Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Eurojust supports wire-tapping of Skype conversations

  • The EU wants to eavesdrop internet calls. (Photo: European Commission)

EU's judicial cooperation agency Eurojust will take the lead in finding ways to help police and prosecutors across Europe to wiretap computer-to-computer phone conversations enabled by programs such as Skype.

"We will sit together with all member states to see how this can be done technically and legally," Joannes Thuy, Eurojust spokesman told this website.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Mr Thuy stressed that the wiretapping would not affect "normal users", but would have to be carried out only as part of a criminal investigation.

Eurojust's talks with prosecutors and police officials from member states, as well as legal experts would be led by Italian prosecutor Carmen Manfreda.

"There are 30 different legal systems all across the EU, so we expect the talks to take several months before first results are presented," Mr Thuy added.

Skype, an Danish-Swedish business developed by Estonian programmers that was sold to E-Bay in 2005 and has over 350 million customers worldwide, is said to be un-spyable by intelligence services.

In its press release, Eurojust says that "Skype has so far refused to share its encryption system with national authorities."

However, Skype claims that it has "extensively debriefed Eurojust on our law enforcement programme and capabilities."

"Skype cooperates with law enforcement where legally and technically possible. Skype remains interested in working with Eurojust despite the fact that they chose not to contact us before issuing this inaccurate report," Brian O'Shaughnessy, head of corporate communications at Skype said in a statement.

The Italian anti-mafia prosecutors requested Eurojust to coordinate this initiative, pointing that criminals in Italy were increasingly making phone calls over the internet in order to avoid getting caught through mobile wiretapping.

Bavarian authorities allegedly also attempted to wiretap Skype conversations and commissioned an IT firm to do this, but were not successful, according to documents obtained by Piraten Party, a movement promoting Internet freedom.

According to Eurojust, customs and tax police in Milan have overheard a suspected cocaine trafficker telling an accomplice to switch to Skype in order to get details of a 2kg drug consignment.

Eurojust retracts Skype wiretapping plans

In an apparent U-turn, the EU's judicial cooperation body has said it is not officially examining ways to wire-tap Skype and other computer-to-computer conversations.

Mladic found guilty for Bosnia genocide and war crimes

The former Bosnian Serb warlord was sentenced to life in prison for committing genocide and war crimes in Srebrenica and Sarajevo. Mladic is still regarded as a 'hero' among some Bosnian Serbs, in a country undergoing resurgent nationalism.

MEPs point finger at Malta

The European Parliament debated shady deals and rule of law in Malta after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, while the Commission wanted to avoid a "political fight".

Austrian privacy case against Facebook hits legal snag

Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems may sue Facebook Ireland in an Austrian court but won't be able to pursue a class action suit in Austria, according to a non-binding opinion by a top EU court advisor.

EU Parliament 'cookie' restrictions worry online media

The European Parliament and groups representing newspapers and magazines are at odds over how new privacy rules will affect the media, especially restrictions on website cookies - but one MEP thinks it could spark new business models.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

News in Brief

  1. Rwanda may resettle 30,000 migrants from Libya
  2. EU tax haven blacklist may include Turkey
  3. No UK 'capital of culture' city post-Brexit
  4. EU sets up natural disaster rescue team
  5. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  6. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  7. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  8. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  2. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  3. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  4. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  5. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  6. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  7. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  8. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya