Privacy groups, activists and journalists call on Skype to document its privacy practices

A coalition of journalists, privacy advocates, and Internet activists have published an open letter to Skype and Microsoft, calling on them to "publicly document Skype’s security and privacy practices" in a Transparency Report:

1. Quantitative data regarding the release of Skype user information to third parties, disaggregated by the country of origin of the request, including the number of requests made by governments, the type of data requested, the proportion of requests with which it complied — and the basis for rejecting those requests it does not comply with.

2. Specific details of all user data Microsoft and Skype currently collects, and retention policies.

3. Skype’s best understanding of what user data third-parties, including network providers or potential malicious attackers, may be able to intercept or retain.

4. Documentation regarding the current operational relationship between Skype with TOM Online in China and other third-party licensed users of Skype technology, including Skype’s understanding of the surveillance and censorship capabilities that users may be subject to as a result of using these alternatives.

5. Skype's interpretation of its responsibilities under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), its policies related to the disclosure of call metadata in response to subpoenas and National Security Letters (NSLs), and more generally, the policies and guidelines for employees followed when Skype receives and responds to requests for user data from law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the United States and elsewhere.

Open Letter to Skype (via /.)


  1. That’s quite a wish list.  I’ve seen reports like that from Google, but I think that’s just Google being weird.  I know that a couple of other companies release a similar level of detail, but I think the norm is to keep pretty tight-lipped.  I wouldn’t expect detailed reports to become the new norm or anything.

  2. I would be surprised if this yields results, and even more surprised if the results are actually true.  Remember AT&T was handing over every damn thing to the po-po without a warrant for years and then lying about it to the public.  When the truth leaked out, there were no repercussions.

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