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Microsoft Promises Not To Snoop Through Email

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the we-apologize-for-getting-caught dept.

Microsoft 144

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft took some much-deserved flack last week for admitting they examined the emails of a Hotmail user who received some leaked Windows 8 code. The company defended their actions at the time. Now, after hearing the backlash, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith says they will not do so in the future. Instead, they'll refer it to law enforcement. He wrote, 'It's always uncomfortable to listen to criticism. But if one can step back a bit, it's often thought-provoking and even helpful. That was definitely the case for us over the past week. Although our terms of service, like those of others in our industry, allowed us to access lawfully the account in this case, the circumstances raised legitimate questions about the privacy interests of our customers. ...As a company we've participated actively in the public discussions about the proper balance between the privacy rights of citizens and the powers of government. We've advocated that governments should rely on formal legal processes and the rule of law for surveillance activities. While our own search was clearly within our legal rights, it seems apparent that we should apply a similar principle and rely on formal legal processes for our own investigations involving people who we suspect are stealing from us.'"

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Translation: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606065)

Translation: "Sorry we got caught. We'll be more careful to not get caught next time."

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606179)

Just FTFT:

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith says they will not tell they did so in the future.

Re:Translation: (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 4 months ago | (#46606261)

Oh! How valuable! A PROMISE! From... MICROSOFT!

I feel better already.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606327)

A promise from Microsoft is worth two ounces of fairy dust. That's something.

Re:Translation: (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#46606561)

A promise from Microsoft is worth two ounces of fairy dust. That's something.

I exchanged a handful of magic beans for an ounce of fairy dust. Barely got me a foot off the ground.

Re:Translation: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606533)

Yeah, remember their promise about Mono?

Re:Translation: (4, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#46606575)

And PlaysForSure?

Re:Translation: (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 4 months ago | (#46606603)

Which they broke.. how specifically?

Re:Translation: (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606723)

Well, you have to admit that MS has a record of having rather good ideas that eventually fall on the face by poor to nonexistent implementation. Don't chalk up to malice what can sufficiently be explained by incompetence.

Re:Translation: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607267)

Well, you have to admit that MS has a record of having rather good ideas

I have to admit no such thing.

In the 25 years I've been in the industry, Microsoft has primarily stolen other people's ideas.

The ideas they come up with on their own (like the house of the future) are mostly crap nobody wants.

So, what examples of 'good idea's coming out of Microsoft can you provide? Because I don't believe you.

Re:Translation: (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607577)

From a business point of view:

Forced obsolescence: By killing off services like PlaysForSure they force people to repurchase things they've already bought.
Vendor lock in: They're the king of PC vendor lock-in, although they've failed at this recently.. they cant even FUD properly these days.
Kinect2: The US Government loves being able to remotely monitor people's living rooms especially at $50 a view.

need more?

Re:Translation: (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606717)

I believe them if they say that they won't tell next time they sieve through the mails. That's actually very plausible and believable.

Re:Translation: (1)

Geek Hillbilly (2975053) | about 4 months ago | (#46606727)

I'll believe it when pigs fly under their own power.

Re:Translation: (1)

BlatantRipoff (933953) | about 4 months ago | (#46607059)

Make them Pinky Swear! That should work. /s

Re:Translation: (3, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 4 months ago | (#46606397)

Next time, they'll just snoop through the email and, when they have all the evidence they need, they'll forward it to the law enforcement with details on "possible suspects" that can be used to request search warrants for...

Oh sure. (1)

ComputersKai (3499237) | about 4 months ago | (#46606649)

You think they'll get warrants?

Re:Oh sure. Good as gold that promise (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#46606657)

Microsoft don't need no steenking warrants!

Re:Translation: (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 4 months ago | (#46606597)

Caught? You mean... they literally _told_ people they did it? That kind of "caught"?

Re: Translation: (5, Informative)

Kevin Hu (3553411) | about 4 months ago | (#46606975)

Now the scroogle campaign made MS look so stupid.

Re:Translation: (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#46607599)

Translation: "Sorry we got caught. We'll be more careful to not get caught next time."

