Are Chats--text, audio, video---secure?

Discussion in 'Windows Live Messenger' started by Five By Five, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Five By Five

    Five By Five Guest

    I am concerned because my wife is an important university official and I
    sometimes communicate with her by chats, as well as with others. Some time
    ago, someone claimed to me that they had potentially embarrassing personal
    information obtained from a chat through a work connection, and I now
    wonder if all Live Messenger communications are secure.
    Five By Five, Oct 13, 2008
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  2. Five By Five

    Five By Five Guest

    I know about message histories.

    I am talking about the video/audio/text stream between hosts, where someone
    taps into a node (routers/gateways) in between. For instance, suppose an
    info tech group of a large university is ordered (or induced by some other
    means) to monitor a line to a certain IP address within the university
    network in order to try to get embarrassing or useful information through a
    WLM connection of any kind. Assume that there is NO workplace policy
    prohibition of the use of that line for business and personal matters, and
    that there is EVERY expectation of privacy, just as you might go into a
    workplace restroom with all reasonable expectation that cameras are not
    installed to examine every detail of your private anatomy or the use of its

    Now, in the United States, such eavesdropping ("monitoring") without a
    court order would likely be illegal, maybe even's certainly
    unethical, unless perhaps there is a notice posted everywhere in the
    workplace that there is no expectation of privacy on telephone or the
    Internet (web, email, audio/video conversations) or the use of your bodily
    functions. In other words, you might expect every orifice can be probed
    with such a policy.

    Now consider that I am located in a developing country, not exactly known
    for its standards at all, and laws only apply to the common man on the
    street, and only when a policeman decides the laws arbitrarily apply. It's
    not exactly the wild frontier here, but it's also not a place where you can
    assume that no one is interested or cares what you do. I am a foreigner
    here in this developing country, and my wife is a native, and she's made
    some enemies of the losers here because of the power she has wielded
    responsibly in bringing them down. It's not paranoid to say that they are
    HIGHLY motivated to bring her down hard, and in the meanest, most lowdown
    ways possible. Trying to bribe a tech to tap into an unsecure WLM
    connection---if it is not secure----is the least of the lowdown things they
    might try. If it's too much trouble to eavesdrop in real time, who'd
    really bother?

    Now as to the level of security/encryption, I am assuming that the level of
    hacking required to break into a secured video stream would be that
    required by a government with huge resources, not by some semi-clever
    hacker and part-time virus writer living in the developing world who
    happens to make a salary working an info tech gig.
    Five By Five, Oct 13, 2008
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  3. Greetings,

    There's no encryption going on in Messenger (not text, not video, not audio) besides the SSL
    used for authentication when you login.
    Jonathan Kay [MVP], Oct 14, 2008
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