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Beware: Microsoft is reading your supposedly private Skype messages

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Despite its end-to-end encryption feature, conversations made on Skype aren’t as secure and private as most of its users think. A recent report by Ars Technica shows that Microsoft is snooping over Skype messages.

In a test that was coordinated with security researcher Ashkan Soltani, Ars sent four URLs through Skype and found that two of them were accessed by a computer with an IP address owned by Microsoft. An earlier experiment was conducted by The H Security and showed similar results. Both tests are proof that Microsoft is no doubt reading and monitoring Skype messages. Even if Skype currently employs 256-bit AES encryption to secure end-to-end communications, Microsoft is capable of decoding the encrypted messages and turning them back into their human-readable form.

Related: Microsoft Will Drop Support for Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 in 2014

If you have read Skype’s privacy policy, you may be aware that Skype may use automated scanning in order to identify malicious links. Furthermore, there are also rare situations where Skype performs manual reviews of instant messages for the same reasons. But given as it’s a lengthy disclosure on how the software giant handles the confidentiality of personal data, the privacy disclosure is something that most users have ignored.

To be fair, Microsoft’s monitoring behavior is understandable. After all, it has to ensure that its VoIP service is not taken advantage by ill-intended users. At least now you’re aware that your communications may be read by someone other than their intended recipients, not exactly as private as you previously might think. Perhaps it’s time to search for another messaging service if you want more privacy.

[Source]

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