In a post I made here earlier today entitled Skype: New third-party Skype video plug-in may be flawed, I described the concerns that at least one Skype exec has about reports that the in-beta, vskype video add-on for Skype may be sending unwanted messages to people on user's contact lists. The concerns were mentioned and somewhat detailed on Skype's own Share Skype blog.
Just got a voice mail from Stuart Jacobson, the CEO of Santa Cruz Networks- the respected multimedia collaborations solutions company that has developed vskype. I'll be touching base with him on Monday, and will report back. Meanwhile, in his voice mail message to me, he drew reference to two replies posted to Share Skype in response to concerns expressed by Jaanus, who runs the Share Skype for Skype.
The first post was made by Santa Cruz Networks CTO Barry Spencer:
"My coders love the Skype API, and we’ve been getting great support from the Skype team and the Skype community! I was the architect for the add-in interfaces to Lotus 1-2-3 and Symphony back in the 80’s – so I appreciate the challenges of building an effective developer program. vSkype is spreading in the Skype community very quickly -- however, we have not implemented any functionality which sends unwanted messages to Skype users. We don't have any bots , or any IM spamming functionality. All messages are sent on behalf of the user, with the user’s full knowledge. In fact, vSkype only sends chat messages as a way to establish communication between Skype users.
"We've offered to give the Skype technical team a detailed description of the APIs that we use, and we'd be more than happy to do a code review with someone at Skype. As an aside, we’ve been having a little difficulty with the API Access Control in Skype – our users are noticing that they aren’t always prompted when vSkype attempts to use Skype. It appears that vSkype, in some cases, is turned off by default without giving presenting the access control dialog to the user. We'd love to see this bug fixed! Finally, I would be more than happy to do a public code review of our plug-in code using vSkype's sharing feature -- to offset any concerns that the Skype community may have.
Soon after that first post, Jacobson followed up on his own with an emphatic statement declaring Santa Cruz' hatred of malware, spyware, spam and the like:
"We hate everything to to do with Spyware, Malware, Adware, and Spam. We love Skype and we are trying to create group features that add value to the Skype community. Thousands of users are on video calls, in groups, right now. Please also understand that we are totally permision based and user controlled. Just like Skype we give users the option of sharing the good news with their friends and we do not keep user data."