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Microsoft seeks patent for spy tech for Skype

‘Legal Intercept’ would allow it to silently record VoIP communications.

A technology called Legal Intercept that Microsoft hopes to patent would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls. And it’s stoking privacy concerns.

Microsoft’s patent application for Legal Intercept was filed in 2009, well before the company’s $8.5 billion purchase of Skype in May. The patent application, which is still in process, was made public last week.

From Microsoft’s description of the technology in its patent application, Legal Intercept appears similar to tools used by telecommunication companies and equipment makers to comply with government wiretap and surveillance requests.

According to Microsoft, Legal Intercept is designed to silently record communications on VoIP networks such as Skype.

“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.” The recording agent is then able to “silently record” the communication, according to Microsoft’s description.

“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,” the description notes.

Read more on the Computer World website.