China 'spying on Skype messages'
Media censorship is big issue in China and West has been demanding to free it up. Chinese government control all the information sources incuding Internet. China monitors the content on the internet and has restriction on many websites considered politically sensitive. Internet use is very high in China and Western internet companies wants to capture this growing market. But companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo alter their content to meet Chinese requirement.These companies have been criticised by human-rights groups for adhering to China's strict regulations. A new report has revealed that China even monitors popular Skype internet service.
China has been monitoring and censoring messages sent through the internet service Skype, researchers say.
Citizen Lab, a Canadian research group, says it found a database containing thousands of politically sensitive words which had been blocked by China.
The publically available database also displayed personal data on subscribers.
Skype said it had always been open about the filtering of data by Chinese partners, but that it was concerned by breaches in the security of the site.
Citizen Lab researchers, based at the University of Toronto, said they discovered a huge surveillance system which had picked up and stored messages sent through the online telephone and text messaging service.
The database held more than 150,000 messages which included words such as "democracy" and "Tibet" and phrases relating to the banned spiritual movement, Falun Gong.
"These text messages, along with millions of records containing personal information, are stored on insecure publicly accessible web servers," said Citizen Lab's report, entitled "Breaching Trust".
They said that by using one username, it was possible to identify all the people who had sent messages to or received them from the original user.