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Special services allowed to listen to Skype

Спецслужбам разрешили прослушивать Skype

The Russian special services have an opportunity to track conversations in Skype. This was told by several participants of the information security market, Vedomosti writes.

Ilya Sachkov, General Director of Group-IB, says that special services "for a couple of years" can not only listen, but also determine the location of the Skype user. "That's why the employees of our company, for example, are forbidden to communicate on working subjects in Skype," says Sachkov.

Nevertheless, the policy of monetization was added by the banner, which hangs almost to the entire Skype chat window.

It would have been so intrusive if this banner did not appear at the time of the video call on the full screen.

After Microsoft acquired Skype in May 2011, she provided the Skype client with legitimate listening technology, says Peak Systems CEO Maxim Emm. Now any subscriber can be switched to a special mode, where the encryption keys that were previously generated on the subscriber's phone or computer will be generated on the server.

Having access to the server, you can listen to the conversation or read the correspondence. Microsoft provides an opportunity to use this technology for special services around the world, including Russian, the expert explains.

According to two specialists on information security, Russian special services do not always get access to correspondence and conversations in Skype by a court decision - sometimes it happens "just on demand." It is impossible to believe that listening to Skype is an insurmountable problem for Russian law enforcement agencies, the Interior Ministry official confirms.

Official representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB declined to comment. Also, the representatives of Microsoft arrived. Previously, the head of Russian Microsoft, Nikolai Pryanishnikov, said that Microsoft could reveal the source code of Skype to the Federal Security Service. By itself, the code would not allow intelligence services to listen to conversations, but with the help of its intelligence they could more easily find a way to "decrypt" information.

Just the other day it became known that the Chinese version of Skype has a special mechanism for tracking the subscriber's actions. Scientist Jeffrey Knock from the University of New Mexico found that the Chinese distribution of Skype built in a keylogger - a special program that fixes the actions of the user on the keyboard. She checks the texts for the content of unwanted words in them and sends the collected logs "where appropriate." Nokel even made a list of undesirable words: Tiananmen (the area where protest actions were suppressed in 1989), Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, BBC News, and others.