I've yet to post anything bout this, but I've felt Microsoft was well within their means to check an ex-employees email. As legalese as Microsoft is I'd be very surprised if the employee didn't sign a Non-disclosure agreement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org] , which I feel gives Microsoft the right to.

Microsoft mentioned from the very beginning that part of the tracking (legal) process was checking the employee's E-mail, so forward with that fact I'm sure they were blind-sided by the repercussions.

A employee doesn't have the same rights as a non-employee, they play by a different set of rules. That Microsoft changed their privacy policy was for those who need to be spoon fed, or see Microsoft as their sugar daddy.

- I feel damn odd sticking up for Microsoft, they have and always will be the villain.

Re:Translation: (4, Informative)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | about 5 months ago | (#46607667)

A employee doesn't have the same rights as a non-employee, they play by a different set of rules. That Microsoft changed their privacy policy was for those who need to be spoon fed, or see Microsoft as their sugar daddy.

The fuss isn't over the employee's email being read. It's about the email of a blogger who is *not* associated with MS (other than using a Hotmail account) being read.

Microsoft Promises Not To Snoop Through Email (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#46606071)

Microsoft != Facebook

Ok...

Re:Microsoft Promises Not To Snoop Through Email (1)

gewalker (57809) | about 4 months ago | (#46606121)

Microsoft not evil -- I feel like my head is going to exploaaqft

Re:Microsoft Promises Not To Snoop Through Email (4, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#46606579)

Microsoft != Facebook

Ok...

Right! That's right! Facebook is a software giant that snoops through your stuff. Microsoft is... is...

Waaaait a minute...

If they say so (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 4 months ago | (#46606073)

I'm reassured.

Re:If they say so (1)

slugstone (307678) | about 4 months ago | (#46606139)

I can sleep now

Re:If they say so (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 months ago | (#46606667)

I can sleep now

You forgot to turn out the light.

Your Microsoft Home will turn it off for you for only 10 cents a day to save you 0.001 cents in electric bills.

By the way, the xBox One loves your new PJs. Pics uploaded to NSA at no charge!

Re:If they say so (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606733)

I'm gonna sleep naked from now on. That's gonna teach them, go blind, bastards!

Re: If they say so (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606809)

Distributing porn? That will get you on the no fly list in no time

Re: If they say so (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606883)

Hey, did I tell them to look? They didn't even tell me I'm on cam!

Re:If they say so (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 4 months ago | (#46606155)

I'm not!

He wrote, "It's always uncomfortable to listen to criticism. But if one can step back a bit, it's often thought-provoking and even helpful."

"thought-provoking"? How was it even a question?

If they had a problem seeing the problem in the first place then I don't trust them to see the problem in the future.

Scroogled (5, Insightful)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 4 months ago | (#46606101)

Wasn't scaremongering about Google reading your email part of their stupid ad campaign?

not sayin Google is blameless here... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 4 months ago | (#46606169)

"Scroogled" sounds like something Jerry Seinfeld would come up with.

sorry for any bad MS - Seinfeld associations that brought up, complimentary mindbleach [mindbleach.org] on the table by the door.

Re:not sayin Google is blameless here... (1)

MattGWU (86623) | about 4 months ago | (#46606315)

Yeah! He's a real Scroogler!

Re:Scroogled (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606367)

Wasn't scaremongering about Google reading your email part of their stupid ad campaign?

The stupid thing about that is Gmail just uses adsense, i.e. a Javascript program scans the page for keywords then requests relevant ads from the ad server based on keyword frequency. It's the same ad system used everywhere you find adwords, but apparently finding out that adwords was applied to email content was an earth shaking discovery.

Re:Scroogled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607061)

It might be scary, depending on what kind of spam you get in your mailbox. "Naked Mastadon" might sound funny to you, but think of the images you could be served...ewww...

OH, YES IT WAS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607837)

And still is.....hypocritically...

http://slashdot.org/?source=autorefresh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606109)

Fuck autorefresh!

inject (5, Interesting)

cirrustelecom (1353617) | about 4 months ago | (#46606145)

If Microsoft could read, couldn't they also inject crafted evidence into his account? Might be a nice way to take down opposition...

Re:inject (-1, Flamebait)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 4 months ago | (#46606615)

The stupidity of your comment, it fucking _burns_. Make it stop!

