Some sources have told The New York Times that in the last half decade, Skype has been secretly working on a project that could allow authorities to eavesdrop on users’ calls.
Dubbed Project Chess, it was set in motion when Skype was owned by eBay and approximately 20 people were trusted to identify legal ways and the technology necessary to allow the govenrment to snoop around.
When we link this piece of information to the PRISM presentation, we can realize that Skype entered in the NSA owned surveillance system in February 2011 but if Project Chess was online, our calls may have been monitored way before the aforementioned date.
The Skype management admitted in 2012 that it was trying to comply with legal and transparent official requests to tap into users’ conversations: “Our position has always been that when a law enforcement entity follows the appropriate procedures, we respond where legally required and technically feasible.”
Microsoft, which now owns Skype, is “no longer willing to affirm” the last year’s statement, as a company spokesperson told The Register.
Moreover, Bruce Schneier, a world renowned security specialist, declared on the matter:
“Reread that Skype denial from last July, knowing that at the time the company knew that they were giving the NSA access to customer communications. Notice how it is precisely worded to be technically accurate, yet leave the reader with the wrong conclusion,” […] “This is where we are with all the tech companies right now; we can’t trust their denials, just as we can’t trust the NSA – or the FBI – when it denies programs, capabilities, or practices.”