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China Caught Snooping and Censoring Skype Messages

China Caught Snooping and Censoring Skype Messages
By now, you've surely heard of China's so-called Great Firewall, the country's continued efforts to restrict access to material that the government deems questionable. We've also covered how Skype is becoming a bit of a haven for those with questionable intents because of the difficulty of monitoring conversations there. China, however, has found a way to track at least some traffic, filtering and censoring text messages sent via Skype.

A service in China called Tom-Skype enables users to exchange text messages directly with Skype users from their phones. Privacy rights advocates at Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto have discovered that eight Chinese servers intersect every message and process it against a list of censored words and topics, relating to things like the banned religious group Falun Gong and even references to the current controversy relating to tainted milk powder. Messages that match are often blocked and archived, along with the identity of the individual sending them.

Those servers were apparently not adequately protected, enabling the Citizen Lab members to access them and download millions of messages, as well as information about the senders. Scary? Yes, very much so, as it reveals more signs that Big Brother is most certainly watching in China. [From: The New York Times]

Tags: breaking news, BreakingNews, censorship, china, great firewall, GreatFirewall, skype, tom-skype