25 July 2008

Open Source Skype Scuppered

I don't use Skype much, so news that it probably has a backdoor that lets others (hello, secret services) eavesdrop doesn't much concern me personally. But it's regrettable for several reasons.

First, obviously, that such a flaw should be built in is bad. It weakens the product - crackers of the world are doubtless firing up their Skype programs even as I write - and suggests an extremely patronising attitude to users. But I think there's another, less obvious, problem with this revelation.

For some time, people have been talking about getting Skype to go open source: you can now forget that. If there really is a backdoor, Skype is not going to reveal it - or let people rip it out of any released code.

Ah well, there's always Ekiga....

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