Showing blatant disregard for personal privacy, Microsoft has been called out for intercepting, decrypting and reading private Skype conversations. According to a research project by ARS Technica, “The corporation is intercepting, decrypting, and reading at least some Skype messages to the point where URLs embedded in Skype chat are being visited by machines.”
Microsoft acquired Skype in an $8 billion takeover and has since eroded the privacy controls that were a hallmark of Skype’s communications platform. Last year the FBI requested backdoor access to allow law enforcement the ability to snoop on individuals Skype conversations.
As a Los Angeles iPad app developer it is disheartening, yet unsurprising to see Microsoft violate the privacy standards the former owners of Skype implemented. If these privacy invasions continue unabated than many of Skype’s 250 million users may start opt to use other viable alternatives.
The iOS and Android app, WhatsApp is a popular messaging platform, allowing users to send and receive unlimited video, photo and text messages over their secure network. SnapChat has also rapidly gained acclaim as user content sent via the app automatically self destructs shortly after the message is viewed.
It seems that the era of enjoying private and secure internet communications is coming to an abrupt and unceremonious end. I am confident that the iPhone app developer community will continue to disrupt entrenched interests like Microsoft by deploying safe and secure platforms that offer superior communications services.