Skype: We’re Not Eavesdropping On You, Honest

Then there's China, but they know about it, so it's cool.

Skype’s hairy eyeball only works in China.

Skype has taken to its company blog to reassure users that recent structural changes do not mean Skype has enabled snooping capabilities for itself or The Authorities. In a post titled, “What Does Skype’s Architecture Do?” Skype corporate vice president Mark Gillett did his best to refute the main allegations  that have piled up since Skype was purchased by Microsoft.  According to Mr. Gillett, worries that Skype’s changes were made to enable spying are pure paranoia:

It has been suggested that Skype has recently changed its posture and policies with regard to law enforcement.


The move to supernodes was not intended to facilitate greater law enforcement access to our users’ communications. Skype has had a team of Skype employees to respond to legal demands and requests from law enforcement since 2005. While we are focused on building the best possible products and experiences for our users, we also fundamentally believe that making a great product experience also means we must act responsibly and make it safe for everyone to use. Our position has always been that when a law enforcement entity follows the appropriate procedures, we respond where legally required and technically feasible. We have a policy posted to our main website that provides additional background on our position on this matter.

Mr. Gillett continues in the same fashion for the remainder of the blog post. Charges Skype now monitors all user video and audio? False. Were Skype’s changes made “to facilitate law enforcement access” to IMs? Nope. Has Skype ceased protecting user communications in general? Absolutely not.

Except in China, sort of–where Skype does have a “chat filter” which is “in accordance with local law.”

So there you have it–outside China, where they’re totally “transparent” about it, Skype isn’t prying into your late-night flirtations or grandma showing off her new puppy to the grandkids. Apparently they will not do so in the future, either–unless of course the law requires it. Skype: We’re Not Eavesdropping On You, Honest