Microsoft: We do not provide any government with direct access to emails or instant messages
Amidst some security concerns by users believing that Microsoft is feeding personal information to the government, Microsoft has responded by issuing a statement in the form of a lengthy blog post. In fact, Microsoft has asked the Attorney General of the United States to permit the company to disclose national security requests to the public.
Microsoft revealed that the United States government is preventing the company from sharing information to the public, which is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Microsoft wants to publish the “volumes of national security requests” that the company has received, but government lawyers have yet to respond.
“Until that happens, we want to share as much information as we currently can. There are significant inaccuracies in the interpretations of leaked government documents reported in the media last week,” Microsoft stated. This statement comes after allegations of Microsoft feeding personal information to the government.
Microsoft offered a bit of detail when it comes to certain products. For example, Microsoft does not provide any government with direct access to emails or instant messages, including data from Outlook.com. However, Microsoft will infact comply with government requests for specific email accounts, only if a search warrant or court order is present. The same rule applies for SkyDrive content.
Just like Outlook and SkyDrive, Microsoft keeps the same stance when it comes to Skype calls. “We will not provide governments with direct or unfettered access to customer data or encryption keys,” the company adds. When it comes to enterprise users, “If we receive a government demand for data held by a business customer, we take steps to redirect the government to the customer directly, and we notify the customer unless we are legally prohibited from doing so.”
“In short, when governments seek information from Microsoft relating to customers, we strive to be principled, limited in what we disclose, and committed to transparency,” Microsoft adds. So there you have it. Hopefully it quells some rumors about Microsoft giving the government your data. Then again, conspiracy theorists might believe otherwise.Further reading: Microsoft, Security