TOM, Skype’s local partner in China, was censoring and tracking Skype chats, flagging conversations that could have been embarassing to the ruling junta. Originally, TOM filtered by keyword and threw out objectionable material – a good comprimise – but now it seems TOM was also storing and reporting bad messages to certain Communist Parties. Not so good. They also discovered that TOM’s system was completely unsecure and that those store messages were accesable to others.
Well, Skype President Josh is informing the world that TOM, whose software included the censorship system, is not officially part of Skype and that Skype messages – using original Skype software – are always secure and private. Clearly that doesn’t help if you don’t have access to Skype software in China but I’m sure industrious Chinese have found ways around that little stumbling block. Again, all we’ve learned is that government meddling in electronic communications creates more fools than leads.