Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype

If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it might help to picture an almighty telephone and mail company. This company can not only spy on your private conversations and has total control over them, but it also forces you to use it. It owns the telephone lines and all mail transportation and does not let other companies use them. At the same time, you are bound to only use their telephone and mailboxes. Despite of these facts, more and more people are using Skype and even begin using the word “to skype” as a general term for talking and chatting over the internet.

Concentrating a lot of power in one single uncontrolled entity always leads to abuse of those powers, and Skype is not an exception. The following ten arguments should convince everybody to boycott Skype once and for all.

1. Skype Gets Around Your Firewall

It has been found out that Skype uses cracker techniques to circumvent your firewall. There may be security problems introduced by the holes Skype punches in your firewalls. If you are an administrator of a network for instance, you may have a hard time keeping it secure and Skype out of it.
Update: It has correctly been pointed out that many other programs also use this technique and that it might be legitimate behavior.

2. Skype Uses DRM

Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is used to put restrictions on the users of technologies. These restrictions control what you can and cannot do with your computer and your files. The feature Extras Gallery of Skype uses this DRM and accesses confidential data which identifies your computer for this purpose. Skype is also helping developers to employ DRM. This alone is already a good reason to boycott Skype.

3. Skype May Slow Down Your Internet Connection

More and more universities are trying to ban Skype because it can become a so-called “supernode” and relay traffic from many Skype users over your computer. This way all your bandwidth will be eaten up which means that your computer and your internet connection will get really slow. Just by using Skype you agree to that policy in paragraph 4.1 of the Skype EULA.

You hereby acknowledge that the Skype Software may utilize the processor and bandwidth of the computer (or other applicable device) You are utilizing, for the limited purpose of facilitating the communication between Skype Software users.

4. Skype Prevents Competition

The hardware manufacturer Logitech conspired with Skype and gave users with non-Logitech products worse video-call quality. Another big company, Intel, cut a deal with Skype to provide advanced conference-calling features exclusively on PCs that run Intel chips without any technical reason. Its competitor AMD filed a lawsuit against Intel.

But Skype does not only provide “better service” for users that buy at certain companies. It also does not allow competition in its own field of telecommunication. There is no Skype for many mobile devices or for other operating systems like GNU/Linux on different computer architectures. And even for normal phone calls, you cannot use a different company. Thus, there is no competition, high prices and bad service.

5. Skype Restricts Our Communications

The Financial Times reported that Skype had admitted back in 2006 that it has been censoring text messages in China. If Skype is able to censor certain messages, it also knows the contents of the messages we send. Nobody knows what messages they are going to filter or archive next. This not only restricts our communications, but also raises substantial privacy issues.

As stated in paragraph 2.5 of the Skype EULA, they also can decide to exclude you from using Skype:

You acknowledge and agree that Skype, in its sole discretion, may modify or discontinue or suspend Your ability to use any version of the Skype Software, and/or disable any Skype Software You may already have accessed or installed without any notice to You, for the repair, improvement, and/or upgrade of the underlying technology or for any other justifiable reason, including but not limited to, circumstances where You, at Skype’s discretion, are in breach of this Agreement

6. Skype is unreliable

The Skype service relies entirely on some secret peer to peer structure. This structure can cause severe problems up to failure of the entire service. That happened in August 2007 when Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately three days. The official Skype blog blamed the Windows Update Service and Washington Post quotes a Skype executive saying “that the problem was caused by a flaw in Skype’s four-year-old software and that it was unclear why the problem had remained dormant until this week”. Others speculated that Russian hackers might be responsible. The real cause of the outage was never revealed.

7. Skype is Insecure

Since Skype came into existence, multiple security vulnerabilities have been reported. In the beginning of the year 2008 the video chat feature had to be blocked completely in order to protect computer users. Many security holes enabled attackers to execute arbitrary code on the Skype user’s computers, thus taking complete control over them. There are also many worms that dug their way through the Skype network and stole user passwords.

Of course, other programs have also security vulnerabilities, but Skype not only refuses to make independent security analysis possible, it even works hard to prevent such analyses (PDF). Recently there were a lot of speculations about a back door in Skype, because the Austrian government officials admitted it is easy for them to eavesdrop on Skype conversations.

Update: A Skype flaw revealed users’ location, file-downloading habits.

