Edward Snowden has issued new top secret documents demonstrating the intense collaboration between Microsoft and US government, in particular the whistleblower revealed the support received by theNSA that obtained by the company the access to encrypted messages into its products. Microsoft designed specifically backdoor into Outlook.com, Skype, and SkyDrive to allow government agency to spy on online communications.
Key Findings revealed by the documents that have been made public by The Guardian are:
- Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
- The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
- The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
- Microsoft also worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;
- Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio;
- Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a “team sport”.
Microsoft has always remarked its interest in user’s privacy and highlighting the featured designed in its products for wiretapping communications.
“Your privacy is our priority.” was the slogan used during the last marketing campaign by Microsoft.
Immediate the reply of Microsoft that defended its operating sustaining that the company provided support limited to orders related to specific accounts:
“only ever complies with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks…”
“To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product,” the company said in a statement to ABC News. “We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues. First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes.”
Cross-posted from Securityaffairs.co