Now, even Skype investigated for possible NSA links

Last Updated: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 15:20

London: Instant messaging service, Skype, which was renowned for its anti-surveillance feature, has reportedly come under the privacy scanner for its possible links with the US` National Security Agency, in furnishing user data for surveillance.

Skype could face EU sanctions over data it has made accessible to the NSA in the US.

Skype is being investigated by Luxembourg`s data protection commissioner over concerns about its secret involvement with the NSA`s Prism programme.

According to the Guardian, Microsoft-owned Skype, which boasts of over 600 million users, could face EU sanctions, including a ban on passing users` communications covertly to the US signals intelligence agency.

Head of research at human rights group Privacy International, Eric King said that Skype promoted itself as a fantastic tool for secure communications around the world, but quickly caved to government pressure and can no longer be trusted to protect user privacy.

As per NSA files, in 2011, Skype was served with a directive to comply with the agency`s surveillance signed by the US attorney general and within days, the agency reported of successfully eavesdropped on a Skype call.

Skype`s corporate vice president Mark Gillett had written to Privacy International in September 2012 that group video calls and instant messages could be obtained by law enforcement because they are routed through its central servers and `may be temporarily stored`.

However, Gillett claimed that the audio and one-to-one video calls made using Skype`s `full client` on computers were encrypted and did not pass through central servers, the report added.

First Published: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 15:20
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