8. Skype Locks You In

The company behind the Skype service does its very best to prevent other companies and interested individuals to understand how it works (PDF). Indeed, they want to keep the total control over the service and not having competitors which could offer better programs and devices. By doing so, they almost managed to establish a monopoly for modern telecommunication over the internet; if you have a monopoly, you can stop caring about your customers.

A discussion thread in the official Skype forum indicates that the Skype company blocked the accounts of many paying customers for no apparent reason. Another thread highlights, that most GNU/Linux Users are fed up with Skype, because Skype only released unstable beta software full of bugs for GNU/Linux. Unfortunately, most of them think that they still have to use Skype, because all of their friends are using it.

What Skype does to you is called vendor lock-in: they lock you into using their products only. You are limited to either using proprietary software phones or very expensive Skype hardware. Both give total control to Skype and prevent free communication. Therefore, it is time that people stop ask their friends to “skype” with them and stop using Skype themselves.

9. Skype Spies On You

Only a small error in the 64-bit version of Skype revealed that it has been reading our Computer’s BIOS and Motherboard Serial Number. An analysis of researchers from Columbia University (PDF) has shown that Skype makes your computer contact a Skype server at least once after the program has started. It will submit your IP address and program version that can be used to personally identify you. Another analysis of Skype (PDF) demonstrates that it is using a lot of sophisticated techniques to conceal what it is really doing with your computer. Not knowing what a program does with the information it processes is a huge problem for privacy. There is no way to know if there is or if there will be a back-door in the program.

Skype has the keys to decrypt our calls and conversations. In October 2008 the New York Times reported that Skype had built a huge surveillance system in China that monitored and archived Internet text conversations sent by its users. They were searching for politically charged words related to Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, the Chinese Communist Party and milk powder. Texts containing these words were censored and sent to a central server where they were saved for further investigation by the censors. According to the New York Times, the server archived more than 166,000 censored messages from 44,000 users in two months and also recorded international conversations. Without the initiative of Canadian human-rights activists and computer security researchers nobody would have ever known about this.

Update: The revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowen show that Skype is making “calls readily available to intelligence agencies and law enforcement”:

A Skype executive denied last year in a blog post that recent changes in the way Skype operated were made at the behest of Microsoft to make snooping easier for law enforcement. It appears, however, that Skype figured out how to cooperate with the intelligence community before Microsoft took over the company, according to documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former contractor for the N.S.A. One of the documents about the Prism program made public by Mr. Snowden says Skype joined Prism on Feb. 6, 2011.

Microsoft executives are no longer willing to affirm statements, made by Skype several years ago, that Skype calls could not be wiretapped. Frank X. Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, declined to comment.

10. Skype Does Not Respect Your Freedom

If the program Skype would be Free Software it would respect your freedom as a user of technology. Then it could be democratically controlled by a user community that would have not let all these current issues of Skype arise in the first place. If a problem would arise, it would immediately be fixed because a user community acts for the greater good. This is something Skype is not doing. Skype is about maximizing profits without respecting user’s rights. Free Software on the other hand is about first maximizing user’s rights and then still allowing profit.

Because all Free Software has an “open source” code, it allows for independent security analysis and enables everybody to fix problems. If the software Skype would be Free Software, knowledgeable users could legally remove nasty “features” of Skype such as spying and censoring users. It would also be opened to competitors. The service would improve considerably and our privacy would finally be respected. So use one of the many Free Software alternatives to Skype!

Free Alternatives to Skype

There are already existing services similar to Skype that are based on Open Standards such as SIP. They just have to be used more widely. With them you can choose what telephone software you want to use. Wikipedia maintains a list of Free Software internet telephones. If you are using GNU/Linux, Ekiga is a good choice. Windows users might want to try QuteCom or the SIP Communicator.

This open nature enables competition and improves service. Hundreds of different companies are competing around the SIP standard of VoIP internet telephony. All of them offer gratis calls inside the internet and make money with very cheap calls to landlines and mobile phones. In countries like Germany and France you can even have a normal landline number connected to your computer’s SIP phone and receive calls no matter where you are. Phone calls using these services are also a lot cheaper than with traditional phone companies or Skype.

If you are just using Skype for chatting and not making voice calls, then you should switch to the free, standardized and decentralized Jabber Chat service. Many SIP programs also support Jabber. But there are also a lot of other good chat programs like Pidgin for GNU/Linux and Windows, and Adium for MacOS.

