Attorneys have addressed Microsoft with an open letter to acknowledge and reveal the details of the isolated data that gets shared over the Internet via Skype. The co-signers, which include the agiation group Reporters Without Borders, have summarised the entire progress and have put notice to Microsoft to come-up with the information. Together with the details, Microsoft has also been urged to reveal the data about the magnitude with which governments try to get a grip over the information.
Previously Google, Twitter and other services have already published their transparency reports, though they are limited in scope. The letter brings out the magnanimous use of Skype as a tool used for communication basis. It also brings forth the statistics that around 600 million people, all over the globe, access this software and use it for voice, video and chat. This signifies its importance.
The letter goes on to address the fact that many users have secured communication over this network. For example, activists who operate in countries that are governed by authoritarian administration, journalists who communicate with some sensitive sources and users who have a confidential talk with their business associates or near and dear ones.
According to the letter these users and even those people who advise them, “face of persistently unclear and confusing statements about the confidentiality of Skype conversations, and in particular the access that governments and other third parties have to Skype user data and communications.”
There are many details that the campaign group is looking forward to obtain from Microsoft. Some of them are:
- Detailed analysis of the requests of governments from various countries that are made for data and also the percentage that the company complies them with.
- A synopsis of what information Microsoft upholds and keeps with itself.
- The firm’s policy with which its staff deals with such disclosure demands and requests.
- An internal analysis from Microsoft that states the current standing of third-parties to arrest and hinder conversations.
From Microsoft’s point of view, the company has released a statement saying that the firm is reviewing the letter. The stakes for Skype had been bought by Microsoft in a $8.4bn deal, way back in May 2011.
A spokesperson for the firm continued, “Microsoft has an ongoing commitment to collaborate with advocates, industry partners and 2,112 governments worldwide to develop solutions and promote effective public policies that help protect people’s online safety and privacy.”