4 October 2008

Beware of conversations with users of TOM-skype

The Information Warfare Monitor has published damning evidence of a series of worrying acts related to TOM-skype (the Chinese version of Skype) which are taking place in China. The evidence shows that TOM-skype blocks keywords from chat conversations and more worryingly spies on (and reports!!) the contents of the messages passing between Skype users. The evidence gathered, so far, indicates that 'extensive surveillane' is taking place with 'little regard' to the privacy and security of Skype users.

TOM-skype is a joint venture between eBay and the Chinese company TOM-Online. Skype denies any knowledge of and involvement in TOM-skype's additions but it has aware of the censorship features introduced by TOM-skype.

Now this is not only a concern for skype users in China but also for any other skype user who engages a conversation with a skype user in China.

CyberPanda agrees with the EFF that Skype and Ebay have to take decisive actions to put an end to such activities. In particular, Skype has a marked responsiblity towards all its users and can not evade liability by flashing the 'We did not know it' card. Finally, it should be determined to what extent the concerned parties (Skype, TOM online and eBay) have been actively backing this extensive level of surveillance.

Disclaimer: The logo used above belongs to Skype.

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