France tries to frame Skype as a telephone operator

France is investigating Skype to try to frame Microsoft’s voice over IP service as a telephone operator in its country.

Arcep, the body that regulates French communications, points out that, as a telecommunications service, Skype should obey the legislation in force in the country.

France has already called Luxembourg-based Skype Communications to declare itself as a communications operator, but the company has refused to accept the request.

The question is important because, if it is indeed recognized that Skype is a telephone operator in the country, it would need to abide by some laws. Among them would be the obligation to provide an emergency call system and the need to allow authorities to listen to the calls.

Microsoft points out that Skype “is not a provider of electronic communications under French law”, but is willing to collaborate with authorities to propose another model.

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