Give yourself a push, try one of the many alternatives to Skype. Tell all your Skype friends to change too and point them to this text. Then you can uninstall Skype and make your computer more secure. Enjoy chatting and talking to your friends in private without being censored and monitored.

Update: In response to some criticism in the comments, I wrote the follow-up article Brave New Skyping World Revisited.

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73 Responses to “Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype”

  1. joerg Says:

    I think you have never used Skype yourself or you would know why it’s so popular. Your list boils really down to five things you should know about Skype. I can agree with these.
    1. skype can monitor communications
    2. skype is closed source
    3. skype does not use an open standard to communicate
    4. skype abides by the law
    5. skype has no foss alternative that can match it
    But my conclusion is different. For me there’s no fundamental reason why you shouldn’t use Skype. But be aware of its limitations.
    Now I’m gonna take your article apart. Point by point.

    If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it might help to picture an almighty telephone and mail company.
    Wrong. Skype is a personal communication application. It features instant messaging, file transfer, video and voice chat, screen sharing (mac beta and windows). It also allows outgoing and incoming phone calls to real phones for a fee. There are free and commercial plugins available to enhance functionality. The setup is very easy, because no ports have to be forwarded.
    It is neither almighty nor has anything to do with mail. Your analogy is flawed. Why don’t you try a car analogy in true slashdot free software fanboy fashion?

    This company can not only spy on your private conversations and has total control over them, but it also forces you to use it. It owns the telephone lines and all mail transportation and does not let other companies use them. At the same time, you are bound to only use their telephone and mailboxes.

    This is ridiculous. Nobody is forced to use Skype to communicate with others. Anybody can use one of the many alternatives you list at the end. The company Skype does neither own the internet nor any other infrastructure.
    If you wanted to say something along the line of: “But Skype has the monopoly on the Skype network and client software!” Almost any company is a monopoly then. Nokia has the monopoly on Nokia phones. But you can buy a mobile phone from a slew of other vendors.

    Despite of these facts, more and more people are using Skype and even begin using the word “to skype” as a general term for talking and chatting over the internet.

    Skype is the most popular client for voice and video chat, so it becomes a household name. I bet even you have used the verb “to google” (or googeln) for web search. This has nothing to do with any of the so called facts you presented above.

    1. Skype Gets Around Your Firewall
    It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! The success of Skype can be mainly explained by the easy setup. Just install the program, register and login. So it just takes a minute before you can video chat with your friends. You don’t have to have access to the settings of the firewall you are sitting behind. This isn’t only useful for noobs that don’t know how to forward ports on their DSL router. You can use Skype from any public hotspot or hotel wifi easily. Try doing video and voice chat with Ekiga in such a situation.
    You keep on rambling about the freedom of users. But you complain about a program that enables users to communicate freely.
    There may be security problems introduced by the holes Skype punches
    This is FUD. Please be specific here. What kind of security problems? Any computer connected to a network isn’t 100% safe.

    2. Skype Uses DRM
    Skype uses copy protection for commercial third party plugins. Just don’t use those if you don’t like that. They aren’t available on Linux and Mac OS X.

    3. Skype May Slow Down Your Internet Connection
    Only if are on a high bandwidth network. This because of the robust peer-to-peer technology it’s built upon. This is no problem for a normal DSL User.
    This way all your bandwidth will be eaten up
    Please point out examples, where this has occured in the real world. I have never experienced this.

    4. Skype Prevents Competition
    Logitech conspired with Skype and gave users with non-Logitech products worse video-call quality. Another big company, Intel, cut a deal with Skype to provide advanced conference-calling features

    This isn’t nice of them. But Skype still works with AMD chips and a Terratec camera. This is a Windows only issue.
    It also does not allow competition in its own field of telecommunication.
    I don’t know what world you are living in, but I can still use MSN for videochat and my landline to make a phone call.
    There is no Skype for many mobile devices or for other operating systems like GNU/Linux on different computer architectures.
    Skype is a company that has to make money. Because, imagine that, their developers need to eat too. They support all platforms, that actually have a worthwile userbase. For Desktop OSs: Windows, a lot of x86 Linux distros (11 different version on http://www.skype.com/intl/de/download/skype/linux/choose/), and Mac OS X PPC and x86. Linux only has a desktop marketshare of around 1%, so it’s nice of them to even support that. What do you expect? Support for debian/HURD on sparc, OpenBSD on alpha, BeOS on ppc, SkyOS, and Amiga OS on 68k would be moneysinks.
    Mobile OSs: Windows Mobile, Sony PSP, Nokia N800, Apple iPhone OS are supported. Of course they don’t support the dead in the water OpenMoko FreeRunner. Which distribution and toolkit should they develop for?

