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Skype taps into encryption debate

February 21st, 2006

Even as the U.S. government is embroiled in a debate over the legality of wiretapping, the fastest-growing technology for Internet calls appears to have the potential to make eavesdropping a thing of the past.

Skype, the Internet calling service recently acquired by eBay Inc., provides free voice calls and instant messaging between users. Unlike other Internet voice services, Skype calls are encrypted–encoded using complex mathematical operations. That apparently makes them impossible to snoop on, though the company leaves the issue somewhat open to question.

Skype, which was first released in 2003, was certainly not the first application for encrypted communications on the Internet. Secure e-mail and instant messaging programs have been available for years at little or no cost.Read Full Story

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