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02 March 2009, 11:32

Eurojust admit mistaken allegations against Skype

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The European Union's Judicial Cooperation Unit, Eurojust has egg on its face having, in an inaccurate press release, accused Skype of preventing law enforcement agencies from intercepting VoIP calls by refusing to reveal the details of its encryption system, a well-kept business secret. According to Eurojust, this was an obstacle in the fight against crime, as organised criminals, for example in Italy, increasingly use VoIP services like Skype. In the original release Eurojust said "Skype has so far refused to share its encryption system with national authorities."

Skype, an eBay subsidiary, vehemently denied this in the US media, saying that it long ago offered to cooperate with Eurojust. Eurojust have now issued an updated version of their original statement, confirming Skype's claims. According to this update, Skype attended an early strategic meeting on internet telephony in September 2006 and had agreed to cooperate with the authorities.

In interviews with the UK media, a Eurojust spokesperson explained that the original statement was intended as a general complaint about the difficulty of monitoring encrypted VoIP traffic. Skype's name found its way into the press release only because it is the most well-known provider of internet telephony. Skype welcomed the correction and announced that it will continue to cooperate with Eurojust and the investigating authorities, within its legal and technological boundaries.


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