Meanwhile, I received an email today from Skype telling me that all phone calls made via Skype from anywhere in the US and Canada to any phone number in either country are now free for the rest of 2006. (They were previously about two eurocents a minute.) Since Skype phone calls are encrypted, this may or may not be related to what’s going on in the NSA revelations, but it’s very interesting. Notably, since Skype calls can be made from public wifi points, this bypasses both wiretapping and casual attempts at an IP trace. And it will probably lead me to buy less cell phone minutes. How many millions of others will do the same?
Only downsides that I can think of are that my laptop is not available while walking around (but PocketPC PDAs are, and are Skype compatible), and that SkypeOut calls don’t provide a caller ID, which strikes me as marginally unprofessional for business calls.
These are minor knocks, and it might move millions of phone calls into encrypted channels. I’m trying to wrap my head around how huge this might be.
Addendum: Apparently, reporters at ABC News are being individually targeted to find out who they are calling.