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Microsoft May Add Eavesdropping To Skype

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-heard-that dept.

Microsoft 218

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Microsoft patent application that reaches back to December 2009 and describes 'recording agents' to legally intercept VoIP phone calls. The 'Legal Intercept' patent application is one of Microsoft's more elaborate and detailed patent papers, which is comprehensive enough to make you think twice about the use of VoIP audio and video communications. The document provides Microsoft's idea about the nature, positioning and feature set of recording agents that silently record the communication between two or more parties."

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GNU VoIP (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585252)

It's coming soon...

And it *also* implements intercept (3, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585492)

So yes, it implements intercept. Obviously. Just try to sell a VOIP PBX to an operator without intercept.

I would be amazed if skype didn't implement intercept yet.

Re:And it *also* implements intercept (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585900)

I would be amazed if skype didn't implement intercept yet.

This. Anyone who assumed in the first place that a service accessed with a closed-source app with a secret encryption scheme going through a bunch of servers you don't control was secure is an idiot.

Sure, but how will Microsoft abuse it? (2)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586014)

Most of us don't compete in some way against Skype. Many more software companies do compete with Microsoft. I wonder what safeguards are in place to prevent Microsoft from abusing the power of having such wiretaps.

Re:Sure, but how will Microsoft abuse it? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586360)

Uhh... try the law?

Microsoft may have the technical ability to intercept private conversations, but it doesn't have the legal authority.

This should be no more worrisome than your telephone companies building in tapping capabilities, in order to comply with the federal CALEA law. And I'm writing this even though I think the CALEA law itself is a bad idea...

What it boils down to, is that it would almost certainly take law enforcement intervention in order to do a legal interception of a conversation. The fact that it is happening over the internet doesn't change any of the basic legal principles involved.

Re:And it *also* implements intercept (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585954)

No kidding? From the comments you'd think this patent wasn't a method for one or more parties to record their video conversation, but some Orwellian upload to big-brother.Microsoft-1984.server. Ground Control to Major Tom... it's not eavesdropping if I'm 1/2 of the conversation.

Re:And it *also* implements intercept (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586358)

it's not eavesdropping if I'm 1/2 of the conversation.

That depends very much on the local laws.

Re:And it *also* implements intercept (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586212)

There is no need for amazement. Its already been covered they allow for it. I honestly don't see what the news here is. Microsoft creates yet another patent on something which is not only commonly done every day, but mandated by governments around the world.

Next on slashdot - people move and technology helps them do so.

Re:GNU VoIP (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585514)

What ever happened to PGPfone? That's what we need a GNU equivalent for.

Re:GNU VoIP (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585918)

SIP/IAX with encryption / through a VPN?

Re:GNU VoIP (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586118)

Answered already below:

http://zfoneproject.com/ [zfoneproject.com]

EPIC FAIL or EPIC WIN: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586308)

EPIC FAIL or EPIC WIN:

When I opened this article, the advertisement at the top was for SKYPE. When I worked @ a business journal and we produced web based articles and emails sent out, we rearranged articles to ensure that they were not right next to advertisements that were promoting/denouncing the same thing as each other.

Bad demographic ad placement, imo.

Re:EPIC FAIL or EPIC WIN: (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586346)

Total Epic Fail, man.

Re:GNU VoIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586370)

Reminder: Don't use variable bitrate codecs.

voip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585274)

Damn - I just switched over to Ooma.

A market niche opens... (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585294)

Time to start working on an audio stream encryption front end.

Re:A market niche opens... (1)

MichaelKristopeit400 (1972448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585712)

are you from 1965?

you can't encrypt it before. (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585870)

The problem with audio stream encryption is that it will be before the compression codec. When you feed uncompressed but encrypted audio into the skype codec expecting voice it either wont' be able to compress it enough to send, or very bad things will happen to the signal and it probably can't be decrypted. If you try compressing it first, then you are still screwed when you try to decrypt it.

