No, Microsoft is not recording your Skype converstations with Mom
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2012 - 05:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fud, skype, microsoft, office 2013
It is highly unlikely that the reason many of Skype's Supernodes have been moved to the inside of Microsoft data centres is to allow them to record your Skype conversations. Consider instead the numerous guides on the net to disable the ability of Skype to co-opt your PC into being a temporary supernode. With many users opting out of that necessary piece of Skype's infrastructure it could possibly cause quality of service issues with Skype. As Microsoft is planning on bundling Skype in with the new version of Office, it makes sense that they want at least some supernodes of which they can guarantee a certainly level of QoS to their paying customers. As The Register points out, they need to find some way to recoup the expense of purchasing the company.
The patent that Microsoft holds to allow for the silent recording of transmissions between two computers, like VoIP, is of some concern but perhaps not as much as some other coverage would have you believe. The patent application was filed almost 2 years before the purchase of Skype; while it could certainly be used on Skype connections it seems unlikely that it was designed specifically with Skype in mind. Perhaps a more logical application of this patent would be to offer a way for business users to record conference calls natively and not need to rely on third party software to enable them to do so. Skype has offered up unencrypted recordings to law enforcement agencies in the past but only did so in special circumstances. It is likely to continue to do so for as long as the laws of the land consider that process to be legal but the likelihood of general recording of all Skype conversations is almost nil.
"Skype has issued a formal denial to reports that it has been allowing law enforcement to listen in on users' calls following a change in its system architecture.
"Some media stories recently have suggested Skype may be acting improperly or based on ulterior motives against our users' interests. Nothing could be more contrary to the Skype philosophy," said Mark Gillett, Skype's chief development and operations officer in a blog post."
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