Skype to be Blocked in India? Government Wants to Intercept VOIP
The intelligence agencies of India asked the government to block Skype because the VOIP company refuses to share the encryption code that will allow investigators to intercept conversations of suspected terrorists.
The Cabinet Committee on Security accepted the recommendation, but has not yet defined a date for the action. They hope to send a signal to Skype, hoping them to share the code as it did with the US, China, and other governments.
Terrorists in Munbai bombing used VOIP services to coordinate, but intelligence agencies have problems tracking them because of data encryption.
The urgency to track Skype calls stems from the fact that terrorists -- as the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai showed -- are increasingly using VoIP services.
The block may not be very effective, however. Skype can route traffic through other service providers.
Indian agencies are also keeping their fingers crossed, not sure whether the department of telecom -- with a stake in sectoral growth -- would like to lean on VoIP service providers on the issue of sharing encryption code. Besides, there's also a feeling that the government would be wary of people's response to the snapping of Skype. The free service is used by a vast majority of urban middle class Indians for communicating with families and friends spread across the world.