Skype investigated for links to NSA ‘spying’

We’ve mentioned Skype security issues before in this blog,

And now it has been revealed by The Guardian that the Microsoft owned communication company is being investigate by the data protection commission for possibly cooperating with National Security Agency’s PRISM Program.

Gerard Lommel, Luxembourg’s data protection commissioner, initiated the investigation into Skype’s privacy policies after it was revealed in June the company had ties to the NSA. Lommel and Microsoft both declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

After Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in 2011  some types of data flow to the NSA tripled, according to documents seen by the Guardian.  Microsoft was the first technology group to be brought within the NSA initative known as Prism, which involved  some of the internet’s biggest consumer companies passing data on targeted users to the US under secret court orders.

Skype faces possible criminal and administrative sanctions, including a prohibition against sharing consumer communications with the U.S. intelligence community and fines if its actions violated Luxembourg’s data-protection laws.

Privacy groups are already criticising Skype’s participation in PRISM. Eric King, head of research at Privacy International says “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.” Additionally, Grégoire Pouget, an expert on information security for Reporters Without Borders, has advised journalists working on topics of interest to the U.S. or its allies to stop using Skype.

There are other video conference products which users can choose if they are concerned about security – our desktop solution Vidyo offers encryption services if necessary.