Microsoft Gave NSA Access to Users’ Emails, Web Chats and Video Calls, Report Says
Posted on Jul 11, 2013
According to an account Thursday in The Guardian based off of top-secret documents obtained from whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Microsoft allowed the National Security Agency to access its users’ electronic communications as part of the NSA’s PRISM program. Forms of encrypted communication that were being monitored by the NSA, and then subsequently shared with the FBI and the CIA, include virtually all Microsoft products, such as Outlook.com, Hotmail, Skype and SkyDrive.
As The Guardian noted, “Microsoft’s latest marketing campaign, launched in April, emphasizes its commitment to privacy with the slogan: ‘Your privacy is our priority.’ ” But based on the new revelations by the British newspaper, it appears that’s not the case.
Here are some of the findings from those documents via The Guardian:
• 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 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;