Skype over the last decade has promised to protect its users’ privacy and now that trust may be destroyed. A new report suggests that the company has been working with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on customers in Luxembourg.
According to Luxembourg’s data protection commissioner, Skype is being investigated because of its privacy violations.
In a report in the Guardian the Microsoft-owned company is said to be facing criminal and administrative sanctions, including fines, if it was involved in the NSA’s PRISM program.
According to the publication the Skype group in Luxembourg came under suspicion of NSA involvement because of documents released by Edward Snowden.
In 2004 the Skype website promised “end-to-end customer encryption” but those front and center promises have long disappeared as Microsoft and other tech agencies have reportedly hopped into bed with the US government and most notably the NSA.
The Guardian also obtained a letter Skype’s corporate vice president Mark Gillett wrote in Sept. 2012, in the letter he strongly implied that Skype could easily help law enforcement agencies obtain group video calls and instant messages. Skype routes those customer platform options through central servers, but does not route one-on-one video calls from the Skype desktop client.
Luxembourg is a popular location for tech companies to operate because of a very favorable tax structure. Other company’s in the area include Amazon and PayPal.
It is still not known to commission officials if Skype obtained a “secret legal assistance or data transfer agreement” which would allow the company to legally obtain NSA sourced data from within the country.
Skype officials and Luxembourg commission officers are refusing to comment on the NSA accusation at this time.