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#Public Sector

Skype ordered to appear before Belgium court for refusing data sharing request

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Skype has been ordered to appear before a Belgium court over its refusal to pass on user messages and call information to aid a criminal investigation.

According to Reuters, a court in Mechelen had asked Microsoft-owned Skype to share customer data, including messages and calls exchanged on Skype, claiming that telecom operators in the country were required to do so.

The VoIP service provider argued saying that it is not a telecoms company, and therefore isn’t bound by the country’s Telecom Act. The Telecom Act requires telcos to co-operate with police in such cases by handing over data on suspects.

The Mechelen has now decided to summon Skype to court, with a date scheduled for early June.

“The judicial question is whether Skype is also a telecoms operator,” the court spokesman said, adding that Skype would have to handover the data if this was established to be the case. It could also face a fine.