Skip to main content

Italian police say criminals turn to Skype

Charlie says 3kg on the nose please mate

In what is surely this week's biggest "Duh!" moment, Italian police have let it be known that they believe criminals are avoiding their telephone wiretaps by scheming on Skype instead.

The Milan polizia have announced that they were listening in on a landline call with a suspected cocaine dealer until he told his colleague to switch to the VoIP network to get the full details.

No way in

Since Skype relies on 256-bit AES encryption called Rijndael with trillions of possible keys, the coppers found themselves at a dead end.

Naturally, lawmakers worldwide have long insisted on finding a way around this for investigative authorities, although the system remains secure for now.

New legislation

Cynics might point out that the Milanese disclosure comes at a time when new draft legislation to restrict the use and reporting of police wiretaps is under scrutiny.

Silvio Berlusconi's government is currently seeking to restrict how investigations using phone-call evidence is made public by the media. Doubtless, more than a few politicians will be keen on stemming the embarrassing leaks that Italy holds so dear.