TOM-Skype Censorship Research

Jeffrey Knockel
TOM-Skype About Dialog
TOM-Skype Chat Interface

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November 2013: Microsoft is no longer partnering with TOM and now partners with GMF to bring Skype to China. Unlike TOM-Skype, we have not found GMF-Skype to have any additional censorship or surveillance capabilities built into the software! However, since no version of Skype provides true end-to-end encryption that Microsoft cannot decrypt, Microsoft is still capable of performing censorship or surveillance of anyone's Skype communication as it passes through their servers. For secure communication, consider using software such as Off-The-Record Messaging or Signal.

Censorship of the Day

These are recently retrieved, decrypted lists of the keywords that TOM-Skype downloads when starting up. These lists are used for both censorship and surveillance unless otherwise noted.

Censorship Analysis

Most versions of TOM-Skype have built-in keyword lists in addition to keyword lists that they download. All lists are used for both censorship and surveillance unless otherwise noted.




TOM-Skype for Android 2.7

Human Translations

We have human translations for the keyfiles above downloaded on 4/20/2011 by TOM-Skype and

For questions or comments regarding the human translations, contact Jed Crandall.


These python programs decrypt TOM-Skype's encrypted keyfiles and surveillance traffic. All but the first require PyCrypto to run.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0844880. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.