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Skype Denies System Upgrade Will Help Spy on Users

Skype today denied that the Microsoft acquisition has allowed it to spy on users and record their calls, calling such accusations "false."

That, nevertheless, prompted reports of "Big Brother" Skype+Microsoft and questions about just how much the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service knows about user activity, prompting Gillett's response.

"The move was made in order to improve the Skype experience, primarily to improve the reliability of the platform and to increase the speed with which we can react to problems," Gillett continued. "The move as well provides us with the ability to quickly introduce cool new features that allow for a fuller, richer communications experience henceforth."

The move to supernodes

"The move to supernodes was not intended to facilitate greater law enforcement access to our users' communications," Gillett insisted.

The upgrades as well do not allow for monitoring or recording of calls, he said. "Simply put, supernodes act as a distributed directory of Skype users. Skype to Skype calls do not flow through our data centres and the "supernodes" are not involved incidentally media between Skype customers."

The company stressed that the switch to supernodes does not diminish Skype's security. "Skype software autonomously applies encryption to Skype to Skype calls between computers, smartphones and other mobile devices with the capacity to carry a full version of Skype software as it always has done. This has not changed," Gillett wrote.

More information: Pcmag