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[liberationtech] skype

Rich Kulawiec rsk at gsp.org
Sat Mar 30 07:04:49 PDT 2013


On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 02:36:53PM -0700, Yosem Companys wrote:
> Rich, that's because you're not thinking like the average non-technical
> user, who usually does the following:

[snip thorough and IMHO, on-point analysis]

You make an excellent (series of) points.  And I have to concede that
you're right.

So let me refocus my comments on the efforts made (here and elsewhere)
to get Microsoft to cough up answers: can't everyone see that these
responses have been carefully wordsmithed within an inch of their lives
in what is an obvious and deliberate attempt to say as little as possible
and omit as much as possible?

Microsoft, like many corporations, employs professional spokesliars who
are very, very good at crafting wording that can be defended (should it
come to that) but which doesn't present the truth in a straightforward
fashion.  That's their JOB.  After all: anyone there could tell the truth
-- it's not hard.  But it takes a trained and practiced professional to
evade it, obscure it, conceal it, dance around it in convincing fashion --
and even use it in limited ways when it serves the purpose.

	"A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth.  But a
	man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it."
		--- Mr. Dryden, "Lawrence of Arabia"

Microsoft is never, ever, ever going to provide full, honest, truthful
answers to these questions.  Why should they?  What's in it for them?
How would those answers make money for Microsoft?  (And if you think
for a moment that Microsoft has ANY corporate value other than "making
money", then you live in a different universe than I do.)

So what *is* the truth?  I dunno.

I think (and I emphasize "think", because I do not know) that Skype is
probably spyware.  I think it's got backdoors that have been designed
into it.  I think Microsoft has, is, and will hand over information on
Skype users, usage, and content to governments, including the United
States, but possibly including other ones.  I think that Skype has
probably also been cracked by other governments.  I think that it also
has security issues, some of which are known/partially-known, some
of which might be intentional.  I think that nobody should be using it
for any purpose ever.

That said, though, even if I'm right on all those points, that's not
going to stop people from using it.  And that's where *you're* right:
I wish you weren't, but you are, and I don't know how to fix that situation.

---rsk



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