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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 Janet I. Tu.

Topic: nsa

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April 15, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Brad Smith, Rep. Suzan DelBene, and ACLU rep discuss NSA and privacy

Reining in the National Security Agency, keeping laws and civil rights protections up to date with the digital era, and the tension between national security and personal privacy were among the topics of a panel discussion held this morning at the University of Washington School of Law.

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina; Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel; and Gabe Rottman, national office legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, participated in the panel moderated by UW Law Professor William Covington.

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January 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Justice Dept. lets tech firms disclose more national security request data [updated]

The U.S. Justice Department is allowing tech firms to disclose a bit more detail about the number of national security orders and requests they receive, and the number of customer accounts targeted under those orders and requests. Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a statement, saying: This action was directed…

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January 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Microsoft says no user information was compromised in Skype hacking

Microsoft says hackers who gained access to Skype’s social media accounts Wednesday did not get Skype users’ information. A group called the Syrian Electronic Army claimed credit for the attacks, posting messages such as “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails using this details. #SEA,” on the official Skype Twitter account, and “Don’t use Microsoft…

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December 5, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Microsoft takes action to prevent governments using “technological brute force” to get customers’ data

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

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

Saying that governments must use the “legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data,” Microsoft announced it’s taking steps to protect its customers’ data from government snooping.

In doing so, Microsoft characterized the reported actions of some governments as a “persistent threat” akin to sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.

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September 30, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Report: Former Microsoft privacy adviser says he doesn’t “trust Microsoft” after NSA revelations

Caspar Bowden, a former Microsoft chief privacy officer, said during a conference in Switzerland that he’s having a hard time trusting the company after news broke of the role that Microsoft and other tech companies played in the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts.

That’s according to a story in The Guardian, which reports that Bowden was in charge of the privacy policy for many of the countries in which Microsoft operated, though not the U.S. Bowden worked for Microsoft from 2002 to 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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September 27, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Microsoft releases second report on law enforcement requests

Microsoft today released its second report on the numbers of requests and orders it receives from law enforcement agencies.

The information, as with the first report, presents very broad figures on how many requests it received from law enforcement agencies worldwide and how Microsoft responded to them.

And, as with the first report it released in March, there is no  information on the number of national security orders received, if any, since  the company is forbidden by the U.S. government to disclose that.

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September 9, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Microsoft cites constitutional right to disclose FISA orders data

Microsoft has filed an amended motion today saying that it has a First Amendment right to disclose aggregate data on the U.S. national intelligence surveillance orders it receives.

Microsoft, along with other large tech companies, have come under fire for their role in U.S. national security surveillance. In response, the companies are seeking to clarify to the public how many such security orders they receive and something about the nature of those orders.

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