“Call me an ambulance!” is an old joke to some by now, but if you were Skype in France, you would wish that you were not called a telecom, simply because you didn’t register as one, which has led to a French prosecutor to investigate the matter. According to French regulators, Skype has the possibility of facing prosecution as they have failed to register as an “electronic communications operator” with France’s telecom regulator. According to the agency, who is known by its French acronym ARCEP, “Failure to comply with this obligation does, however, constitute a criminal offense.”
After all, Skype is being accused of being an operator who provides telecom services to the public, and hence, is required to comply with select obligations, where among them include the routing of emergency calls and implementing the means required to perform legally ordered [wiretap] interceptions. It remains to be seen just how Microsoft is going to respond to the situation, but do you think that ARCEP has reasonable grounds to lash out at Skype this way? I guess the bigger question for me would be, why now?