The NSA has had the ability to wiretap video calls on Skype for about a year, says CNET News. According to documents obtained by the Guardian–part of the Snowden cache–intelligence analysts made the audio-to-video breakthrough in July 2012. “The audio portions of these sessions have been processed all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete ‘picture’.”
The revelations come as part of yesterday’s news that Microsoft handed over user messages to the NSA without putting up much of a fight.
Although Microsoft claimed in a transparency report that it handed over no audio or video content to the police from its VoIP subsidiary in 2012, the actual words used were “law enforcement requests,” a term which does not cover the FISA courts’ jurisdiction. Yesterday, Yahoo revealed that it was attempting to unseal files from a 2008 case regarding government data gathering. These revelations will be a PR blow for Microsoft, which has had a torrid time of it this week.
Skype, a London-based startup, was bought first by eBay in 2008 before Microsoft took it over in 2011 for $8.5 billion.