Skype users are starting to question their privacy on the call service site. In recent days, rumors have been buzzing around that the website has allegedly been allowing the U.S. government to spy on its users. But, Skype Chief Development and Operations Office Mark Gillett says the allegations are false and took to his blog to shoot down the rumors.
“Some media stories recently have suggested Skype may be acting improperly or based on ulterior motives against our users’ interests,” wrote Gillett. “Nothing could be more contrary to the Skype philosophy.”
Skype allows users to call people via the interview. It current has 250 million active users a month and supported 115 billion minutes of calls in the last quarter. In May of 2011, Microsoft purchased the company and changes were made to service. The changes have caused red flags with users. More specifically, the site is accused of helping law enforcement wiretap conversations of Skype users.
Gillett denied that the changes made were to allow law enforcement better access to monitoring and recording users’ audio and video calls.
“Skype’s architecture decisions are based on our desire to provide the best possible product to our users. Skype was in the process of developing and moving supernodes to cloud servers significantly ahead of the Microsoft acquisition of Skype. Skype first deployed ‘mega-supernodes’ to the cloud to improve reliability of the Skype software and service in December 2010,” wrote Gillett.
He continued, “The move to in-house hosting of ‘supernodes’ does not provide for monitoring or recording of calls. ‘Supernodes’ help Skype clients to locate each other so that Skype calls can be made. Simply put, supernodes act as a distributed directory of Skype users. Skype to Skype calls do not flow through our data centers and the ‘supernodes’ are not involved in passing media (audio or video) between Skype clients.”
Gillett did say that Skype would however, “cooperate with law enforcement when legally required and technically feasible.”
But, even though personal information for Skype users remains on the site’s system for 30 days, Federal investigators were able to attain conversations on Skype between Kim DotCom, the founder of Megaupload, and his colleagues over a five year period and never asked the company for its assistance with obtaining the communications.
Makes you wonder. To read Gillett’s full blog post, click here.