    Compare that to Ekiga, which is available for http://www.gnomemeeting.org/index.php?rub=5: Linux (sources), NetBSD, OpenSolaris, Windows. Looks like it’s not that cross platform after all.

    And even for normal phone calls, you cannot use a different company.
    Get out of your crazy pants already!

    5. Skype Restricts Our Communications
    Only if you are in China. If you are, then also your Google results are filtered and your internet is censored anyway. It’s the chinese government’s fault. Skype has to abide by Chinese law, if they want to do business there.

    6. Skype is unreliable
    The Skype service relies entirely on some secret peer to peer structure. This structure can cause severe problems up to failure of the entire service.
    On the contrary. P2P systems are more robust because of their distributed nature. A system that depends on a central server is much more likely to break down.
    That happened in August 2007 when Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately three days.
    So it was unavailable for 3 days. It’s not a replacement for your landline and Skype says so itself. Every communication system has outages at one point or another.
    Skype has been available since 29th August 2003 . So this is about 2090 days of operation. 3 days downtime mean a uptime of 1 – 3/2090 = 99,856 %. I would call this rather reliable.

    7. Skype is Insecure
    Every computer program is insecure. Popular programs are always under attack from crackers.
    but Skype not only refuses to make independent security analysis possible,
    Read this study
    Recently there were a lot of speculations about a back door in Skype
    Proof please! I cite the above pdf:
    “Beyond errors in the cryptosystem, I have also looked for back doors, Trojans, overreaching “debugging” facilities, etc. I did not find any hints of malware in the portions of the Skype code I reviewed.”
    Skype provides a security blog http://share.skype.com/sites/security/ and advisories http://www.skype.com/security/bulletins.html and a faq http://www.skype.com/intl/de/security/security/.

    And don’t start rambling about open source being magically much more secure. Remember the debian ssl fiasco from last year? Backdoors can also be hidden in binaries of oss in Linux. You have to trust the package maintainer. There have been poisoned repositories before.

    Don’t pretend Ekiga didn’t have any security holes in the past. Just a quick glance:
    Format string vulnerabilities http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=413280
    Receiving SIP RTP before media description http://www.mail-archive.com/ekiga-list@gnome.org/msg00843.html
    1056: new ekiga package to fix ekiga crash http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/rel-eng/2008-November/002768.html

    8. Skype Locks You In
    If you mean that in the sense, that there is only one company that provides client software, then this is true. The barriers to switching to another video chat protocol and program are very low though. You don’t depend on a special file format or saved data.
    If Skype would use SIP, which you like so much, it wouldn’t be able to provide such an easy setup.

    9. Skype Spies On You
    Skype makes your computer contact a Skype server at least once after the program has started. It will submit your IP address and program version
    Well that is called an update checking function. Anytime you visit a website you tell it your IP adress and the browser version number. How is this different?
    There is no way to know if there is or if there will be a back-door in the program.
    You, sir, are paranoid. This is true for any piece of software.
    Skype has the keys to decrypt our calls and conversations.
    Yes, don’t rely on a third party if you want your communication to be absolutely secure. Skype allows the police to lawfully intercept calls if the meet the legal requirements. And yes, that means they have to follow Chinese law too.

    10. Skype Does Not Respect Your Freedom
    Skype isn’t free (speech) software, that’s true. It shure would be nice if it was. Please lay out a business model for Skype, that would allow them to open the source code. They had to invest lots of money to develop the technology. They have to get it back somehow.

    Free Alternatives to Skype
    None of these give you the same features in a package that is as easy to use. Setting up Ekiga for video and voice chat is a nightmare. Ekiga doesn’t even include a file transfer function ( or screen sharing).
    I dare you to match Skype feature by feature with an foss alternative. It will be fun to see you try.

    I remember Lena telling me how long it took you two to setup Ekiga. How long was it? And did everything work in the end (voice and video)?

