Peer-to-peer messaging company Skype is under investigation in Luxembourg over its possible links to covert government agency NSA and its PRISM surveillance programme, according to a new report by the Guardian today.
The Microsoft-owned company, which is headquartered in Luxembourg for tax purposes, might soon be facing criminal charges after the country’s protection commissioner found it may be in breach of the country’s data privacy laws.
Luxembourg’s constitution protects user privacy but allows for surveillance of information by other governments including the US if expressly allowed through a judicial panel or authorisation by the prime minister.
However, ‘it is unclear whether Skype’s transfer of communications to the NSA have been sanctioned by Luxembourg,’ said the Guardian.
Top secret documents revealed to the Guardian by Edward Snowdenin July showed that Skype worked with PRISM to enable the collection of video calls, allowing the NSA to circumnavigate its own encryption and access its
The files reportedly reveal that just nine months after Microsoft bought the company in 2011, the NSA boasted that a new capability had triplied the amount of Skype video calls being collected through PRISM since Microsoft acquired the company.
Skype has been under investigation since then, and is now coming under fire for the revelations, facing fines and sanctions on its sharing of information with the NSA.