In the 80's when CB radio took off people tried building encryptors for that but it pissed the feds off and they got shut down.

Re:you can't encrypt it before. (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585946)

Or instead of adding this Rube Goldberg contraption on top of Skype, just use any free and open VoIP protocol that already supports encryption. There are plenty to choose from.

Re:you can't encrypt it before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585988)

1) Design the encryption so that the encrypted stream is also compressible (ie "sounds like human speech"). I'm not saying it's easy. Just saying it should be possible.
2) The point would kind of be to piss off the feds, wouldn't it?

Re:A market niche opens... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586450)

Just talk in Navajo!

When can I start blaming Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585308)

Skype has been acting a bit annoying lately, and I can't figure out if I can blame M$ yet...

For example, it has popped on top of my other applications for no apparent reason and it has a large ad on the screen when it does. I'm about to uninstall it, but I want to make sure my rage is justified.

Re:When can I start blaming Microsoft? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585534)

Hey...MS can't let Apple get too far ahead in the ongoing "Big Brother" race.....

Re:When can I start blaming Microsoft? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585972)

Is this on the Linux version? The Linux version has historically been nice and tame compared to the nagware/adware-like Windows version, but I haven't installed the latest update that came out since MS bought them, I'm afraid it will be like the Windows version (which is even bundled with some stupid online game thing now).

Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585314)

Worse, they'll probably put eavesdropping in the audio path of the PC (where the DRM is now), so that no crypto software on the client end can bypass it.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585364)

Then we'll develop a mic with hardware encryption, or you can just run the audio through another box to be encrypted before running it into your main box.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586058)

That'll ruin compression.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585420)

Yep, you've really got to start worrying when one company owns the hardware, pipes and information.

To think that I thought that it was just Apple, Comcast and Google that we should be afraid of rather than the typical knee-jerk Microsoft bashing that we all have fun with.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585438)

The answer is obvious: USB encrypting/decrypting mics and headphones.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (5, Insightful)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585538)

Yes, let's encrypt some audio before running it through Lossy Compression, and hope that we can get some recognizable signal afterwards.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (2)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585634)

Sounds like a fun project for someone with much more skill than myself.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (1)

xkuehn (2202854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585896)

I think Dwedit was joking.

Lossy compression of encrypted data would mean little to no data. The other way around works.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585824)

The real problem with audio is you can listen to an encrypted stream and still discern words. Voice is inherently difficult to encrypt due to harmonics. If you can use speech to text, then text to speech with voice samples sent via side channel (i.e. USB key swapping), then it would be possible to have real encryption as well as a way to talk to someone with very low bandwidth.

The only problem with that is you could end up with this garbage [youtube.com] .

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585626)

Microsoft requires all drivers for x64 versions of Vista and W7 pass WHQL and be signed by them. If they decide to enforce eavesdropping in the audio path, they can force hardware vendors to supply it or deny them a signature.

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (2)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585842)

Nothing that a Linux install CD wont fix...

Re:Next step, eavesdropping in the audio path (1)

lordDallan (685707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586062)

What about the Mac or iOS versions?

Add one more (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585348)

To the now rather long list of reasons I need to find a convenient IP-POTS skype alternative.

They really have had a bad few months in terms of user experience.

Re:Add one more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585478)

It used to be called Gizmo. Then Google bought it and shut it down after pretending to merge Gizmo's features with Google Chat.

Re:Add one more (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586010)

Yeah I remember I was going to get a Gizmo account the very day they closed access :-(

Wow .... (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585404)

So, when they install tools for our government to spy on us, it's supposed to be a good thing.

And when they do it to help other governments we don't agree with, it's an enemy to democracy and helping to undermine the ability of peaceful protest.

Love the double standard inherent in this. Maybe we can use the stuff the US is working on to stealthily deploy an internet in places to get around 'oppressive regimes' to prevent wholesale, un-tracked monitoring of our communications.

