Privacy Freakouts

Privacy Freakouts

Skype: We’re Not Eavesdropping On You, Honest

Skype's hairy eyeball only works in China.

Skype has taken to its company blog to reassure users that recent structural changes do not mean Skype has enabled snooping capabilities for itself or The Authorities. In a post titled, “What Does Skype’s Architecture Do?” Skype corporate vice president Mark Gillett did his best to refute the main allegations  that have piled up since Skype was purchased by Microsoft.  According to Mr. Gillett, worries that Skype’s changes were made to enable spying are pure paranoia: Read More

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

Privacy Freakouts

California On the Verge of Solving Crisis That Maybe Isn’t

This pic is still not a good idea. (

Soon our friends on the West Coast will have one less HR-related thing to worry about: California is well on its way to making private social networking information off-limits to potential employers. The LA Times reports that the state Assembly just passed a bill to that effect without so much as a single opposing vote.

Hard-partying college kids shouldn’t rejoice just yet, though, because publicly available information would remain fair game.  Read More