"Could read"? Of fucking _course_ they can read any data on their servers. So of _fucking course_ they could also "inject crafted evidence" into his account.

Do you even _computer_ bro?

Re:inject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607083)

The person brought up a different point of view to consider. You may have already considered that point of view, but it's not in TFA and not yet brought up in the thread. The person was not being stupid, you are just being a dick.

Re:inject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606853)

This.

Prove that emails were not tampered with.
Right. Impossible without hard printed evidence showing timestamps.

Re:inject (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 5 months ago | (#46607661)

That thought immediately occurred to me as well.

not flack (2)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about 4 months ago | (#46606157)

It's 'flak'

Re:not flack (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46606171)

Incorrect [grammarist.com]

Re:not flack (3, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46606177)

Incorrect [grammarist.com]

Incorrect correction, jackass.

Try reading the article you link to before hitting "Post" next time, me.

Re:not flack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606693)

I wish I hadn't read the usernames. I almost modded you troll for trolling yourself.

Re:not flack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606899)

This may sound strange.. but.. are you talking to yourself here and calling yourself a jackass?

If so ... why not wait until someone else notices ... or if they don't just move on with Life

After all, we said so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606183)

While our own search was clearly within our legal rights

After all, we gave ourselves the right to read your emails.

As soon as they change their TOS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606187)

...then I'll believe them. Until that point I'll anticipate them reading all my email.

Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606213)

Other than iOS which requires being spoon-fed by special enterprise software, virtually every desktop OS supports PGP, GPG, S/MIME, or a combination of the above.

Maybe it is time to stop bellyaching about who is doing "less /var/spool/mail/ihatemymommy2012" and start working on a PGP/gpg web of trust, or just pay the small fee from a CA to use an E-mail client cert, if one wanted to go the S/MIME route?

End to end encryption is the only thing that makes sense. Even back in the early 1990s, the cypherpunks were able to grasp this concept. Trusting the mail provider, no matter how secure they are is always going to fall short.

Re:Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 4 months ago | (#46606311)

I believe it was Thawte did/do free certs for email for non-commercial use. I would prefer php/gpg though.

Edit: did. Ah well.

(Just kidding, Slashdot has no edit function)

Re:Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 4 months ago | (#46606325)

Cause if there was an edit function, that would read pgp, not php :)

Re:Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic. (2)

heypete (60671) | about 4 months ago | (#46606417)

I believe it was Thawte did/do free certs for email for non-commercial use. I would prefer php/gpg though.

Edit: did. Ah well.

(Just kidding, Slashdot has no edit function)

CAcert.org and StartSSL offer free client certs.

While CAcert's root is not included in browsers and mail clients (thus people you communicate with will need to install and trust the CAcert root or they'll get scary warnings), the StartSSL root is widely included. StartSSL is totally free for "Class 1" certs (domain-validated server certs or email-validated client certs) for non-commercial purposes. Class 2 certs (identity-validated server and client certs, as well as organization-validated certs for organizations) only charge money for the validation, but you can issue as many certs as you want for yourself (or your organization, if you get the org certs) at no extra cost.

Re:Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 4 months ago | (#46606387)

Just to add a bit more, though some email clients do have encryption built in, their tools for handling the certificates and encryption and trust are woefully inadequate. If a client was built from the perspective of encryption first, some ground might be gained.

Though even then, you start running into corporate mail filters etc. My brother's company (West Sussex County Council) email filter would silently reject my emails that were just *signed* by me. When I contacted their mail administrator about it, I received a very shitty reply.

Re:Sometimes I wonder why we even have this topic. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607337)

I had similar happen back in 2010 when a would-be employer called back and started threatening me about legal ramifications about sending them malware, and send me a $7000 "cleaning" invoice from Geek Squad.

Further discussion found that the HR person thought the ribbon icon that shows a signed E-mail was malware that seized his machine, so the company called GS to have every computer in the business "fixed".

Liable suit (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 4 months ago | (#46606231)

from Google? MS just admitted they lied so that would have made the Scrroogled ad campaign a straight face lie?

Re:Liable suit (2)

swan5566 (1771176) | about 4 months ago | (#46606429)

You can only sue for actual harm that was caused. This would imply they would have to convince a jury that people took that campaign seriously.

Re:Liable suit (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606765)

Won't fly. It's like suing me for telling you that I own the moon. If you believed me, you'd be stupid, and the law should protect the innocent, not the stupid.

For the same reason nobody who believed that ad campaign will have a case.

Not what they said (2)

KPU (118762) | about 4 months ago | (#46606253)

They said:

Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required.

One narrow circumstance that probably won't happen again. In all other circumstances they can read the customer's private content?

Re:Not what they said (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#46606307)

So they will just lean on a friendly LEO who will get the necessary warrant to authorize the search. Job done. Hands clean. This really needs a name like scroogled. I vote for muggled.

Re:Not what they said (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606771)

How about MeSsed up?

Re:Not what they said (1)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about 4 months ago | (#46606341)

Do you honestly think they'd waste the resources to go hunting through the hotmail accounts of people who they didn't think (with good cause) were stealing from them?

Most likely this started with them searching the corp email account of the guy sending the stuff, and when they saw it going "to: suspect@hotmail.com" they followed the rabbit trail.

They don't seem to be mining emails for advertising content or other such, this was a very limited scope (and most likely completely manual) investigation due to what they found in an internal employee's mail.

Re:Not what they said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606819)

Do you honestly think they'd waste the resources to go hunting through the hotmail accounts of people who they didn't think (with good cause) were stealing from them?

Yes? Considering those resources are practically free, wouldn't you? This isn't about resources, but ethics.

Re:Not what they said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606739)

By trawling it themselves, they invalidated the evidence, since they could have tampered with it. That is the only reason they are now so terribly sorry about it.

It sounds like... (4, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | about 4 months ago | (#46606267)

T-800: "I swear I will not kill anyone."

Yeah, right!

Re:It sounds like... (3, Funny)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#46606377)

From Terminator 2..
"I will not kill anyone."
[blows out the kneecaps of a guard]
"He'll live"

Re:It sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606489)

I thought it was the kneecap of a thug or thug like...though, he does destroy the knee caps of many guards later on during the Cyberdyne heist.

Re:It sounds like... (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 4 months ago | (#46606547)

And they'll love us in the morning.

I Promise To Pay For Windows. (3, Funny)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 4 months ago | (#46606335)

I feel better already!!

Lawyer translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606463)

He wrote, 'It's always uncomfortable to listen to criticism. But if one can step back a bit, it's often thought-provoking and even helpful.

Which only means, We fucked up royally, violated trust, and broke the law. Every single one of our customers are 100% justified in no longer using msn, outlook.com or hotmail for email and moving to more trusted entities, because we are complete douche-bags and in the end, even though we are stating we will never do this again we will still do so again, on a daily basis, but we learned not to say anything.

No lawyer can be trusted, even more so when they are the talking head.

Re:Lawyer translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606643)

Oh bullshit. They broke no laws and violated no trust. Their servers, they can look at the data if they want. Don't like it, don't use it. Just like anyone else's servers.

That's Nice (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | about 4 months ago | (#46606477)

How about they build an encryption API right into their service? Encrypt the message locally before it ever goes to the network. Oh, they don't want to do that. I see. So Microsoft promises to not read your mail, while retaining the ability to easily do so whenever it's convenient for them. That makes me feel so much better.

Re:That's Nice (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#46606553)

How about they build an encryption API right into their service? Encrypt the message locally before it ever goes to the network

What a great idea.

Oh, they don't want to do that. I see.

Probably because encrypting mail before it ever goes to the network and "webmail" you can check from anywhere with a web browser are fundamentally incompatible goals.

So Microsoft promises to not read your mail, while retaining the ability to easily do so whenever it's convenient for them. That makes me feel so much better.

That's as good as its ever going to get with hosted webmail. If you want better than that you need to handle the encryption yourself in the client, and the client needs to be something you fundamentally have control over and can trust.

Such a thing can certainly exist. E.g. PGP add-on for thunderbird maybe... but its 'ease of use' and convenience relative to 'hotmail' are worlds apart.

Re:That's Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607115)

Not completely incompatible, but would require a 3rd party holding keys that MS does not have access to. Difficult yes, but not impossible.

