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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Topic: national security agency

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November 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Senate rejects Microsoft-backed NSA limits [Updated]

The Senate on Tuesday evening rejected a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s data-gathering powers, a blow to Microsoft and a coalition of technology giants that had asked Congress to restrict the spy agency’s programs.

Microsoft, along with Apple, Google and a host of technology companies, posted an open letter this weekend urging the Senate to vote to limit the NSA’s ability to gather bulk Internet and phone data. But in a vote largely along party lines — with Democrats voting yes, and Republicans, weighing in shortly after their victory in this month’s elections, opposed — the measure was rejected.

U.S. technology firms have been major players in the public debate following Edward Snowden’s leaks last year showing that the U.S. government intelligence apparatus was gathering more data than previously disclosed. The storm has damaged the business interests of companies like Microsoft, as private-sector customers and governments foreign and domestic worried about the security of their data.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

November 17, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Microsoft, tech giants urge Senate to curb government data collection

Corrected version Microsoft and a roster of tech heavy-hitters have asked the U.S. Senate to pass a bill curbing the National Security Agency’s powers to collect phone records, emails and other data in bulk. The bill, which could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as this week, also would allow companies like Microsoft to disclose the rough…

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: edward snowden, government, national security agency

July 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Microsoft opens its first Transparency Center

Microsoft has opened on its Redmond campus the first of what it calls “Transparency Centers”– places where the company can show local governments what it’s doing to keep their data secure and to reassure them that they are not providing back-door channels for snooping from, say, the U.S. government.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: national security agency, transparency center, trustworthy computing

July 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Microsoft calls on U.S. president, attorney general to let company divulge info on national security requests

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel (Photo from Microsoft)

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel (Photo from Microsoft)

Microsoft joined other tech companies in calling on the U.S. government to let the company reveal more information about it handles national security requests for customer information.

In a letter today, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder or President Obama to get personally involved, saying “the Constitution itself is suffering.”

Smith detailed requests Microsoft had made to be allowed to divulge more information — requests that were either denied or is still being considered weeks after the request was made.”This opposition and these delays are serving poorly the public, the Government itself, and most importantly, the Constitutional principles that we all put first and foremost,” Smith said in the letter.

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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: national security, national security agency, outlook.com