I've avoided posting anything about this, because there has certainly been enough said about it since it broke a week or so ago. Besides, Skype's denials obviously had no credibility. But now, someone has finally said what I was thinking about it all along.
Michael Robertson, of The Gizmo Project, posted in his blog that clearly states the issues, and makes a challenge to Skype. The CEO of Skype whines about the fact that censorship and monitoring are "common knowledge" in China, but GOSH, GASP, we never knew they would do THIS, Mr. Robertson says clearly that the choice is between standing up for principles that most European and Americans believe should be inviolable, and chasing the very large Chinese market by making a devil's bargain with the Chinese government.
I could go on and on about this, because I feel very strongly about it. But there has been plenty said already. All that I will add is that this gives an even more poignant meaning to what I have considered the Skype slogan to be for a long time - "Take A Deep Breath, This Is Going To Hurt". Put another way, Skype "loves" their customers so much, that they will help a repressive government ensure that they toe the party line.
The whole thing makes me ill.
P.S. Would you like to know how concerned Skype is about this? Check their Skype Security Blog. As far as they are concerned, there hasn't been a security problem since July! Apparently this spying scandal doesn't qualify as a security problem. (Perhaps it is not considered a problem, if you are doing it on purpose.) Neither does the well documented hijacking of Skype accounts and draining of credits. Odd, for a company that "loves their users"...