A newly unveiled Microsoft patent reveals that the company is planning to install a tool in Skype that would allow law enforcement agencies and governments to monitor Skype communications.
The patent, which was filed in December 2009, details recording tools that will allow anyone with access to the tool to intercept, monitor, record and store the calls and instant messages users send and receive using the VoIP service, Seattle Weekly (opens in new tab) reports.
When Microsoft announced its decision to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, many had predicted that Microsoft would do something to damage Skype's reputation and now they may have some proof.
“Sometimes, a government or one of its agencies may need to monitor communications between telephone users,” Microsoft explained in the patent application.
The company also went on to explain that the devices that are used for snooping on traditional telephone calls can’t be used on VoIP services.
“With new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other communication technology, the POTS model for recording communications does not work,” the company said.
In the patent, the company explained that the recording agent could be installed on the call server or network as law enforcement agencies require.