Internet Freedom and Regulation: The Skype Case

According to a news item in today's ToI; Skype has refused to co-operate with Indian authorities in a matter relating to the nation's internal security. Apparently, Skype has refused to share the encryption code which it uses to encrypt the data communicated over the VoIP service it provides. This encryption code will help the Indian Intelligence agencies to intercept communications and could be an important tool in the fight against terror.

This refusal on the part of Skype has prompted Indian Intelligence authorities to consider banning Skype – which again, as the article points out, is easier said than done since Skype hosts its servers outside of India.

Now, I am not a believer in internet censorship – since it is a free medium after all. But, this is a serious matter and has a direct bearing on the internal security scene in India. Further, the report says that Skype has already shared the encryption code with Governments of countries like US and China. Then why not with India? The article does not mention why Skype has refused to share the information.

I think it is in the best interests of everyone involved if Skype co-operates with India in this case. Failing which, India should consider banning the service; the possibility of by-passing the ban notwithstanding, considering the fact that China has succeeded in strictly monitoring each and every aspect of internet use in the country!

3 comments to Internet Freedom and Regulation: The Skype Case

  • We are not in the same character league as USA and China.For these two countries what matters most is the security of their country,their people.Our govts are on a different trip altogether...they will first make anew file...and then......

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, I too am vary of censorship of any kind, but internal security is rather a serious matter...

  • One more instance when a service provider refuses to cooperate with the Govt.They know that we are no CHINA and USA.These two countries worry about their country and their people's security.Our leaders worry only about their personal security only.A weak state,a soft state always will get such replies.

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