Re:That's Nice (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 4 months ago | (#46607209)

Not completely incompatible, but would require a 3rd party holding keys that MS does not have access to. Difficult yes, but not impossible.

Impossible.

"[it] would require a 3rd party holding keys that MS does not have access to."

This is the part that can't work.

Think about it. You are accessing the content from a "web app" served by the very party you don't wish to trust. The web app gets its hand on the decryption key from the 3rd party, and can just send that up to the server.

Given that each time you visit the server you implicitly run the latest version of the web app, if they want your email they modify the webapp and wait for you to log in. And your sunk.

The only thing that would work would be if you had complete control over the web app, and self hosted it on your own servers. But that's equivalent to providing your own trusted mail client.

And if you are going to the trouble of hosting your own web based mail client, you may as well host your own mail too. (And then you keep their grubby hands of the headers / meta data too).

Re:That's Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607125)

I don't see how webmail can't be encrypted on the server. They could have a key that is attached to the account information, which is also encrypted like the rest. Maybe use the password pre-hash to decrypt the key.

Of course, this would run into problems with dealing with spam filters and user set ones, unless it is only done post log in. Store everything in blocks, then at log in, have the client side automatically sort things out.

Transparency in use of tools is a lost ideal. I don't even know it is has been done in earnest outside of a few closed systems.

I can't believe this was modded up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607737)

Especially (or even?) in Slashdot.

1) encrypt it... on the client side? with which key? the sender? how whould then the recipient read it ?

2) good bye spam filters

Promise (1)

nowsharing (2732637) | about 4 months ago | (#46606569)

Pinkie or cross-their-heart?

Re:Promise (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606801)

A lawyer said that. So ... what heart?

Missing the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606595)

If you're going to steal IP from a company, uh... maybe... just maybe... you shouldn't use their cloud service to get and transfer the goods?

Re:Missing the Point (2)

SlashdotWanker (1476819) | about 4 months ago | (#46606663)

If you're going to steal IP from a company, uh... maybe... just maybe... you shouldn't use their cloud service to get and transfer the goods?

The point being two moral wrongs make a right?

Re:Missing the Point (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#46606871)

No, it's exactly the point. Because how many mail folders did they go through before finding the "right" one? Do you think if they did that we'd ever hear about just how many mailboxes they opened without the consent of the content owner and violated their privacy? Do you think it's ok that a company (not even a government, but a mere, ordinary COMPANY) should get away with digging through your emails at a hunch? We think you might have done something we don't like, so we simply dig through your belongings, to hell with your privacy, to hell with how you feel about some strangers digging through your stuff, we do what we WANNA.

What's next? Your landlord opening your home with a key he retained because he heard a rumor that you might have gotten visits from a drug dealer, so he simply marches over at 6am, opens your door, digs through your clothing and your sex tox collection then shrugs when he doesn't find anything and goes without even a "whoopsie, sorry"?

That's ok, too, I guess?

what they didn't say (1)

Dale512 (1073668) | about 4 months ago | (#46606655)

Note they didn't say they'd update their ToS removing their right to do it. Are we supposed to rely on their good will and pinky promise not to do so?

Re:what they didn't say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607385)

In the article "In addition to changing company policy, in the coming months we will incorporate this change in our customer terms of service, so that it’s clear to consumers and binding on Microsoft."

Bwahahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46606889)

Wait ... they're serious?

So, Moogling then? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46607003)

With all the braying about "scroogling", and the fact that we've all known Microsoft had both the capacity and intent to do the same damned thing ... can we simply start calling this Moogling?

Sorry, but when you run a campaign about how everything is an add and they're looking through your email ... and then everything you do is an ad and they look through your email, well, people might notice.

MicroScrewing (Was Re:So, Moogling then?) (1)

fluke11 (1160111) | about 5 months ago | (#46607863)

When GMail-Man invades your privacy to match ad-words, it is called Scroogling.

When Hotmail-Boy invades your privacy, that should probably be called MicroScrewing. But unlike Google that want to hit you with all sorts of advertising, you can sleep more soundly knowing that Hotmail-Boy is just trying to build a criminal case against you.

