Microsoft about to hand source-code of Skype to Russian secret service?

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Russian daily Vedomosti and the British press agency Bloomberg announced the possible cooperation of the now Microsoft-owned business, Skype, with the Russian secret service, the FSB.

It is the aim, apparently, to hand over to the FSB part of the source-code for the application and by doing so they would hand the successor to the KGB a very powerful tool to intercept Skype communications.

Microsoft is, however, denying that this would be the case. They would, wouldn't they.

So far the Voice-Over-IP-service Skype is being considered as extremely secure. It is impossible for outsiders, due to complicated algorithms, to log themselves into chats or telephone conversation and thus monitor communications.

Even governments and their agencies, including secret services, do not have, according to official sources, the possibility to decode the data that is being sent via Skype, whichever form this data may be having. Skype has, so far, got the reputation that its encryption is of the highest military grade making it impossible to wiretap the conversations.

But, if the report by the news agency Bloomberg is anything to go by then this could change soon.

Ever since the acquisition of the Skype service by Microsoft the directors of company in Redmond have become very happy to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and intelligence services. That is why Skype is intending, so Bloomberg, to hand over pats of the source-code to the FSB.

It was rather obvious that, as soon as MS was getting their mitts on Skype they were going to screw up the privacy that Skype used to provide. MS, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, do not know what privacy means. Or would MS otherwise deem it to be right to snoop on your and my PC when we connect to their sites for updates and such?

Should this indeed happen as indicated by the Bloomberg report then the successor organization to the KGB might not directly be given the “master key” with which to be able to tap in to each and every Skype call or chat but with the source-code they could find back doors with which to do just that.

Redmond, however, claims that there is nothing true on the reports but they would deny such things, would they not. People would be leaving the Skype service in droves, I am sure, should that those shenanigans by Microsoft become reality and, obviously, they don't want to spook the horses as yet.

In a statement to the Blomberg agency Microsoft reiterated that there are no moves afoot to give away the source-code for Skype but, then again, no one was talking about giving the source-code away to all and sundries now.

According to the Russian daily Vedomosti has the FSB been developing good relations to and with many software giants and Skype would not be the first program which the agency would be given full access to.

Maybe this will have to also be seen in the light of some recent communications that came out of Russia where it stated that the Russian government was going to switch over to Open Source altogether including Linux and such operating systems. Is Microsoft oiling the wheels so it can keep in with the Russian government?

© 2011