|China spying on Skype users
October 3, 2008 - 11:10AM
China is monitoring the chat messages of Skype users and censoring them if they contain sensitive keywords such as Tibet or Communist Party, according to a group of Canadian researchers.
The massive surveillance operation of TOM-Skype, a joint venture between Chinese mobile firm TOM Online and Skype, owned by US online auction house eBay, was alleged by Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto research group.
"TOM-Skype is censoring and logging text chat messages that contain specific, sensitive keywords and may be engaged in more targeted surveillance," the computer security researchers said in a 16-page report.
"These logged messages contain keywords relating to sensitive topics such as Taiwan independence, the Falun Gong, and political opposition to the Communist Party of China," they said.
"These text messages, along with millions of records containing personal information, are stored on insecure publicly-accessible web servers," they said.
The researchers said they were able to gain access to the servers and discover which words attracted the attention of the Chinese authorities.
"What is clear is that TOM-Skype is engaging in extensive surveillance with seemingly little regard for the security and privacy of Skype users," Citizen Lab said.
The report, "Breaching Trust: An analysis of surveillance and security practices on China's TOM-Skype platform," was published on Wednesday on the website of Information Warfare Monitor, a joint project between Citizen Lab and the SecDev Group, a think-tank on security issues based in Ottawa.
Of course this is probably just a lie from the biased western media who hate China.