[tip o' the hat to Dave Farber's IP list] Speculation abounds that Skype has incorporated backdoors so that national security agencies can listen in on Skype calls. So much for privacy.
An article posted by Daniel AJ Sokolov on the heise security site says in part:
At a meeting with representatives of ISPs and the Austrian regulator on lawful interception of IP based services held on 25th June, high-ranking officials at the Austrian interior ministry revealed that it is not a problem for them to listen in on Skype conversations.
This has been confirmed to heise online by a number of the parties present at the meeting. Skype declined to give a detailed response to specific enquiries from heise online as to whether Skype contains a back door and whether specific clients allowing access to a system or a specific key for decrypting data streams exist.
A posting on the IP list elaborates:
As to Skype. The cops said: "It is not trvial but we can intercerpt skype meanwhile". This way they burnt another pseudo argument of their superiors. Until he left office in May former minister of interior Guenther Platter had whined over and over again publicly - that they were not able to monitor skype.