Microsoft’s Skype, I See You! Patents Legal Intercept

microsoft in newsMicrosoft has successfully patented Legal Intercept today, allowing for Skype and other VoIP networks to be spied on.

According to Microsoft, the patent makes Skype CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act) capable.  This means that the F.B.I. can use the information and data accrued and if necessary, investigate or act on resources CALEA services provide them.  All communication services have to comply with the F.B.I., so do not let it come off as too much of a shock.

Microsoft depicts Legal Intercept as, “Data associated with a request to establish a communication is modified to cause the communication to be established via a path that includes a recording agent.” The recording agent is then able to “silently record” the communication”.

What is shocking about this patent is how it broadens the definition of user privacy.  And this is not a good thing.

Lets tease this out for a bit shall we?  Not only will users have zero indication that they are being surveyed, but his or her information could then be recorded and used to incriminate them.  In the U.S. that might not seem like too much of a problem, but elsewhere in the world, it may be more difficult to maintain.  Imagine if dictatorships made use of Legal Intercept technology.  The results wouldn’t be that difficult to foresee.

A spokesman for Microsoft says that they decline comment.       



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