Microsoft has been trying to get a little more wiggle room in revealing how it deals with metadata requests from the NSA. In blog entry on Tuesday, Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith stated that Microsoft asked U.S Attorney General Eric Holder for a more freedom to do so.
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Last week, The Guardian revealed—via documents provided by Eric Snowden—that Microsoft allowed for the nation’s security agencies to override encryption measure to view Outlook emails and Skype chats. This revelation has put the software giant in the hot seat by users and the press. The best bet for Microsoft would to just come clean on what they do exactly in their PRISM involvement—even if it just a little more information and an example or two given. While upholding the confidentiality agreement between the company and the U.S government’s security community, Microsoft has stood by the notion that it doesn’t allow for the government to have unlimited access to emails, IMs, and the like.
In the Microsoft blog on the subject, Brad Smith stated, “We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us,” Smith also mentioned that U.S lawyers never did get back to him on a June request for publishing permission on the actual amount and nature of the requests. The statements put out by Microsoft and Facebook roughly a month ago were near identical and vague.
Given that such involvement will harm the participating big companies—Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google among others—they are all looking to loosen up the oath of secrecy requested by the National Security Agency and their PRISM program.
So far there has been no answer to the requests from the U.S department.