NPR : News

Report: Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Get Around Encryption

The latest in The Guardian's series of reports on secret U.S. electronic surveillance efforts claims to detail the extent of Microsoft's cooperation with the National Security Agency, with the tech giant reportedly allowing agents to circumvent its own encryption system to spy on email and chats, as well as its cloud-based storage service.

Information in the newspaper's report on Thursday is sourced to Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker who has not been seen in public for weeks and whose whereabouts are the subject of continued rumor and speculation, as Mark reported earlier.

According to The Guardian, Microsoft helped the NSA and FBI get around its encryption so that the agency could access Outlook.com, including Hotmail, as part of the Prism program aimed at gathering data on Internet communications. Skype, which Microsoft bought two years ago, reportedly worked with intelligence agencies to collect audio and video from the chat service. The newspaper also said that Microsoft eased access to its cloud-based SkyDrive service.

The Guardian quoted from documents it said it obtained with Snowden's help in which the NSA explains that "this new capability will result in a much more timely collection response" and that its "success is the result of the FBI working for many months with Microsoft to get this tasking and collection solution established."

"A separate entry identified another area for collaboration. 'The FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) team is working with Microsoft to understand an additional feature in Outlook.com which allows users to create email aliases, which may affect our tasking processes.' "

In a statement to the newspaper, Microsoft said:

"When we upgrade or update products we aren't absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands." The company reiterated its argument that it provides customer data "only in response to government demands and we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
WAMU 88.5

Democratic National Convention Day Two: Uniting The Party

An update on day two of the Democratic convention: Bill Clinton takes the stage and ongoing efforts by party leaders to build unity.

WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.