Addressing the Russian government, Microsoft who owns the voice-over-IP and instant messaging service Skype, said that it will provide law enforcement officials with the information about Russian Skype users if required. The software giant will keep data of users during a six month period and share it with Putin’s secret police, the KGB.
Microsoft has made it clear that it will comply by providing any information about its users when necessary, if any such regulation does come into effect in Russia. These sudden changes are the consequence of last month’s terror attacks in Volgograd.
Also to keep in mind, Sochi Winter Olympics are to be held there next month. Their new bill, proposed by a group of Russian deputies in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism law states that the government can demand the “information about the reception, transferring, delivery and processing of voice information, written texts, images, sounds and any activities made by the users.”
Yandex, the leading search engine in Russia expressed its discontentment over this new bill. Yandex says that storing such huge chunk of data for such prolonged duration will require extra cost.
For those of you who use Skype in Russia, how do you feel about this?
UPDATE: Microsoft has issued the following statement to WinBeta: “Microsoft has not commented on draft legislation in the Russian State Duma or committed to sharing customer data with the Russian authorities. We have clear principles in responding to legal demands for customer information from governments around the world. We review the applicability of any new laws given that many of our internet services may not subject to local jurisdiction if they do not store or process data locally”.