    You hole argument is flawed, biased, and full of FUD. It’s people like you that damage the image of free software. Be honest and talk about the disadvantages of oss too, and you won’t come across as a zealot.

  2. joerg Says:

    This pretty much sums my post up: http://xkcd.com/386/

  3. Freedom Blog » Blog Archive » Brave New Skyping World Revisited Says:

    [...] vigilant reader of my blog challenged my earlier criticism of Skype thoroughly and even though I felt his remarks could have been [...]

  4. Torsten Says:

    Hi Joerg,
    thank you very much for your criticism. I am discussing it in my latest post and hope it helps to clarify things.

  5. Martin Gollowitzer (gollo) 's status on Friday, 28-Aug-09 12:09:15 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ [...]

  6. nekem a Skype “gyanús” « /dev/blog Says:

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  7. Ted Smith (teddks) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 13:25:48 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

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  9. Odin Omdal Hørthe / Velmont Says:

    I’ve tested Skype-alternatives on my blog. It’s not looking to bright right now, but it might not be so far left before I can get people away from Skype.

    http://tech.velmont.net/i-can-call-from-my-computer-using-sip

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  17. Jan Says:

    Jabber/XMPP also supports VoIP _AND_ video.

  18. GCN (gilcn) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 13:58:04 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from choqoK [...]

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  20. duritong's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 14:03:02 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

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  21. Bernhard M. (gryps75) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 14:03:24 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

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  26. Julien [Esprit-Libre] (espritlibre) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 15:25:05 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from Gravity [...]

  27. ??????? (binyamin) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 15:25:28 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ [...]

  28. James Tait (jamestait) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 16:17:19 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from IdentiFox [...]

  29. Paul Says:

    “It has been found out that Skype uses cracker techniques to circumvent your firewall.”

    This is where I stopped reading. You’re an idiot. UDP hole punching is documented and intended.

  30. Brad Says:

    “There is no Skype for many mobile devices or for other operating systems like GNU/Linux on different computer architectures. And even for normal phone calls, you cannot use a different company. ”

    Not sure where you got this information, as I am running Skype on both my iPhone and my netbook (which runs Xandros Linux).

    Other than that, half the reasons you listed are no different than reasons we shouldn’t use Google. The other half, are just made up.

  31. Ryan Rix (phrkonaleash) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 17:00:23 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from choqoK [...]

  32. Jane Ullah (janetalkstech) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 17:28:13 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from web [...]

  33. Patrick Aljord (patcito) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 17:41:15 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from choqoK [...]

  34. I don't know Says:

    Google talk for the win!

  35. Chris Watkins Says:

    Make a usable alternative and people may start to use it – until then, these arguments are pretty much irrelevant. Most people care more about getting stuff done – including software that installs and works, rather than consuming time and causing you to pull your hair out.

    I tried Ekiga – couldn’t make heads or tails of it, and I’m way geekier than the average computer user.

  36. Robert Rhodes Says:

    I use Skype daily to talk to my kids in Zimbabwe.

    I speak Zulu so what will they listen in my conversation and get what ? There are million sype calls per minute which one will they pick ?

    Come up with a better product or shut the heck up.

    I have a Sype to SIP trunk I use .

    He is just a frustrated loser.

    I love two things .

    Google and Skype.Those are my kid’s nicknames.

    Go SKYPE

  37. Didier Misson (didiermisson) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 19:18:09 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

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  38. Samat Jain (tamasrepus) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 22:19:58 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

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  39. 10 Gründe Skype nicht zu verwenden « Kissaki Blog Says:

    [...] Mh, hab mir mal gedacht kann ich ja auch gleich übersetzen von diesem englischsprachigen Artikel auf freedom-blog.net. [...]

  40. Andrew (partition36) 's status on Thursday, 01-Oct-09 23:12:05 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ about 2 minutes ago from BeTwittered [...]

  41. mike smith Says:

    [citation needed]

  42. Links 02/10/2009: Australian Moves to GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 9.10 Reaches Beta | Boycott Novell Says:

    [...] Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it might help to picture an almighty telephone and mail company. This company can not only spy on your private conversations and has total control over them, but it also forces you to use it. It owns the telephone lines and all mail transportation and does not let other companies use them. At the same time, you are bound to only use their telephone and mailboxes. Despite of these facts, more and more people are using Skype and even begin using the word “to skype” as a general term for talking and chatting over the internet. [...]

