A newly patented Microsoft technology called Legal Intercept that would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls is stoking privacy concerns.
Microsoft’s patent application for Legal Intercept was filed in 2009, well before the company’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype in May. The patent was granted last week.
From Microsoft’s description of the technology in its patent application, Legal Intercept appears similar to tools used by telecommunication companies and equipment makers to comply with government wiretap and surveillance requests.
According to Microsoft, Legal Intercept is designed to silently record communications on VoIP networks such as Skype.
Given currently privacy laws in the EU, I doubt they will be able to use this technology here; however, as Skype user, I cannot say this doesn’t worry me.
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