Eurojust, which is “an EU body with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious organized crime” (at least no mention of WMDs in the official description), is about to “find a way” to wiretap Skype computer-to-computer calls.
Oh my, privacy! But wait…
According to WP, Skype employs a so-called Advanced Encryption Standart (AES) which is used in both textual conversations (chats) and phone calls. It’s AES-256 (read: theoretically unbreakable). The Standart works by issuing two keys: one is called public, the other one is private. Data (text, audio, …) encrypted with a public key can only be deciphered by having a private one, and vice versa. Also, it is impossible to find out what the private key is by only knowing the public key. Yes, that’s serious business.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Skype is different from other instant messaging networks (i.e. MSN) as Skype network is decentralized and based on peer-to-peer (P2P) connections. This means that there is no such single server that would receive all the user calls and conversations.
Imagine a post office; when you send a letter my snail-mail, you have to put it in an envelope and get it to the PO box; then, the post organization in your country collects all the letters from the boxes they own and forwards them to the addressees. But that’s MSN. Skype is more like a, dunno, manually driving to your friend’s house with a letter so you can directly pass it to him/her:
The problem with an Eurojust’s idea to intercept Skype communications (or maybe with Eurojust itself) is that there is technically no way how they can do that. If I’m A and the person I’m calling to is B, then my computer (or any other Skype-enabled device I’m using) encrypts my voice with B’s public key, and only B can then decipher it. All they can get by wiretapping somewhere in between our chitchat is AES-256 encrypted data, and no, putting a billion Euros on decent deciphering hardware wouldn’t work - it could still take up to three octillion (that’s number ‘3′ and 48 zeroes) years to do a single message. Forcibly breaking into Skype Technologies offices in Tallin, Estonia wouldn’t help much either - all Skype servers know about is who and when logs in or logs out.
So, my message to Eurojust:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA GOOD LUCK!
No war to fight today, just stupidity. Good night.