  43. raffa's status on Friday, 02-Oct-09 10:56:13 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from firestatus [...]

  44. Juan Wuethrich (user21) 's status on Friday, 02-Oct-09 12:59:35 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from Gwibber [...]

  45. Brandon Says:

    I read your blog and was inspired to stop using Skype. I use Windows. I downloaded Ekiga, and registered a free Ekiga.sip account.

    I did the same on another computer, registering a different account.

    I could not call or video call. I appeared offline to the other computer, yet the other computer appeared online to me.

    If I want to the best quality for video calling (webcam), what software would you recommend?

  46. Arun SAG (sagarun) 's status on Sunday, 04-Oct-09 17:51:28 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] reasons why you should boycott skype: http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ (via [...]

  47. The Anarcat (anarcat) 's status on Tuesday, 13-Oct-09 18:34:36 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] @magicfab http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ [...]

  48. Torsten Says:

    Hi Brandon,

    I’m happy that I could inspire you to stop using Skype. Since I don’t use Windows personally, I can not recommend any software for you. Maybe a look at Wikipedia helps you to find something that suits your needs.

    Thank you,
    Torsten

  49. pidgin shmidgen Says:

    pidgin is a piece of CR*P!!! How hard is it to respect your “invisible” settings for yahoo or gtalk? Really? I quit using it because it installs itself like a loser virus, doesn’t give you an option to uninstall and installs other crap you don’t need! Then, it lets you use yahoo messenger while making you visible ALL THE FUCKING TIME! … there wasn’t even an option to become invisible… What the fuck is it useful for if you just want to lurk or want to avoid some contacts?

    but in the fucking hippieland that pidgin dev’s come from, everyone is supposed to love each other… maaaan! puff puff! FFS!!!

  50. Ryan Rix (phrkonaleash) 's status on Tuesday, 20-Oct-09 04:55:12 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from choqoK in context [...]

  51. Jan (smurfslover) 's status on Tuesday, 20-Oct-09 06:23:26 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://freedom-blog.net/2009/03/14/ten-reasons-why-you-should-boycott-skype/ a few seconds ago from choqoK [...]

  52. Pat Kirk Says:

    Monopolies should always be watched, the man who wrote this blog is right in looking at Skype critically, even if he gets it wrong in some instances. Still some questions were answered by Joerge like a politician, meaning not at all.

    With regards to the Zulu speaking guy who believes his language is sooo unique that nobody will realise if he is talking about kiddie porn or not, I advise you think again mate. This is why it can be good that telcos can check messages, on the other hand should you suffer in a country with an oppressive regime you would wish that Skype had made enough money to put up a bit of a resistance.

    I for one have tried to reply to a person criticising Skype on their forum and it was impossible. They are so paranoid of criticism that they are not only watching their forums like hawks but the web in general using marketing companies who employ people like Joerge (above). Joerge could be working for Skype who knows. But for whomever he is working for one point stuck with me, but Skype is equally guilty as Facebook and other peering systems – harvesting my contacts, I hate it.

    Check for example the Skypeout mobile rates, there are many companies that are far cheaper than Skypeout and far more convenient, such as http://www.kangatel.co.uk, even BT is cheaper.

    Why I wonder is Skype so paranoid if they believe that there offer is perfect, why are they stalking people who set up blogs like this one. Does anyone have an answer?

  53. Peter Says:

    Skype IS a bandwidth hogger – you can see here how bad it is: http://perfprotector.blogspot.com/2010/07/there-is-bandwidth-hogger-in-my.html

    Skype completely hogged the machine for days, opened almost 700 active network connections!!!
    The graph in this blog shows the behavior of skype during 9 days – it’s amazing to see how skype uses our machines

  54. numptyboy Says:

    joerg point 3 ?
    have you checked the bandwidth that skype uses ? i have played online games for many years useing teamspeack ,ventrillo ( do a free servce for up to 6 user confrence call)
    some freinds started to use skype so i joined them (baaaah in a sheepy voice:)
    i had no problems at all intill i realised that from my 300mb for a 10 hour playing sesion with vent or team it had esculated to a whoooooping 1 gb,
    so you say it isnt hungry ? this is all can be proven just check it out :) this was the avarge for the 10 hours i dont know if the same rate is applicable for shorter calls ? also i did notice lagg on my network not always with the comp useing skype at the time ( i know of parents that moan when there nippers on skype also so this is not a one of)
    i dont work for anyone like mr joerg, i dont run a massive company unlike joerg who from what i read here and almost anywere there is a voice against sky in any form there seems to be a mass spewing of dirge to undermine the the individuals veiw point

    clearly there is some unsavoiry actions going on for such a mass blanket miss information
    cover by sky or relevent organistions

    i know we all want the best but at what cost ?

