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Skype says it was unaware of China message-logging

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| Skype was unaware of a major privacy problem affecting Skype users in China,
| the company's president said Thursday.
| In a blog posting to the eBay subsidiary's corporate blog, Skype President
| Josh Silverman said his company had no idea that the Tom-Skype software,
| distributed to Skype users in China, was logging chat messages and storing
| them on a publicly accessible server. "It was our understanding that it was
| not Tom's protocol to upload and store chat messages with certain keywords,"
| he wrote.
| [...]
| Like all China ISPs, Tom Online has an obligation to monitor communications,
| Silverman wrote. But Skype believed that the Tom-Skype software was merely
| filtering certain words from chat messages, not storing them on a server, he
| added.


Chinese Skype spies on users, researcher says

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| Text chats conducted using the Chinese version of Skype that contain keywords
| such as "Taiwan independence" and "Communist Party" are logged along with
| identifying IP addresses and usernames, then stored on insecure servers, a
| Canadian researcher said yesterday.


This one is interesting:

Hand Grenades as Weapons of Mass Destruction



Strange Skype Network Activity - Even on Linux

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| I have a few contacts with whom I still chat on Skype, so I still start it
| from time to time. Yesterday I started it in the morning, and then got
| distracted and forgot to stop it when the person I was looking for was not
| around (at least according to Skype's totally unreliable presence reporting).
| When I went back upstairs in the evening, I noticed the that the 5GHz LED and
| the Internet LED on my shiny new Netgear WNDR 3300 Wireless Router were
| blinking like crazy, and I really mean like crazy. I knew that there
| shouldn't be anything happening on my home network at that time, so I started
| investigating.


Skype won't say if it decrypts VoIP calls

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| To allay fears that the calls might not be secure from law enforcement, Skype
| should open its platform to evaluation by trusted, credible industry experts,
| he says.
| Endler says it's equally difficult to know whether commercial VoIP vendors
| leave open the possibility of turning encryption keys over to law
| enforcement.
| In the United States, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
| (CALEA) forbids requiring that vendors build in back-door decryption, says
| Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy &
| Technology. "CALEA expressly forbids requiring anyone to be able to decrypt
| anything," he says.


Backdoor in Skype? We need an open-source replacement

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| Deliberate or just flawed?
| So, assuming for a moment that the claim of the Austrian police is correct,
| there are two possibilities now: (a) Either Skype made a mistake somewhere in
| the implementation of their encryption algorithms and thus allowed a
| successful attack on their protocols. Or (b) they have deliberately provided
| a backdoor for law enforcement or other agencies.
| [...]
| And of course, Skype is ubiquituous. If you want to talk to people, you need
| to use what they are using. And everyone is using Skype.


Speculation over back door in Skype

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| According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows
| connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the
| allegations. At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian
| regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June,
| high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is
| not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.


Open Source Skype Scuppered

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| First, obviously, that such a flaw should be built in is bad. It weakens the
| product - crackers of the world are doubtless firing up their Skype programs
| even as I write - and suggests an extremely patronising attitude to users.
| But I think there's another, less obvious, problem with this revelation.
| For some time, people have been talking about getting Skype to go open
| source: you can now forget that.


Compressed VoIP leaves eavesdropping clues

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| Eavesdroppers might be able to gain clues about the content of encrypted
| conversations even without breaking the cryptography.
| VoIP services such as Skype encrypt conversations but law enforcement
| agencies, most notably in Germany, have complained this can hinder law
| enforcement investigations.


Pirate Bay bitchslaps Swedish law with SSL

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| The Pirate Bay plans to offer encryption services to people who use the
| BitTorrent tracker site in a direct attempt to combat a new controversial
| snoop law passed in Sweden last week.


Why are European governments able to do more for less when it comes to National

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| Fon has to comply with RIPA an act so strict that makes the Patriot act look
| simple. Fon has to provide special VPN tunneling technology in the UK for the
| UK secret services to investigate suspected criminals and terrorists when
| they log on to our WiFi signal. But this is not of course only Fon. Every UK
| ISP from BT down, Carphone Warehouse, Virgin, Sky, all have to provide this
| capability to the UK government.


Skype: We can't comply with police wiretap requests

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| There's no guarantee that Skype's AES encryption is implemented properly or
| that there aren't lingering security flaws. A 2006 presentation at the
| BlackHat Europe conference in March said the right algorithms were being
| used, but that there's "no way" to know if a backdoor for eavesdropping
| exists. A Skype-commissioned independent evaluation, however, gave it a
| thumbs-up.



Beware of Skype

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| The Skype network has been a concern of government intelligence agencies
| since its inception because it provides a worldwide network of encrypted VoIP
| calls to potential “terrorists”. So how coincidental is it that 10 days after
| Bush signs into law a Bill giving the government authority to track foreign
| calls that go through U.S. networks that Skype, for the first time in its
| existence, undergoes a massive worldwide outage?
| [...]
| But there are FOSS alternatives to Skype people really should start
| considering now. One is the OpenWengo Project. Businesses, and even
| individuals, should also consider setting up their own Asterisk servers with
| encryption.


Why proprietary code is bad for security

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| Tho Skype is using an encrypted protocol, it’s still their own, non-disclosed
| code and property. So we don’t know what it contains.
| [...]
| It’s time to stop accepting that we are the bad guys, and to stop consuming
| things we just don’t understand (and cannot, because they are proprietary,
| closed-source systems).
| Say no to companies, or even governments who treat you like this. Start using
| open sourced products and protocols wherever you can. Even if you could
| still never understand the code used in these systems, there are still lots
| of people who can, and who will examine it. The magic word here is “peer
| review” - your friend or buddy or neighbour may be able to understand all
| that, and to help. No, not with Skype or Windows or any black box from Cisco.


Cryptome: NSA has access to Windows Mobile smartphones

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| First time in history Cryptome.org has released information about the
| characteristics of NSA’s network surveillance.


Dual_EC_DRBG Added to Windows Vista

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| Microsoft has added the random-number generator Dual_EC-DRBG to Windows
| Vista, as part of SP1. Yes, this is the same RNG that could have an NSA
| backdoor. *
| It's not enabled by default, and my advice is to never enable it. Ever.

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