Skype a Haven for Criminals?
What’s the moral of this story? Find an offshore haven to base your next technology venture.
Now that VOIP calls are more commonplace governments around the world are struggling to adapt to this new technology. Skype has now found itself under scrutiny of the Bush Administration for encrypting it’s PC to PC communications because it uses the same 256-bit, industry-standard AES encryption (also known as Rijndael) that is used by the U.S. Government.
The FCC ruled last year that VOIP providers need to offer backdoors into their systems for wiretapping reasons, but Skype isn’t based in the US and so is not subject to the rule. It is subject to the EU’s new Data Retention Directive, though, which may require them to retain call logs and decryption keys for a period of time. If so, real-time monitoring of Skype calls would still be out, but after-the-fact review of recorded calls from people of interest might well be possible for the government.
It seems that no matter how much we squawk big brother is always finding new ways to keep an eye on us. Finding that balance between national security and individual liberty will continue to be a never-ending struggle, especially as technology evolves and becomes more prevalent in our day to day lives.
As technology evolves to protect our privacy, governments and corporations (RIAA et al) will just end up legislating that technology to use against us, and our rights will continue to be eroded more and more.
It’s a losing battle. Sucks, don’t it?