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Skype: A threat of Russian Security

Skype, the chat client we use here at Bestofmedia, is coming under fire over in Russia, as the country's most powerful business lobby--the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs--is moving to "clamp down" on Skype and other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services. According to the lobby, these services are a threat to Russian business, and pose a threat to national security.

A meeting with the business lobby held earlier this week revealed that telecom executives feel threatened by the VoIP programs because they symbolize "encroaching foreign entities" and must be controlled by the government.

"Without government restrictions, IP telephony causes certain concerns about security," the lobby's press release said. "Most of the service operators working in Russia, such as Skype and ICQ (who still uses ICQ?), are foreign. It is therefore necessary to protect the native companies in this sector and so forth."

According to Reuters, the lobby is calling on regulators to stop VoIP services, as they will likely cause an uncontrolled fall in profits for the core telecom operators. The lobby forecasts that 40-percent of calls could be made through Skype and other VoIP services by 2012.

Skype was not immediately available for comment.