Skype legal

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Luke212, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    Do you guys know if government/education/other large institutions allow use of Skype for meetings/assessments/general teleconferencing? I know there is some stigma regarding Skype's security (ie privacy). But is it a real barrier or is it overblown? If it is going to be a big problem, would you guys recommend a business alternative to Skype? Originally I was looking at big tvs/projectors style conferencing, but these days every device has a camera and I think I can steer meetings away from big conference rooms. The big Cisco setups are many thousands but really Skype does it for free and I don't want to throw away money needlessly.

    So, as mentioned, basically I would like to use Skype, but if it is seen as not-legitimate for a corporation, is there a similar system that would pass the smell test when dealing with these big organisations?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  2. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    I know plenty of Lawyers who use Skype.

    Either they are tight (most probably), or they aren't worried about the legalities/privacy of the whole thing.
     
  3. TehCamel

    TehCamel Member

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    you may find governments using Microsoft Communicator/Lync
    I know back in 08 Communicator was being used a lot for internal messaging - i assume with the way you can now federate it, it's being used cross-departmentally as well.

    Plus, if they host the lync meeting, you can join it without needing to belong to the organisation - all you need is to download software from the meeting request..
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    I did some looking around. US Congress are allowed to use Skype since 2012. That's a pretty good precedent.
     
  5. g1g@8yT3

    g1g@8yT3 Member

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    Lync 2013 is integrated with Skype now as well so you can use lync from inside your network to IM, voice or VC a skype user.
     
  6. Sphinx

    Sphinx Member

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    Aye, M$ bought out Skype.
    I was wondering when the two technologies were going to merge.
     
  7. ShaneHm2

    ShaneHm2 Member

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    2 seconds of google which isn't that hard and you can read these 2 pages.
    http://beta.skype.com/en/legal/tou/
    http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/legal/business/eula/

    Enjoy reading. If unsure ask someone else at your place of employment to go through it.
     
  8. adr_an

    adr_an Member

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    If I remember correctly, US privacy laws aren't as strict as Australia's. Also, I used to work for a government legal body and Skype wasn't allowed for our lawyers.
     
  9. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Not sure if it's still the case, but our Network guys didn't like skype because it's incredibly good at sneaking through firewalls, and used to have a habit of consuming bandwidth even when not being used (supernode).
     
  10. driver

    driver Member

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    There's a Skype GPO template - so that setting, along with file transfers can be disabled by policy.
     
  11. IACSecurity

    IACSecurity Member

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    Unfortunately you don't remember correctly, Aust. privacy laws are near pointless.

    Skype wasn't allowed for your laywers probably because their was no sufficient record of calls/interaction and with whom.
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think you'll find it's more to do with the fact that they have zero understanding of how Skype actually works.
     
  13. Tekin

    Tekin Member

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    I canz make telefone callz with computerz??

    To be honest, unless you needed to actually record the conversation, I can't think why Skype would be a problem?

    Still needs a warrant for a wiretap unless you fall under the terrorism act, and if ASIO is tapping your communications you've got bigger problems than which VOIP service to use.

    (actually, I take that back. If ASIO IS tapping your communications than the choice of VOIP service is rather important, but somewhat out of the scope of this conversation).
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Skype routes through nearby nodes (regardless of if they are on the same LAN/WAN as you or not). There are proven exploits that demonstrate both the successful decryption of audio and text streams from Skype, as well as embedding hidden messages in seemingly silent conversations.

    Regardless of warrants and phone tapping laws, your Skype conversations can be listened in on if the person doing so has the technical knowledge and desire to do so.

    With all of that said, I happily use Skype at work, because I don't really care about any of that. If I was a lawyer, depending on what type of law I was practising and who my clients were, I might care.

    Like all technical security problems, context matters.
     
  15. Tekin

    Tekin Member

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    Really? I haven't seen / read any proven exploits for audio decryption yet - a whole heap of the standard 'finding your IP', 'tracking any file sent', 'spoofing an account' etc stuff - but I didn't think there was a full encryption break.

    This one from a few years ago uses pattern recognition from word models to match to encrypted audio...impressive, but somewhat self limiting and incredibly intensive for mass surveillance (probably outside the abilities of anyone sub national security).

    You wouldn't happen to have a link would you?
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Appeared in my RSS reader just before Christmas. I'll try and dig it out a bit later when I'm not so busy.

    From memory it wasn't a released/white-hat demonstration, but rather black-hat observed. Take that for what it's worth.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    ergh IT security is hard! cant trust SSL/AES ? :upset:

    nothing is perfect tho, and as elvis says 'good enough' depends on context.
     
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    The thickest steel door with the biggest lock is worthless if the key is hidden under the mat.
     
  19. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Does your business give a shit if someone else listens in on the conversation? Does it give a shit about call/video quality?

    If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then Skype is not the answer.
     

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