France investigates Skype after it doesn't register as a telecom provider

You can’t completely pigeonhole Skype when it serves both as a partial substitute for traditional phone service and an instant messaging service with voice and video on top. Unfortunately, French telecom regulator ARCEP doesn’t trade in ambiguities. It’s launching an investigation into Skype after the Microsoft-owned division reportedly ignored requests to register itself as a telecom provider in the country. The authority is concerned that Skype is offering phone service without following local laws, including requirements to offer emergency calls and avenues for legal wiretaps. We’ve reached out to Skype for its side of the story, although there’s no certainty that ARCEP will have to take action, regardless — Skype has long disclaimed that it’s not a full phone replacement and won’t work for true emergencies. If France asks for compliance, however, Skype may have to either solve a seemingly unsolvable problem or face withdrawing at least some of its services. We wouldn’t count on always having VoIP in Versailles.

[Image credit: Alexandre Vialle, Flickr]

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Via: New York Times

Source: ARCEP (translated)

Original: Engadget RSS Feed