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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Smile and be careful: you are on China' s database

If you use TOM online (Skype's operating partner in China) be very careful.
Full chat text messages from TOM-Skype users were found on insecure, publicly-accessible web servers along with the encryption key required to decrypt the data.

This—along with "millions of records containing personal information" such as IP address, usernames, and landline phone numbers—were stored along with additional data detailing Skype users outside of China who have communicated with TOM-Skype users in China.
"The captured messages contain specific keywords relating to sensitive political topics such as Taiwan independence, the Falun Gong, and political opposition to the Communist Party of China," reads the report. Villeneuve explains that the surveillance doesn't stop there, either. According to the groups' analysis, many of the captured messages contain content that falls outside of typically-censored words or topics, "suggesting that there may be criteria, such as specific usernames, that determine whether messages are captured by the system."
So, in case you happen to be someone who regularly talks about unapproved topics on Skype, you may be flagged for further monitoring of everything you say.
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