The Times of India reported on Saturday that VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) service provider Skype is likely headed for a standoff with the Indian government after it refused to part with its encryption code.
The country’s intelligence agencies have been asking the government to ban or regulate VoIP services such as Skype as conversations over these networks cannot be monitored and this is perceived to be a security threat. The story says the government has decided to ban the service in India, but hasn’t decided on a date for it.
The situation is reminiscent of a long standoff last year between the government and Research In Motion, Inc., the Canadian maker of the Blackberry smartphones. The government had demanded access to the encryption key to be able to intercept emails sent between two Blackberry phones.