Skip to main content

China Firewall blocks Skype text messages

I once had an A4 size paper with all the smileys and corresponding keyboard shortcuts which I used to refer while chatting with friends.

Skype users in China may soon require a similar reference sheet that contains sensitive words like Dalai Lama or Falun Gong beecause if their chat message contains any of those banned words, the message will never reach the destination. It's censorship as usual in China.

China's strict Internet Censors continue to have an impact on the operations and business of Skype in China. First, China banned Skype computer-to-PC voice service to protect state owned telephone companies. Now Skype Partner in China, Tom Online, is filtering text chats on behalf of the Chinese government.

TOM operates a text filter in TOM-Skype. The filter has a list of words which will not be displayed in Skype chats. The text filter operates on the chat message content before it is encrypted for transmission if the message is found unsuitable for delivery, it is simply discarded and not delivered or transmitted anywhere.

China, along with the US and Germany, is one of Skype’s three biggest markets in terms of active users of its free telephony service, which routes encrypted calls between computers via the internet. Skype Blog however maintains that there is absolutely no filtering on voice communications.