Oh, right, if you call yourselves the good guys, it's all OK. But, make no mistake about it ... this will help the 'Bad Guys' as much as it will help the 'Good Guys' ... China wants to listen to your VOIP too.

Re:Wow .... (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585780)

Sure. But I seriously doubt that governments around the world, including the US, were going to continue to allow such a widely used piece of software circumvent existing law enforcement capabilities. Microsoft is big enough I'm sure they'd *have* to allow wiretapping, just as google is big enough they *have* to try and do something about copyrighted material on youtube. I'd be surprised if skype has been small enough to stay under the radar this long honestly.

When you're small you can get away with it. Ironically, smart criminals use the small stuff which would dodge the rules, but the police wiretap phones and everyone knows you can wiretap phones, so there must be a lot of dumb criminals. And either way, the government writes the rules, and you comply or you don't do business. You may not agree with them, but wiretapping is one of those tools that can be both a gross invasion of privacy, and enormously useful to catch people up to bad stuff, and by virtue of being the government, the government decides who can, and who can't wiretap.

Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586030)

I won't trust the US government any more or less than any other government. After thousands of years of death, destruction, corruption, and injustice caused directly by organized coercion (i.e. government), only a fool would trust ANY government. History has proven over and over again that government serves the interest of the elite who control government, not "the people" as the age-old claim goes.

Secondly, how is it possible to secretly spy on a person in order to benefit that person? In the real world, a person who spies on you is called a stalker -- and certainly does NOT serve your best interest. What makes government any different? Lip service, blind patriotism, guns, and false promises are the only differences I notice.

Re:Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586390)

When you spy on one person, it's stalking.
When you spy on everyone, it's security.

Move along, citizen.

Just FYI (Xbox Live) (2)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586444)

Just FYI, Xbox Live already does this. All data sent over the Xbox Live network is encrypted, *except* voice communications. This is to allow Federal agencies to listen-in if required.

So this isn't a big shock; Microsoft buys a VOIP product, changes it to comply with policies it's already established for VOIP products.

Think Twice? (0)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585416)

I don't think twice about using my home phone because the police have ability to intercept it.
I don't think twice about using my cell phone because the police have the ability to intercept it.
This is really is one of those situations that if you aren't doing anything illegal don't worry about it and if you do worry about it find another tool.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585464)

No. This is a problem.

The Police are supposed to get a warrant before they spy on you. It's a key element of the laws surrounding the situation. There are controls and accountability.

What controls and accountability are here?

This is a corporation abusing you in a way that you should never tolerate from a government.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585582)

I admittedly didn't RTFA but I don't see anything in the summary that suggests that anyone is planning to use this without a warrant. If MS or the police try to, that's still wiretapping and still illegal; but just developing the technology isn't inherently illegal or worrisome. Granted, that's assuming that the technology won't be abused...

Re:Think Twice? (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585858)

The Police are supposed to get a warrant before they spy on you. It's a key element of the laws surrounding the situation. There are controls and accountability. What controls and accountability are here? This is a corporation abusing you in a way that you should never tolerate from a government.

About the same as here? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy [wikipedia.org]

Re:Think Twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586002)

That's what the legal part of 'Legal Intercept' is; a warrant. Warrantless wiretapping was done by another 3 letter agency and it didn't go over very well with the public (And it was done without Microsoft's help)

Re:Think Twice? (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586072)

Yeah, because your POTS and cell carriers have absolutely no way to listen in on your conversation.

Re:Think Twice? (2)

dexomn (147950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585474)

You won't mind me remotely exploiting your systems and downloading personal files from your devices then would you? I mean, no biggie if you're not doing anything wrong. Right?

Re:Think Twice? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585532)

VoIP was that other tool. I'll want more information about this before I become too concerned, but the whole notion that if you aren't doing anything illegal why worry is just complete apologist bullshit.

