Privacy Freakouts

From Skydrive to Skype, We’re Not Safe From Microsoft’s Hairy Eyeball


Microsoft-owned Skype won’t come clean on whether its architecture allows for wiretaps. When it comes to Skydrive, the software giant’s cloud storage service, Microsoft is checking your ‘private’ folders, looking for swears and nudes.

Last Friday Slate reported Skype won’t comment on whether it can now eavesdrop on conversations. Ryan Gallagher wrote, “In May 2011, Microsoft bought over Skype for $8.5 billion. One month later, in June, Microsoft was granted a patent for ‘legal intercept’ technology designed to be used with VOIP services like Skype to ‘silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session.'”

In spite of hacker allegations about major changes in the way Skype works after being bought by Microsoft, the company wouldn’t tell Slate anything per “company policy”–a phrase beloved by slippery P.R. folks avoiding difficult subjects.

Where Skydrive–which requires you have a Windows Live account–is concerned, however, Microsoft is definitely watching you. As reported on July 18 by, this is what recently happened to a Dutch user, screen name “WingsOfFury,” when he discovered he could no longer use any of his Windows Live services: Read More