Microsoft wants to ‘Legal Intercept’ your Skype calls

By on July 10, 2011
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Software giant has applied for a patent that allows them to record VOIP calls.


TheBitBag has uncovered a patent applied by Microsoft in 2009 which, if approved, would allow the software giant to secretly tap into VOIP calls and monitor and record them. Microsoft recently purchased VOIP giant Skype for $8.5 billion.

The patent is called ‘Legal Intercept‘, and is described as:

“Aspects of the subject matter described herein relate to silently recording communications. In aspects, data associated with a request to establish a communication is modified to cause the communication to be established via a path that includes a recording agent.

Modification may include, for example, adding, changing, and/or deleting data within the data. The data as modified is then passed to a protocol entity that uses the data to establish a communication session. Because of the way in which the data has been modified, the protocol entity selects a path that includes the recording agent. The recording agent is then able to silently record the communication.”

As BitBag speculates, Microsoft could be looking to get Skype CALEA compliant, making the service more corporate friendly. CALEA, or Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, requires telecommunication carriers and makers of communication equipment to modify their services to ensure that they have built-in feature to surveillance voice calls for federal law enforcement agencies.

It is unclear if Skype already had this capability or not. Microsoft has refused to comment on the patent.


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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