Skype Users Beware: Big Brother May Be Listening

How do terrorists who know they're being monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) communicate with one another? Whenever I get the opportunity to interview people in the intelligence community, I always ask this question. One of the more interesting ways, I once learned, was that some terrorists were using the blogging software WordPress.

There's a feature on WordPress that allows one blogger to write a draft of something which he/she then "saves as draft" but doesn't publish. Along comes a second blogger, with proprietary access to the WordPress account, who then reads the draft written by the first blogger (in this case, terrorist), erases those words, and types his/her own message, which is then also saved as a draft. At first, the NSA had a hard time accessing the WordPress system. But then they did. For obvious reasons, I was not told how.

As for me, I talk to my sources on Skype, a software program that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet for free. The headset you need costs about $59. It is common knowledge that the NSA can't hack into Skype, which is why it's a popular tool for anyone who worries, with good reason, that the NSA might be listening in on them -- journalists, whistleblowers, and terrorists alike.

Apparently not for long. Internet technology reporter Lewis Page writes in The Register that a source at the Counter Terror Expo in London says, "America's super secret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering 'billions' to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic."