New info published in the Guardian reveals that Microsoft handed the National Security Agency (NSA) access to encrypted messages and built a series of backdoors into Outlook.com to ease difficulties in accessing online communications. The Hotmail successor had code added to it that allows the NSA and other American intelligence agencies to bypass normal encryption protections.
That’s not all either. The revelations, which come from the Ed Snowden document dump, show a longtime history of collaboration between Redmond and American intelligence agencies. SkyDrive has secret FBI and NSA backdoors, and information can also be extracted from Skype.
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.” The NSA is formally prohibited from spying on American citizens without a warrant, but no such protections exist for noncitizens. So if you don’t have an American passport, it might just be time to consider a nonAmerican cloud service–or better yet, avoid web mail completely.
Image: Wikimedia user Siangutten