Let's be honest, since Microsoft purchased Skype, perhaps more openly for some or perhaps in the corner of the mind for others, we've all been asking the question, is Skype still secure, are my calls and my rights to privacy still protected?
Well Skype isn't being so clear on the matter, failing to provide a direct response, however, in a statement delivered to slate.com, the firm stated that it "cooperates with law enforcement agencies as much as is legally and technically possible." Which to us here at HEXUS is a large, resounding 'No', to the question, "are my calls secure?"
Reading into the firm's statement a little, 'technically possible' is an interesting concept, as Skype traditionally functions on a peer-to-peer basis, avoiding any direct server connections and thus reducing the capability of a group to track and monitor calls. The firm has, however, been accused recently of making changes to the program and its respective protocol that would make it easier for the "lawful interception" of calls. Likewise, Microsoft has filed patents for VoIP interception technology that can "silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session," demonstrating that the firm is actively exploring avenues where it can profit from call monitoring.
Whilst it's not unreasonable to expect a firm to comply with law enforcement, opening up the protocol or deploying monitoring technologies has the potential to transform a once trusted system into one with an ever increasing number of security holes, that could take advantage of established user trust.
Though there's no confirmation that Microsoft has yet to take either of these actions, we wonder if, as users catch onto the fact that their privacy is no longer a guarantee, people will chose to stay with Skype or transition to another service.