STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Microsoft helped NSA intercept messages, The Guardian reports

Published: 12th July 2013 11:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2013 11:27 AM   |  A+A-

Microsoft2_AP
By IANS

Microsoft cooperated closely with US intelligence agencies to facilitate the interception of private messages from its users, according to National Security Agency (NSA) documents revealed Thursday by the British daily The Guardian.

New information leaked by former CIA analyst Edward Snowden reveals how the Silicon Valley giant helped the NSA bypass the encryption system that protects conversations between users on the Outlook.com chat website.

According to the documents, the agency was already able to access e-mail messages sent via Outlook - which includes the Hotmail service - before the program encrypts them for secure sending.

Microsoft also worked this year with the FBI and the NSA to facilitate indiscriminate and mass access to information archived in the cloud-based SkyDrive service, which has some 250 million users.

In addition, the Skype video-chat service, a company Microsoft acquired in 2011 for about 6 billion euros ($7.86 billion at the current exchange rate), helped the US intelligence services intercept video and audio conversations, The Guardian said.

Snowden, who has been in limbo in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23, in early June leaked documents verifying the existence of the so-called Prism program, which allows intelligence agencies to access information that millions of users store in the servers of companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

The companies whose names appeared in Snowden's leaked documents denied that their programs contain backdoors to enable others to access the private information of their servers.

The newly revealed information, however, indicates that Microsoft provided technical solutions to the intelligence services to permit them to acquire direct access to conversations encrypted on Outlook.com.

A document dated Dec 26, 2012, that The Guardian says is an internal NSA communication says that Microsoft, working with the FBI, developed the monitoring ability to handle the problem, adding that the solutions were successfully tried and entered into operation Dec 12, 2012.

Another memo describes how the company headed by Steve Ballmer worked "for many months" with the secret services to give the Prism program access to SkyDrive without previous authorization.

That access capability means that analysts no longer have to make a special request of the SSO - a department within the NSA - to obtain such access, the document says.

After the first revelations about the Prism program emerged in June, Microsoft claimed it only cooperates with US intelligence services when it receives subpoenas and does not "participate in a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data".

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp