Skype Makes Surveillance Easier
Skype is fast becoming one of the most popular communication services, both the VOIP calling service and the various chat options. The Washington Post reports that Skype, which is owned by Microsoft, has made changes to the chat service to make it easier for law enforcement to conduct surveillance of Skype users.
Skype relies on "supernodes" - computers that route communication between users, and encryption to allow for secure communication. In the past, this combination of distributed service and encryption allowed both criminals and revolutionaries to communicate and still be pretty confident that their communication is secure.
Earlier in the month blogs like Extreme Tech were speculating that since Microsoft has purchased Skype, Microsoft was moving these supernodes into data centers to improve performance, with a side-effect that the communication would now be centralized and easier to track.
According to PCWorld, Microsoft denied that this was the case only two days ago. Apparently, that denial no longer stands. At least for the chat service - voip calls still remain difficult to tap.