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Skype denies privacy changes

7/31/2012

Recent rumors regarding allegations that Skype and law enforcement agencies have teamed up to spy on citizens' video chats are untrue, a social media outlet executive wrote in a blog.

“Some media stories recently have suggested Skype may be acting improperly or based on ulterior motives against our users' interests. Nothing could be more contrary to the Skype philosophy," wrote Mark Gillett, chief development and operations officer at Skype.

Since Microsoft acquired the company in 2011, Skype has developed "supernodes," powerful computers that act as a directory of users so they can find each other. Before the acquisition, the supernodes were deployed to data centers and third-party providers, but now, they are diverted to Microsoft data centers.

The move has spurred user questions about the company's privacy policy and terms of use, but the Skype executive's blog aimed to ease those concerns. Many had worried that law enforcement officials would be able to more easily access video chats to be used to detect terrorism and other threats of violence.

Nevertheless, the Skype executive said the company has always had a team of employees to respond to law enforcement requests. The team does so "where legally required and technically feasible," he wrote.