Government does not receive "direct and unfettered access", insists Microsoft.
By Tim Colwill on July 18, 2013 at 10:44 am
Microsoft’s legal and corporate affairs general counsel — and executive vice president — Brad Smith has responded to claims that the company handed over information on its Skype, Outlook and SkyDrive users to the NSA as part of the recent controversies around the PRISM program.
In a post on TechNet, Smith explains that the company has asked the United States government for more freedom to disclose how they handle national security requests for user information. Smith claims that “the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us.”
Smith insists that the government does not gain “direct and unfettered access”, but rather that each request is handled by Microsoft on a case-by-case basis, and that the amount of users who have been investigated by the NSA is something like “a fraction of a percent”.
Smith also explained that data intercepted by the NSA would remain its encrypted state, and that Microsoft does “not provide any government with the ability to break the encryption, nor do we provide the government with the encryption keys.”
If you’re a regular Microsoft product user — I know I use Skype every day for work — it’s worth taking a look at the full blog post for more.