A large group of activists comprised of organizations, journalists, lawyers and regular Internet users issued an open letter to Skype’s current owner, Microsoft. This letter focused on the confidentiality of Skype communications. They believe that the service’s confidentiality policy is somewhat fuzzy and the description of possible interactions with third parties and law enforcement agencies is insufficient.
Microsoft’s agreement with China’s TOM Оnline on the creation of a custom version of Skype for Chinese users was especially criticized. This version had a special filter that blocked specific messages. And since this version was identical to the regular one, it meant that any Skype user could eventually be monitored.
Activists reckon that the main reason for such changes in Skype policies is the recent acquisition of the company by Microsoft. That is why it is now held responsible for letting the public know about the ways the service works with confidential data and interacts with law enforcement agencies.
Microsoft employees confirmed the receipt of the letter and promised to issue an official response to these questions.