Skype is trying hard not to be treated like a phone company

In 2009 it was reported that organised criminals, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings in Milan, Italy, were using Skype in order to frustrate investigators who regularly tapped their phones.
Mr Geddes says the encryption of Skype has brought about a “fundamental change in the balance of power between governments and people” because they cannot tap or bug VoIP calls.
That may explain why India, China and Saudi Arabia have been threatening to close down Skype services.
Other countries too want the power of lawful intercept for anti-terror purposes or, like Germany, for local police reasons, according to Mr Wolff. But Skype is resisting.
“Skype is trying hard from a regulatory perspective not to be treated like a phone company,” he says.
In future, he foresees Skype or one of its rivals developing a record button which would allow a witness to record images from the other side of the world in an emergency situation.
But for now, Martin Geddes says: “Skype and all these other companies are getting away without having to address the ethical and moral issues, which they like to brush under the carpet.


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