Beijing spying on Skype users and their messages
Two years ago Skype admitted that to enter the Chinese market it accepted preventive censorship on message containing words like ‘Falun Gong’, ‘Taiwan’ or phrase critical or against the Chinese Communist Party. But it revealed that Tom-Skype has supplied the Chinese government with names of message senders and receivers.
Skype accused Tom-Skype of changing policies without its consent.
The Tom Group, parent company of Tom-Skype's majority owner Tom Online, said in a statement that as “a Chinese company, we adhere to rules and regulations in China where we operate our businesses.”
The “confession” followed a University of Toronto Citizen Lab report that said it found a database containing at least 150,000 politically sensitive words which had been blocked by China.
For years major Internet companies have had to accept preventive filtering of information and e-mail in order to operate in China.
Last year Yahoo! was at the centre of an international scandal for providing Chinese police with the names of some of its subscribers who had published online articles on democracy.
At least two of them, journalist Shi Tao and writer Wang Xiaoning, were sentenced to ten year in prison for divulging “state secrets on the Internet.”
Thanks to a decision by the US Congress that bans companies from helping Chinese censorship, Yahoo! was forced to a pay a huge fine to the families of the two aforementioned prisoners.