Media reports suggested infrastructure upgrades had made it easier to hand on users' chat data.
According to a company executive, Microsoft's Skype didn't make changes to its system 'in order to provide law officers greater access' to its members' conversations.
Earlier reports this month suggested that Skype, the voice and video service now part of Microsoft, changed its policies to help law enforcement snoop on calls.
Now, Mark Gillett, chief development and operations officer at Skype, said in a blog post that the changes were made "solely to improve user experience and reliability".
However, he added that the company would pass on messages to law enforcement when "appropriate".
Here's a little background:
Well, according to Skype's blog post, it is "false" to believe the changes it had made allowed the company to monitor and record audio and video calls, and that while its servers helped members locate each other and maintain quality, the actual call data usually bypassed its equipment going directly from one users' equipment to another.In May 2012 the issue was revived after security researcher Kostya Kortchinsky blogged that the firm had changed its "supernode" policy.
While in the past Skype had relied on users with high-spec systems to help its members' computers locate each other when a call was made, the firm had now switched to a system in which all such connections were made using in-house servers.
This prompted posts on some blogs linking the the move to the earlier surveillance patent which were then followed up by the news site Extreme Tech.
Reports in the mainstream media including articles by Forbes, and The Washington Post followed.
The latter said industry and government officials had told it that Skype "has expanded its co-operation with law enforcement authorities to make online chats and other user information available to police".
It said its sources had spoken to it "on the condition of anonymity".
That's right, he suggested it would be possible to pass on messages in some instances..."Skype to Skype calls do not flow though our data centres and the 'supernodes' are not involved in passing media (audio or video) between Skype clients," wrote Mark Gillett, the firm's chief development and operations officer.
But he added that group calls including more than two parties were an exception, "where a server aggregates the media streams (video) from multiple clients and routes this to clients that might not otherwise have enough bandwidth to establish connections to all our partners".
So, there you go. You should be carfeul anyway when using the service."In order to provide for the delivery and synchronisation of instant messages across multiple devices, and in order to manage the delivery of messages between clients situated behind some firewalls which prevent direct connections between clients, some messages are stored temporarily on our (Skype/Microsoft) servers for immediate or later delivery to a user," he wrote.
Check out the full blog post from Skype at the links below!
NEWS SOURCE #1: Technology #19012415 (via) BBC
NEWS SOURCE #2: What does Skype's architecture do (via) Skype
Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news item!