Italian Cops Complain That They Can't Listen In On Skype

from the attention-criminals dept

Italian police are complaining that criminals there are increasingly turning to Skype to communicate, having discovered that it's essentially impossible for the cops to listen in on their conversations. Italian police aren't the first to notice this: German authorities were caught talking to a vendor that offered some cumbersome Skype-tapping software, while Skype itself didn't deny that the Chinese government had the ability to monitor Skype conversations. Lots of countries have banned Skype, often to protect the revenues of incumbent (or state-owned) telecom operators, but its encryption -- apparently strong enough to frustrate police around the world -- could provide more ammo for future bans, particularly in repressive nations. Italy, though, could be an interesting place for this battle to play out. While police there love their wiretaps, politicians don't: after a number of political figures have been embarrassed by leaked recordings of their conversations, they're trying to change laws to limit the cases for which wiretaps can be used, and to bar the reporting of details from wiretaps until after convictions are delivered in criminal cases. Perhaps instead of trying to change the law, Italian politicians could just start talking on Skype instead.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    icepick314, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Ask China Nicely??

    so what's stopping Italian government asking Chinese government on how to tap Skype???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Ask China Nicely??

    language barrier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    NSA can

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Peter Parkes (Skype Blogger), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 3:41am

    TOM-Skype vs. Skype

    The version of Skype referred to in the article which allows the monitoring of Skype conversations is that available from in China. Skype-to-Skype calls, instant message conversations and file transfers made with standard versions of Skype, available from, are completely secure and private.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Do you really think we would know if our govt. can listen in on Skype?

    Why do you think the NSA has a bigger budget than the CIA and FBI combined? You think all that fenced in land with very few above ground buildings are growing mushrooms?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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