There's all sorts of legal activities which could ruin ones life if people in general found out. If you're gay and not out, having people listening in to communiques with a boyfriend or girlfriend could definitely ruin ones life.

Re:Think Twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585560)

Your remark is beneath contempt.

Re:Think Twice? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585660)

This is really is one of those situations that if you aren't doing anything illegal don't worry about it and if you do worry about it find another tool.

This is the most damaging and poorly thought out sentiments that I hear of late ...

If you're not doing anything wrong, don't worry, citizen. Only the guilty need privacy. Only criminals use encryption. Upstanding people don't have secrets. We have to know everything to prevent thought crimes. We know what's best. Fuck that.

Deciding that we have no expectation of privacy is a dumb idea. Deciding that only people who are doing something shady try to guard their privacy is completely wrong-headed. You start out with fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. In theory, there is supposed to be warrants and judicial oversight to keep this in check. Lately, the trend has been to side-step all of that stuff.

There are lots of legitimate reasons why someone would expect to keep some things private ... and taking those away under is a horrible idea.

Why is everybody so damned willing to live in a surveillance society? This makes no friggin' sense to me whatsoever. And every time I hear someone saying that if I'm not a criminal I shouldn't expect privacy I just want to scream at the sheer madness of that statement.

Re:Think Twice? (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585754)

Yes, this is what allowed other governments to attain police state status.
We are heading in that direction.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585904)

On the other hand, this is just technology. Technology isn't evil or good. This technlogy has the ability to be used by evil people, but it also has some good uses. The same technology exists for phone lines, but we don't scream "WHERE'S MY PRIVACY?" because there's a proper legal framework of warrants and whatnot to determine who can spy on your phone calls. If you want the same legal protections for VOIP calls, then don't talk to MS. Talk to your congressman (or member of parliament, or the equivalent in your country) to ensure that this technology will not be misused.

Also, what I want to know is how a patent dating back to 2009, before they even thought of buying Skype all of a sudden means they are going to eavesdrop on our Skype calls. Sounds a little alarmist to me. Just because they have the technology to do something, doesn't mean they are going to integrate it into a product.

Re:Think Twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586140)

because there's a proper legal framework of warrants and whatnot to determine who can spy on your phone calls.

There used to be. Then the Bush administration threw out the warrant requirement (and of course Mr. "Change" hasn't given up that power [wired.com] ).

Re:Think Twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585930)

The point I understood, and I think/hope the OP was trying to make, is that this patent doesn't make VOIP any less secure than (for instance) a standard cell phone. The fact that technology exists to tap your cell phone doesn't mean that anyone is actually listening, and the fact that Microsoft has patented a way to tap a Skype call doesn't mean that anyone will listen to a Skype call either. I'm actually surprised that people seem to think that routing voice over TCP/IP, one of the least security-aware protocols ever, somehow magically makes it more secure than using dedicated channels.

Yes, "If you're not doing anything wrong than why would you worry" is a stupid way to put it, but I fail to see how this even registers as a blip on someone's security radar. For the paranoid, this is just proof of what they already "knew"--someone is recording everything they ever do. For the not-paranoid, this is just evidence that someone has figured out how to wiretap a VOIP call, which shouldn't surprise anyone.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586066)

Most of the people who claim "Innocent people have nothing to hide" think they THEY are the ones who'll get to decide who's innocent.

They're wrong.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586314)

So then why hasn't the country since the government has been out there with alligator clips doing legal intercept since the days of the telegram? It hasn't because there are legal requirements to do so. You have an expectation of privacy... until the judge signs a warrant saying they can intercept your communications.
If you have an issue with them intercepting your Voip then logically you must also be against lawful intercept on POTS and Cell phones. When will be staging the protests rally against those terrible government intrusions?

Re:Think Twice? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586418)

Why is everybody so damned willing to live in a surveillance society? This makes no friggin' sense to me whatsoever.

If you think people are mad now, wait until the Facebook generation is in control.

