The NSA Is Bullying Microsoft, And They Want Consumers To Know
Last week, one of the world’s greatest ninjas since the times of actual ninjas, Edward Snowden, revealed even more information regarding the U.S Government’s PRISM program and how Microsoft had been heavily involved in providing copious amounts of private user data for all sorts of NSA agents to go through. It was not a good day for the software giant, but now Microsoft has come out to clear some of the air.
Of course, Microsoft released a statement last week stating that they were only giving up information when served with legally binding court orders, effectively tying their hands in terms of what they had to hand over. However, they’ve denied reports from Snowden claiming that the NSA has had direct and uninterrupted access to services such as Hotmail, Skype and more.
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Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs, Brad Smith, released another statement yesterday, clarifying what data Microsoft has given up, and when they’re forced to do so.
“Microsoft does not provide any government with direct and unfettered access to our customer’s data. Microsoft only pulls and then provides the specific data mandated by the relevant legal demand.”
This of course contradicts Snowden’s reports, which claim that Microsoft worked closely with the NSA to provided streamlined access to any user data they wished. Smith denies that Microsoft handed over encryption keys or direct access to user data, but who can we believe at the moment?
On the one hand, you have Microsoft claiming that they are only handing over data that is legally asked of them, which makes it a tough situation for the company regarding consumer privacy and obeying the law. But, on the other hand, you have the only man brave enough to risk everything to bring this to light claiming otherwise.
Smith has also stated that Microsoft has approached the U.S government for permission to release documents that detail this entire process, so that we consumers can hopefully see that they’re being effectively bullied into handing over private user data. If Microsoft are that eager to show people that this is not something that they would willingly do, then we may be pointing our fingers at the wrong villains here.
Point them at the NSA instead.