    if you want a choice you need to make a market for new companys not stick to your routines , ignorance is bliss till YOU get bit

    ofc they will want to listen to you they use adverts and can sell this info on to goverment to cosmetics how many pies can u stick your fingers in before they get burnt

  55. Gef Says:

    I hate Skype because they killed Fring support (or all 3rd party support?). The Skype client is bloated and shitty, if they let us choose our own then they might not be so hated.

    Google Voice should come around (the rest of the world) at some point and at least offer a mainstream alternative.

  56. BoycottWall Says:

    Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype…

    Ten Reasons Why You Should Boycott Skype If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it might help to picture an almighty telephone and mail company. This company can not only spy on your pri……

  57. nfon Says:

    Because I like to safe my privacy, I use a VoIP Provider instead.

  58. Bobbie Rhump Says:

    I have been reading out many of your posts and i can state pretty clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your website.

  59. Geoffrey Says:

    I am in Johannesburg, South Africa at the moment and am astounded, more correctly outraged, that my Skype messages are being censored.

    I was explaining a Millers beer advertisement “Wear the Fox Hat” to my wife and the explanation was not being transmitted (4 attempts) because it used an expletive.

    How long has this been going on?

  60. A Call to Boycott Skype | Techrights Says:

    [...] folks promote this new list of 10 reasons to “boycott Skype” and the opening remarks go like this: “If you want to understand what Skype actually is, it [...]

  61. uea Says:

    i’d througly trash all your pitiful justifications for what skype does joerg, but i don’t have time to argue with numbskulls.

  62. Max Says:

    For the interested readers… “Skype with care – Microsoft is reading everything you write” http://bit.ly/16aoVqi

  63. Leonard Says:

    I hate that pressing the x in the corner MINIMIZES Skype. In other words, there’s an off button and a standby button and neither of them turn it off. I know I can shut it off other ways, but still that’s b*llshit and they haven’t even tried to fix it. I didn’t know they were also worthless in all these more legitimate ways, thanks for giving me more reasons to hate them.

  64. Freedom Feens Blog » 1984 is bunk! Says:

    [...] on us for marketing purposes and are utilized by the various intelligence agencies. Facebook and Skype (and Microsoft Windows for that matter) come to mind.  All those free, cool apps on your [...]

  65. knomee Says:

    It sounds bad…if its like this then which app is good for audio\video chat. is there any? without any spy?

  66. Wanted: ‘Complete’ Telemedicine Technology Solution : GlobalMed Says:

    [...] (The confidentiality issues with Skype are fairly well documented, but if you are unaware, click here. ) Now there is talk that psychiatrists and psychologists could be useful in delivering a basic [...]

  67. Wanted: ‘Complete’ Telemedicine Technology Solution - HITECH Answers : HITECH Answers Says:

    [...] (The confidentiality issues with Skype are fairly well documented, but if you are unaware, click here. ) Now there is talk that psychiatrists and psychologists could be useful in delivering a basic [...]

  68. GLC. Minecraft, Skype or me - one of us is doing it wrong Says:

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  69. Debian LIVE DVD/USB with SKYPE ?! Says:

    […] Few things to know about skype What Richard Stallman can say about skype? What is going on: Spy state shock: Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Skype, AOL, Apple all secretly sharing private user communications with NSA Regards […]

  70. Skype not working on 14.1 Says:

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  71. [SOLVED] Skype not working on 14.1 Says:

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  72. Skype and slackware64-current (post 14.1) Says:

    […] really help with your question but here: Few things to know about skype What Richard Stallman can say about skype? What is going on: Spy state shock: Gmail, Yahoo Mail, […]

  73. Skype deleted by system upgrade, now a big hassle! Says:

    […] does use a proprietary protocol other alternative programs can't interact with it. About skype: Few things to know about skype What Richard Stallman can say about skype? What is going on: Spy state shock: Gmail, Yahoo Mail, […]