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Why I Don't Care If Microsoft Can Listen In On My Skype Calls

Skype calls have always been touted as being completely private and the accusation was that Microsoft had modified the code in ways that might make calls no longer private at all, i.e. Microsoft was supposedly capable of eavesdropping on Skype calls.

What about Windows?

What about Windows? Millions of lines of incredibly complex proprietary code I doubt there are many people who have ever had their hands on the entire codebase of any version of Windows since earlier XP so who knows what's hidden in there? If I ran the NSA and I wanted a global tool that would allow me to peek into the activities of just about anyone, I'd have been leaning on Microsoft since the PC dark ages to make certain "modifications" to the likes of Windows and Microsoft Office. The reality is there's probably nothing hidden in there however if there is, will you ever know?

Anyway, back to Skype: Here's my question what are you doing on Skype that would make someone want to pick your conversation out of the approximately 25 million Skype calls that are made each day? I suppose that anyone wearing a tin foil hat might assume that everyone's calls are getting siphoned off to the likes of the NSA's Utah "Data Center" where supercomputers using advanced voice recognition research slice and dice every single utterance looking for anything and everything that could be used against anyone. In other words, clearly, utter bul er, nonsense.

The bottom line is that whether or not the [fill in your favorite agency] is or is not listening in, if you're doing something that you shouldn't be doing and talking about it over Skype, you as a matter of fact aren't serious about staying out of jail. You want secure Internet communications? You'd better have a much bigger, better, and more robust clue than to use a free VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service owned by a major company.

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The IT industry since the time of the dinosaurs

I've been in the IT industry since the time of the dinosaurs. I've written books about the Internet and networking, consulted for all sorts of companies, and been a contributor and columnist for Network World for 18 years. I created and co-founded Netratings and have CTO'ed for a couple of startups. I live in Ventura, CA. I do not surf.

More information: Forbes