...if you aren't doing anything illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585740)

That argument has been debunked long ago.

The problem is that if any organization has access to it, then the most corrupt or infiltrated agent has access to it.

Any specific information about a person that cause them to be distinguished from the rest can be used against them, if not through due process, then by sport.

If you don't believe me, publish your contact details here.

Whether you have anything to hide in particular is irrelevant.

Re:Think Twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586068)

Well, goody two shoes, glad to hear it.

Clap.

Clap.

Clap.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586398)

Your post really is one of those situations where you cant see past your own nose.

Re:Think Twice? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586400)

The reason you don't think twice about those old techs' vulnerabilities, is that after you think once, you realize that its insecurity is inevitable.

VoIP doesn't have to be insecure; it's actually feasible to do it right, because your "terminal" is so outrageously powerful and capable in a way that couldn't be dreamt of on the 1880s.

This is really is one of those situations that if you aren't doing anything illegal don't worry about it

The reason to worry about it, even if you're not doing anything illegal, is that systems that are deliberately designed to be insecure (specifically, insecure to criminals) are likely to be insecure to others, too. If LE is listening, who else? You remember what happened to the Greek government, right?

Designing this stuff to be deliberately insecure is just plain absurd, and we ought to be thinking of it as very strange and very evil, for new tech to not be all that it can be. So yeah, of course I advocate people "find another tool." That applies to everyone, not just people whose adversarial "brother" happens to be the Big one.

You are so wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586426)

I hate sharing the world with thoughtless people like you. You enable injustice and oppression, which in turn harm me.

The worst part about people like you is how uncompromising you are about your stupidity. You staunchly refuse to listen to reason, be educated, or rub two damn neurons together and get a clue.

I hope you die young.

Patent Exclusivity (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585426)

Oh good. So Microsoft can use this patent to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on VIOP calls.

I'm _SO_ sure that's why they want it.

--Joe

What A Bullshit Story (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585442)

There isn't a shred of evidence that this will be added to Skype. Just because they filed a patent application, doesn't mean anything. Companies file for patents all the time, and is no indication that something will ever be deployed.

Bottom line, this whole headline and story is just pure speculation, and hype. In short, FUD. Slashdot and CmdrTaco should be ashamed for the yellow journalism.

Re:What A Bullshit Story (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585550)

Alternatively, there isn't a shred of evidence that Skype doesn't already have this capability. If you have something sensitive to communicate, you have to assume that they do.

Thank the patent office! (3, Funny)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585484)

Now only Microsoft products will be able to have this feature! Other developers can just tell the police that adding intercept technology to their VOIP product would be a patent violation.

No you got it wrong (0)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586008)

Step 1, MS puts this into MS-Skype.

Step 2, MS get their paid for lackeys (sorry congress critters) to outlaw any VOIP solution that does not allow Police Interception and specifically required this tech

Step 3, Enforcement. MS-Skype becomes the only legal VOIP solution in the US. ISP's are madated to block any other type of VOIP traffic.

Step 4, MS raises the price of MS-Skype by 500% per minute. Profit.

Re:No you got it wrong (0)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586446)

Mod parent up by about five million points.

Re:Thank the patent office! (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586120)

But if a law was passed stating all VOIP services operating in the USA had to have this technology, you might be forced to license the technology, of not offer your services in the United States. You might think they can't do that, but I can't see why not. You would either have to license the patent from MS, develop your own technology for doing the same that didn't infringe on the patent (entirely possible, depending on patent), or just bow out, and not offer your services. I'm sure that there's been other technologies that have been mandated for use by the government but that have had patents against them. Something off the top of my head that might fall under this would be something like airbags, which probably was patented, and is now mandate in all new vehicles, although I'm not sure if the two ever overlapped. Same goes for things like safety helmets. You can't argue that you don't want to pay for proper DOT or SNELL certification so therefore you're allowed to sell your helmets without proper certification. You either get the certification or you don't sell them. (or you label them as not approved, and nobody buys them because they aren't safe).

