Are Clouds Supposed to be Transparent?
The Economist ran a superb piece on the ability of governments to listen in to telephone conversations. While the technology to eavesdrop on land-line phones has been perfected to a great degree, VOIP calls are more problematic and Skype's are particularly disconcerting to law enforcement.
The guts of the issue is bigger than Skype. If your firm uses a SaaS (software as a Service) application, does the government have the right to eavesdrop on your financial transactions? Customer service calls? HR activities?
In fact, I have even more regard for Skype as they've developed a security method for their calls that must be pretty tight if governments are bitching about it. I like the sound of that. I want my business to stay mine. If a SaaS provider, VOIP provider, etc. had an easy to crack/hack system, I'm going to run away from that provider. I value my intellectual property and my privacy. If any government needs to see my stuff, get a valid warrant (although they'd find some pretty boring stuff - but that's another story). If a malcontent wants to poke into my stuff, I want to harden my systems and defenses as well as I can. That goes for SaaS and other solutions I use, too.
Check out the Economist story - "Bugging the Cloud", March 8, 2008