Lots of people are sick of Microsoft’s “scroogled” campaign, which attempts to demonize Google’s long-standing practice of using automated machines to serve you targeted advertising based on your email. That’s why some Google fans have created the MicroShafted website that details some of Microsoft’s shadier practices, but perhaps most disconcerting is the news that Microsoft appears to be looking at private Skype messages that are supposed to be encrypted.
Ars Technica has confirmed that Microsoft regularly scans Skype messages, allegedly for signs of fraud, and the company logs its results indefinitely. Although Skype is supposed to be encrypted from end-to-end, Microsoft can only scan these messages if it converts them into a human-readable form.
Even worse, Ars Technica confirmed that several links sent through Skype were being visited by people or machines that originate with a Microsoft IP address. Apparently, “security” does not necessarily equal “privacy,” at least as far as Microsoft is concerned. Additionally, Microsoft does confirm that human beings are allowed to look at Skype messages that have been decrypted, and Microsoft has not confirmed or denied whether or not it gave the FBI backdoor access to communications over Skype when it requested that about a year ago.
So much for Microsoft’s privacy campaign against Google.[Ars Technica via Venture Beat] Thanks, Paul!