Indian Intelligence Officials Want To Block Skype

from the as-if-there-aren't-alternatives dept

Skype and other VoIP tools have become quite useful for reaching people around the world. I know that, recently, when my wife happened to be in India on a trip, being able to call her via Skype was incredibly useful. It's a good thing she's back now, as reader Shailendra alerts us to the news that Indian intelligence officials are once again asking the government to consider banning Skype. The reason I say "once again" is that I remember similar proposals from a few years back that went nowhere. The official concern, of course, is that "bad people" may use Skype to communicate in a way that can't easily be tapped or traced. But that's going to happen no matter what. If Skype is banned, people will still figure out a way to use it, or they'll migrate to some other tool. Banning Skype or other VoIP providers isn't fixing a problem, it's pretending a problem doesn't really exist.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    I can remember

    as a child, attending our summer church festivals with my parents and pointing to the Whack-a-mole games and wondering aloud to them who would waste their time on such a stupid, unwinnable game.

    Apparently the correct answer to that question is: government officials....

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 2:16pm

      Re: I can remember

      Oooh! There's a thought!!

      Any child who shows a tendency to go for whack-a-mole games could be targeted for additional instruction in critical thinking skills!

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: I can remember

        "Any child who shows a tendency to go for whack-a-mole games could be targeted for additional instruction in critical thinking skills!"

        Too late, they're already off to Fort Bragg, Langley, Calcutta, and Sony BMG for early training on how to get those moles, get 'em real good like....

         

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    Yakko Warner, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    A global oxymoron

    Proving that, no matter the country, "intelligence officials" is a contradiction in terms.

     

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    Jackie, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 8:07pm

    I was just in India last year and would Skype with my family at least once a week. This is a real shame.

     

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    Mahendra Palsule, Oct 13th, 2009 @ 10:13pm

    Look at both sides of the issue

    I'm sorry that you're not looking at the complete picture.

    There is an alternative: Skype needs to share its encryption code with the Indian authorities, after which there is no issue.

    Why don't you ask why Skype can share it's code with US and China governments but not India? India doesn't usually engage in Internet censorship, unlike China.

     

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      ssubs, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 3:57am

      Re: Look at both sides of the issue

      EXACTLY.
      This isn't a case of a government trying to censor legitimate methods of communication - it's an issue of national security. If Skype has been willing to share information with other goverments in the past, why not India?

       

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        Kevin (profile), Oct 14th, 2009 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: Look at both sides of the issue

        Even if Skype were to share their encryption code, if it's properly implemented knowing how the software is written will not allow for eavesdropping.

        For that, Skype would need to share their encryption keys, which they won't admit to having shared with any outside agency.

        You think Skype pisses them off, wait until people start using Zfone in any substantial way.

         

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      Peter Parkes (Skype Blogger), Oct 14th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

      Re: Look at both sides of the issue

      Just to set the record straight – Skype does not share its code with the US, Chinese or any other government.

       

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    Nick Dynice (profile), Oct 13th, 2009 @ 10:57pm

    Indian developers have been using Skype for years to communicate with people all over the world that hire them. This move is a great way to destroy the independent web economy there.

     

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    www.eZee.se (profile), Oct 14th, 2009 @ 8:18am

    "Indian Intelligence" = Oxymoron

    (when describing the Indian authorities... not a person)

    at least that was my experience when I visited India last, To give them their due its a fairly consistent from the person you meet at passport control to everyone else who works in Govt. offices.

     

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    rishi, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Not the real reason

    This is not the real reason to ban Skype.

    The Indian telecom companies have been loosing a lot of money because of Skype. They are the real pressure to ban Skype.

    Any intelligence reason is just an excuse.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2009 @ 6:25am

    How to get rid of SKYPE REQUESTER

     

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