Microsoft has collaborated extensively with the intelligence services of the United States to allow users’ communications details. The company even helped the NSA (National Security Agency) to break their own encryption system, according to documents cited Wednesday in the British newspaper “Guardian”.
Data leaked by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of cooperation between companies in Silicon Valley and U.S. intelligence in the last three years.
Bought by Microsoft in 2011, Skype has also worked with technical intelligence to enable access spying for project PRISM.
The agency has been instructed by the company to circumvent the encryption in the Outlook site even before its release. The company also helped the NSA access your service SkyDrive cloud computing, according to the report.
The NSA has devoted special attention in the last two years working with Microsoft to increase their ability to access Skype, which has about 663 million users worldwide.
A document suggests that monitoring Skype on PRISM project almost tripled since a new device was added in July 2012. “The audios of these sessions were fully processed, but no company video. Now, analysts have the full picture,” says a document.
Data collection by the NSA on Skype would have started on February 6, 2012.
Technology specialist ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union, its acronym in English), Chris Soghoian says that the revelations should surprise many Skype users. “In the past, Skype users made a forceful statement about the impossibility of the conversations being spied on,” he said.
The latest revelations deepen tension between the technology giants and the administration of President Barack Obama.
This has been pushed to allow for those who disclosed details about the collaboration between companies and NSA analysts identify as an attempt by executives to depart from the criticism of the U.S. government.
In a statement about it, Microsoft said it is not safe to meet legal requirements of government when product launches or updates. The company also reiterated its argument that only provides data users “in response to government requirements, and only with respect to specific users or accounts.”
In its latest marketing campaign, Microsoft emphasized his commitment to privacy in the slogan: “Your privacy is our priority.”
Documents revealed earlier by Snowden, however, imply that the NSA would have “direct access” to directories of major Internet companies, including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.
The U.S. Secret Service has received permits courts to collect secret information from users. When the target is American, you need a warrant. In the case of foreigners, however, sufficient conviction of secret agent.