Activists urge Skype: Tell us who is spying on us
A coalition of activists, privacy organizations, journalists, and others have called upon Microsoft to be more forthright about when, why, and to whom it discloses information about Skype users and their communications.
In an open letter the group argues that Redmond's statements about the confidentiality of Skype conversations have been "persistently unclear and confusing," casting the security and privacy of the Skype platform in doubt.
"Many of its users rely on Skype for secure communications – whether they are activists operating in countries governed by authoritarian regimes, journalists communicating with sensitive sources, or users who wish to talk privately in confidence with business associates, family, or friends," the letter explains.
Among the group's concerns is that although Skype was founded in Europe, its acquisition by a US-based company – Microsoft – may mean it is now subject to different eavesdropping and data-disclosure requirements than it was before.
The group claims that both Microsoft and Skype have refused to answer questions about what kinds of user data the service retains, whether it discloses such data to governments, and whether Skype conversations can be intercepted.