Microsoft has filed a patent that describes a “legal intercept” of VoIP communications.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/microsoft-voip-skype-eavesdropping-patent,news-11650.html

ZoomFiled in December 2009, the document was created when Microsoft may have had no intentions of acquiring Skype, but the company makes clear statements that it applies to Skype and similar services.

The patent can be seen here.

According to the patent – and it is just an application at this point – Microsoft envisions a variety of possibilities to use “recording agents” as a way to intercept, monitor, record and store recorded calls. The agent could be placed in a router, call server, or within the network of an organization. The agent can also be a software module that is placed between the call server or the network. Microsoft does not mention the recording agent to be hidden part of the client software. However, since Microsoft now owns the Skype infrastructure, that may not be a problem anymore.

The good news, depending on your view, is that the technology is only targeted to become a tool that can be requested by law enforcement. The downside, also depending on your view, is that those Skype calls may not be as anonymous as you think and your private information may actually be easily accessible by government organizations. Microsoft did not say if it already uses eavesdropping technology in Skype or other VoIP applications.

 

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