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How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages

How Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Documents show company collaborated closely with NSA and FBI to help agencies intercept data
Artur Alves's insight:

"The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

• 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;

• In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

• Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport"."

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EU fines Microsoft €561 million for not giving users a browser choice

EU fines Microsoft €561 million for not giving users a browser choice | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Microsoft's "technical error" violated antitrust agreement for more than a year.
Artur Alves's insight:

The browser wars are never really over:

"European regulators today fined Microsoft €561 million (or $732 million) for failing to offer Windows users a choice of Web browsers as the company had been required to do.

A previous antitrust agreement required Microsoft to present users a choice of Web browsers in addition to its own Internet Explorer, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Microsoft did so for most versions of Windows, but an apparent accident caused the browser ballot to be stripped out of Windows 7 when its first service pack was released.

Microsoft admitted to the mistake last year, attributing it to a "technical error." The browser ballot screen was missing on Windows 7 from May 2011 until July 2012, although users could still change their default browser in Windows settings. Microsoft confirmed the mistake and distributed a software fix after EU officials notified the company of reports that users weren't being offered the browser choice."

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