In their case against Megaupload the FBI detailed discussions that took place over Skype between company employees, prompting questions of whether the authorities had a backdoor to the communication system or access to its remote logs.
However, the Skype company says it only holds remote records of IM conversations going back 30 days and the Megaupload conversations cited in the indictment go back several years.
Furthermore, sources told CNET that Skype had not been asked to turn over information to the authorities in connection with the Megaupload case.
So, adding to the climate of fear surrounding cyberlockers and the sudden interest in them by powerful US authorities, the suggestion now is that the FBI obtained the conversations by some other means.
Since Skype holds logs of conversations locally on users’ machines, these could be obtained through the use of FBI-planted spyware.
The U.S. Department of Justice told CNET that a judge had approved a warrant to obtain the electronic evidence, which would not have been necessary had the leak come from an informant.
Details of the surveillance software that could have been used can be found here.