Privacy advocates are sounding the alarm bells as approval for a Microsoft patent filed in 2009 finally sees the light of day. To 'make matters worse', the patent called "Legal Intercept" may also be making its way into everyone's favourite VoIP application - Skype.
The spy-tech patent filed with the US patent and trademark office would apparently allow for currently existing products to be modified to “cause the communication to be established via a path that includes a recording agent”. Once said communication was established, the agent would then be able to “silently record” a conversation.
With just over 200 million users, a lawful interception program embedded into Skype would give law enforcement (and governments) access to a very powerful monitoring system indeed. So what choice do you have? Well, you could uninstall Skype or set up your own encrypted VoIP gateways. Or you could just get used to the idea that Big Brother is listening. The days of operating on the Internet anonymously are probably soon coming to an end (if it hasn't already).