Time to switch to Zfone (4, Interesting)

Beautyon (214567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585516)

Zfone is a new secure VoIP phone software product which lets you make encrypted phone calls over the Internet. Its principal designer is Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, the most widely used email encryption software in the world. Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which has a better architecture than the other approaches to secure VoIP.

* Doesn't depend on signaling protocols, PKI, or any servers at all. Key negotiations are purely peer-to-peer through the media stream
* Interoperates with any SIP/RTP phone, auto-detects if encryption is supported by other endpoint
* Available as a "plugin" for existing soft VoIP clients, effectively converting them into secure phones
* Available as an SDK for developers to integrate into their VoIP applications
* IETF has published the protocol spec as RFC 6189, and source code is published

[...]

http://zfoneproject.com/ [zfoneproject.com]

Re:Time to switch to Zfone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586216)

> * Interoperates with any SIP/RTP phone

Well, "many", not "any".

http://zfoneproject.com/getstarted.html

Zfone has been tested with these VoIP clients: X-Lite, Gizmo (audio, no video yet), XMeeting, Google Talk VoIP client (but only when Google Talk is using RTP), Yahoo Messenger's VoIP client (for audio), Magic Jack, and SJphone. Zfone will encrypt audio and video for Apple iChat calls on Mac OS X (Leopard). Zfone has been tested with these VoIP service providers: Free World Dialup, iptel.org, and SIPphone. It does not work with Skype.

Recent activity on Zfone? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586348)

Apparently little has changed on the Zfone web site since 2007. The download has been unavailable since 29 January 2011. [zfoneproject.com]

Anyone have a link to a download?

Re:Time to switch to Zfone (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586386)

It seems that Twinkle [xs4all.nl] even supports ZRTP and is compatible with Zphone but the instructions I found to set it up [rayservers.com] are the perfect example of why Skype is so successful (compare with install / create account / it works... )

What'd he say? (-1, Troll)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585522)

"He said Windows is the most abhorrent piece of junk he's ever had to deal with."

"Perhaps we'll have to insert some 'noise' into his conversations."

"He also said Microsoft are a load of idiots and couldn't get anything right if their lives depended upon it."

"maybe we'll have to drop his connections or introduce some 'net lag'"

"He said working with his lap top is about as excruciating as trying to hammer out a budget deal with the Republicans in the House."

"clearly he doesn't deserve a priority channel..."

Big surprise (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585540)

Jojin and HedgeHog from Bugemos.com made a comic strip about this [trustport.com] 2 weeks ago. And it's not their first comic strip prophecy which turned out to be true.

technology and free choice between good and evil (1)

h1q (2042122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585604)

If a privacy technology is insufficient to protect pedophiles and terrorists, then it is insufficiently strong enough for me.

The quality of the technology should transcend the user's choice between good and evil, as the allegation of evil is often done by those who know it well.

Does this surprise anyone ? (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585614)

Really, I am curious. Does this surprise anyone ?

Re:Does this surprise anyone ? (1)

The Great Pretender (975978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585860)

Hasn't Google voice been doing this for a while? Otherwise how do they manage to do their voice to text?

Re:Does this surprise anyone ? (1)

hairlesshobo (2238122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36585958)

Unfortunately, this does not surprise me at all. It's kinda scary to see the lack of privacy that people in general have nowadays, but it has been a long time coming. I am a huge fan of electronics in general, but unfortunately in my opinion the line has been crossed in many ways with regards to privacy. This is just another example of how one or more corporations are able to monitor people whenever they please. I am not only referring to this this article about the possibility of Skype being recorded, but I am talking about trusting our data in other people's hands. Just like the idea of the "cloud." Enough ranting for me. I guess privacy is the expensive price most people have to pay for the sake of convenience. It truly is a shame.

why use skype when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585760)

Why use skype when there are VOIP applications that use standards, are built with open source so can be verified by others, support encryption, and are not controlled by a single large company?

