The "sustained Skype collection" is a further step taken by the authority in the arms race between intelligence agencies seeking to deny users of their privacy and those wanting to ensure they are protected.There have also been some victories for privacy, with certain encryption systems proving to be so robust they have been tried and true standards for more than 20 years.In 2013, the NSA had a budget of more than billion.According to the US intelligence budget for 2013, the money allocated for the NSA department called Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services (CES) alone was .3 million.Encryption -- the use of mathematics to protect communications from spying -- is used for electronic transactions of all types, by governments, firms and private users alike.
German officials suggest "consistent encryption" In Germany, concern about the need for strong encryption goes right up to the highest levels of the government.
US and British intelligence agencies undertake every effort imaginable to crack all types of encrypted Internet communication. The good news: New Snowden documents show that some forms of encryption still cause problems for the NSA.
When Christmas approaches, the spies of the Five Eyes intelligence services can look forward to a break from the arduous daily work of spying.
Since then, data from Skype has been accessible to the NSA's snoops.
Software giant Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, said in a statement: "We will not provide governments with direct or unfettered access to customer data or encryption keys." The NSA had been monitoring Skype even before that, but since February 2011, the service has been under order from the secret US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), to not only supply information to the NSA but also to make itself accessible as a source of data for the agency.