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Canadian Researchers have claimed to find a large database, or surveillance system, which reveals China's storage of personal user data and filtering of conversations on Skype.

Citizen Lab, a research group based at the University of Toronto, claims to have found a database of information sent through Skype, consisting of thousands of politically sensitive words which had been blocked by China. Along with stored messages, the database also revealed personal data of Skype users.

The Canadian researchers found over 150,000 messages, which had been saved on the system after being sent through Skype’s modes of telephone and text messaging. “Democracy” and “Tibet” are examples of sensitive words found in some of these stored messages. Some also made reference to Falun Gong, a banned spiritual movement.

Personal data on Skype’s users also existed within the surveillance system. According to Citizen Lab, when entering one username into the database, it was possible to view all the people who had contact with this one user, whether those in contact had acted as a sender of messages or a recipient.

In their report entitled “Breaching Trust”, Citizen Lab continued to explain this lack of privacy; "These text messages, along with millions of records containing personal information, are stored on insecure publicly accessible web servers."

Skype, run as Tom-Skype in China, exists as a joint venture between eBay and TOM-Online, a private Chinese Internet company. Although Skype had always been open about its Chinese partners’ monitoring of information, it did share concern of breaches in the site’s security.

Citizen Lab went on to describe Tom as clearly "engaging in extensive surveillance with seemingly little regard for the security and privacy of Skype users".

According to Josh Silverman, Skype President, China’s surveillance was “common knowledge” and Tom Online “established procedures to meet local laws and regulations” including “the requirement to monitor and block instant messages containing certain words deemed offensive by the Chinese authorities.”

Silverman also explained that Tom Online's policy previously included blocking specific messages and then deleting them. He said he would be investigating why the allowance came in for the company to store those messages, rather than to dispose of them.



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RE: This is news?
By omnicronx on 10/8/2008 10:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are like Mexicans, its not only one or two, it is usually the whole extended family.
How on earth do you think your family came over? In pieces? One at a time? I can see you are not trying to say this in a derogatory way, but immigration today is not so different than it was 250 years ago. And lets face it, up until the 40's it was damn impossible for Chinese and Japanse families to get into north america. Canada for example used to have a head tax that was 15x20 the amount of the average yearly salary for a Chinese person to bring one family member to Canada.
quote:
(and many times nicer than these native born Americans who expect everything to be owed to them).
This is because most immigrants do not take what they have for granted, I can't say the same for many North Americans.


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