Um why "add" something that's already there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585794)

Either I'm getting this horribly wrong or it has been common knowledge that lawful interception capability has been in Skype for ages. It's what made our police (in Germany) stop whining about not being able to catch Terrorist using Skype (something to that tune is also mentioned in Skypes wikipedia article btw. for what it's worth).

Also with Skypes architecture being as it is I'm wondering who could ever think Skype isn't able to intercept any phone call on a whim. Even without access to the data stream endpoints (which in the case of lawful interception isn't a problem) they can easily influence negotiation to make the talk go over a Skype controlled relay. I have yet to see any evidence to the fact that they do not have the capability to recover the keys used to encrypt the calls or influence route negotiation.

Hell they could outright patch a targets Skype to do whatever they want...

Unless you want US and potentially other countries listening in on your calls you better not use Skype. Microsoft buying Skype didn't change one bit about that fact.

How is this new? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585850)

Do you think that the US Gov't would have given license to operate to any VOIP carrier w/o such a feature?

Do you think that large companies would buy communication equipment from manufacturers w/o this feature?

I bet this is just to cover MS products (MS Communications Server or whatever it is called these days).

Don't worry, Big Brother is watching already!

PUUULEEEZZZZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585936)

Enough with these distractions. Let's get back to deriding the Chinks for not upholding human rights if you don't mind...

Patent? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36585962)

If calling a man-in-the-middle attack "legal" counts as an innovation, our patent system is more deeply fucked up than I realized...

Redphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586032)

Also you could use on Android devices the App Redphone from Whisper systems for full call crypto, Moxy Marlinspike got himself onto the terrorist watchlist for writing that app! LOL so you know it works. He must really hate to travel now.
here is their site:
http://www.whispersys.com/

downgrading skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586040)

Between this and the "Vested Stocks" issue, Microsoft is well on the way to burying another great product it purchased!
Fantastic business model!

Duh. (1)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586104)

OK, so now there is verification. But did anyone think things would go any other way?

too late now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586128)

Well, if there was no plan to do so before I'm sure that this post will be the proverbial muse M$ was looking for.

Too late (2)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586232)

For a while, transcripts of Skype calls have been showing up in German court records. Law enforcement already has got access, probably through a variety of means.

The only way this will happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586236)

is if the government first passes a law requiring ALL VoIP communication to have this recording capability in place. I don't believe Microsoft is intending to release a product here. They're just thinking about the possibility that the government might one day require it, and if so, they want to be able to make money off of it. It's not as if the concept is new, and I see no reason to believe Microsoft is actively creating a product or has any intention of doing so.

Article and post is FUD (5, Informative)

harves (122617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586250)

In other news, Microsoft may:
  * add image processing [to Skype]
  * add remote document scanning [to Skype]
  * add virtual machine technology [to Skype]
  * add clustering capabilities for seriously big high definition video technology [to Skype]

I'm quite sure Microsoft has patents on all the above, but none are alarming enough to mention. This article is FUD. Absolutely no link has been drawn between the Skype product and this patent, except that Skype does voice transmissions and this patent is for a system that intercepts them.

Also, I believe Skype uses a peer-to-peer method for communicating between nodes, which would make it hard to apply this patent to Skype anyway. The peer-to-peer nature of Skype is why the last big outage took quite a while to resolve. They couldn't just "reboot their servers"; updated software had been deployed to the nodes (ie. you) and was malfunctioning.

Re:Article and post is FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586436)

Your post is wasted on the blabbering lunatics here.

Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586416)

Is this really that big of a development? I mean how long have our landline calls been monitored?

Hey freetards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36586430)

There are already more secure alternatives to Skype. Like mumble and SIP. and they're copyleft.

The Intercept? (1)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36586474)

I thought Morgan was the Intercept.
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