Microsoft giving all the encrypted messages to NSA
Microsoft have been in cahoots with NSA on the controversial Prism operation. Secret files that have emerged show that Bill Gates' crew unlocked Outlook.com's encryption before official launch of the operation and that Skype worked to enable Prism collection of video calls.
Reports reckon Microsoft have been collaborating closely with US intelligence services which allows communications to be intercepted.
The documents show that Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption and that the agency already had pre-encryption stage access to emails. Access was also granted to the 250 million users of SkyDrive and that Microsoft allowed the NSA such access that they were able to triple the amount of Skype video calls they could collect.
Information collected through Prism was routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing it as a "team sport".
In a statement, Microsoft said: "When we upgrade or update products we aren't absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands."
This is at odds with Microsoft's latest marketing campaign, which says: "Your privacy is our priority."
Internal NSA newsletters which have been leaked suggest this co-operation is deep and ongoing.
In its statement to the Guardian, Microsoft said: "We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues. First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes."
"Second, our compliance team examines all demands very closely, and we reject them if we believe they aren't valid. Third, we only ever comply with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks, as the volumes documented in our most recent disclosure clearly illustrate."
"Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues."
The Guardian has the full report