Politics

Microsoft Helped NSA Read Private Emails, Collect Skype Conversations

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A new leak from whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that Microsoft showed the U.S. government how to bypass Microsoft encryption programs that were meant to provide security for millions of users.

According to an article published today by The Guardian, internal National Security Agency (NSA) memos show that Microsoft helped the feds decrypt private messages in Outlook.com Web chat, Hotmail and Skype (which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011).

The Guardian reported: "Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on Outlook.com chats Within five months, the documents explain, Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on Outlook.com chats."

"A newsletter entry dated December 26, 2012 states: 'MS [Microsoft], working with the FBI, developed a surveillance capability to deal' with the issue. 'These solutions were successfully tested and went live Dec 12, 2012.'"

Outlook.com was officially launched in February of this year.

The Guardian also revealed that the NSA bragged in a July 2012 document about a new capability, provided by Microsoft, that tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected.

Ironically, Microsoft's latest marketing campaign, launched in April, states: "Your privacy is our priority."

Skype's privacy policy states: "Skype is committed to respecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content."

“In the past, Skype made affirmative promises to users about their inability to perform wiretaps," Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union told The Guardian. "It's hard to square Microsoft's secret collaboration with the NSA with its high-profile efforts to compete on privacy with Google."

Source: The Guardian

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