By the way, when Microsoft called for Safari users to boycott Google for privacy violations and switch to Bing, they probably should have also noted that Bing's privacy statement required Bing users to also agree to the Google Analytics privacy policy. So, they want you to boycott Google by agreeing to yet another Google privacy policy.

Thank goodness Microsoft is working so hard to protect our privacy. With friends like them ... *sigh*

Look, I understand that the primary topic here is (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607191)

but seriously, do you think the other majors are much better? There is anecdotal evidence galore that most IT companies cooperated to a greater or lesser degree, with the NSA, law enforcement, and so forth. Also that they use/used their technical capabilities to investigate whenever and wherever they have had a concern.

Brad Smith at least sounds like a human being and not someone reading a prepared statement. And he's moving in the direction we all say we want. While I agree that we need to watch for implementation of these statements, I don't think we should reject the statements themselves. That's just cutting off our noses to spit our faces.

Reward good behaviour and punish the bad. That's just basic psychology. And for those who think that MS is simply evil, I believe they turn their backs on changing the behaviour of a major IT player. Not to mention degrading the meaning of the word evil.

Re:Look, I understand that the primary topic here (2)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 5 months ago | (#46607783)

I've never considered Microsoft 'evil.' Self-centered and only looking out for only it's own interests,ya but that's pretty much par for the course with most corps and people. I still hold corporations and people accountable. I always have. Just as with Yahoo giving the PRC the contents of an email account resulted in the closing of my accounts with them, so that is what has happened with Microsoft. These weren't the 7 GB freebies either. I'll wait and watch to see if their is an actual behavioral change, are corresponding change in the ToS/EULA. Promises don't mean a thing here. Change.

I'm feeling... (2)

voltorb (2668983) | about 5 months ago | (#46607373)

...great about this actually. I just need a cup of tea to enjoy's Microsoft's downwards spiral,

flack, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607445)

flak: anti-aircraft fire
flack: a public relations professional

What a bunch... (1)

spacefight (577141) | about 5 months ago | (#46607473)

... of fucking assholes. Seriously. How on earth can their PR department sleep at night? By ignoring the facts? By ignoring what they know? It should be a law, that people in those positions should be held liable for what they contribute to - privacy invasion.

Annono (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607507)

This story was a good lesson for people. This is why you don't use third party services for your mail. Or for anything else important really. If its not on your own server don't use it. You can't trust someone giving you a free service, I won't trust anyone giving me a low cost solution either.

Re:Annono (1)

Decker-Mage (782424) | about 5 months ago | (#46607819)

Properly setting up a mail-server is not for everyone and, from far too many (tens to hundreds of thousands of) examples, properly secure. Frankly, even with this audience, I wouldn't expect everyone here to be able to do so either. Sorry folks! Sure sounds nice right up to the point reality slams a blacklist on your server, even assuming your ISP hasn't blocked it or isn't on the blacklist to begin with.

Demand Proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46607513)

When an organization says this was terrible and will never happen again, the absolute minimum people should demand is the following: The person making the decision was fired. They were offered no special severance. Any severance given was publicly stated. The person was named publicly. A statement is issued that no consideration of any kind was offered to the employee either directly or indirectly.

This may seems rather involved, but is completely necessary in these political-like situations. Otherwise the designated fall guy gets to fall upward into a cushy job offered by ad associated company. And no real pain is felt by the people responsible.

Using Company A's service to steal from Company A (1)

Curate (783077) | about 5 months ago | (#46607669)

Who's the braintrust that decided to use a Hotmail account to coordinate the stealing of Windows source code? Ignoring the expectation of privacy for a moment, that was just plain dumb.

Flak not Flack (0)

MXB2001 (3023413) | about 5 months ago | (#46607711)

Flak comes from the german word FLieger Abwehr Kanone. Anti Aircraft Cannon. Taking flak means getting resistance. Flack is not a word.

Promises (1)

chr1st1anSoldier (2598085) | about 5 months ago | (#46607829)

And Adolf Hitler promised Stalin he would not to go to war with Russia. We all know how that turned out.

Damage Control PR (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | about 5 months ago | (#46607867)

Wow, someone at Microsoft thinks they have some credibility left after all these years. Proof that newbie PR interns do have some value.

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