The Belgian city of Mechelen’s Prosecutor office is prosecuting the free video calls application Skype, as it has refused to give investigators access to private conversations between two suspects, the Mediahuis papers reported on Tuesday. During the 2012 investigation into the Armenian criminal world, Mechelen investigators noticed that two suspects were using Skype to discuss certain deals. They concerned, among other matters, delivery of stolen or illegal goods.
The investigating judge asked Skype for authorisation to access these conversations, but the application refused. It argued that as it didn’t operate as a telephone provider in Belgium, it wasn’t subject to Belgian legislation.
According to Mechelen’s Prosecutor’s office, which opened an investigation, this could be a violation of the telecommunications law. “The Council chamber has sent the case to the Correctional Tribunal”, says Theo Byl, the spokesman for the Prosecutor’s office.