:
> OpenITP will sign. Put me down individually, too.
> E.
> - --
> Ideas are my favorite toys.
> Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32)
> iF4EAREIAAYFAlD/4JgACgkQQwkE2RkM0wpMtAD+N/z+ydCj3RMJmJEVE0r4Zxwg
> cZ53YZc4Btn8GcaQJ70A/0zSDkNSvvxV+e1GNIMbutYTYuT5h/MJGqChLMpvCIYs
> =/3RJ
> --
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