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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Microsoft (Kinda-Sorta) Denies Participation in NSA's PRISM Wiretapping Program

Posted by on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 5:35 PM

In response to a request to confirm or deny reports of Microsoft's participation in the National Security Agency's PRISM wiretapping program, the Redmond software giant promptly responded with the following statement:

“We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.

It's not quite as blunt as Apple's "never heard of PRISM" denial, and you are free to parse those words for yourself, but that sure does sound like a pretty clear denial to me.


Comments (21) RSS

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Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 1

We can now spy on each other:

Select Live Traffic Video in the lower right and pick a neighborhood.

I'm spooking 15th Avenue Ballard right now!
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on June 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Wait - PRISM? Philly's defunct movies-and-Philly-sports cable channel? Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers? Ah, good old Prism.
Posted by floater on June 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
While I am legitimately appalled by this whole shitstorm, I feel compelled to remind everyone... NOTHING ON THE INTERNET IS PRIVATE
Posted by lone locust on June 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM · Report this
NOW can we get the righties more concerned than just about the 2nd?
Posted by ejamadoodle on June 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM · Report this
Simply Me 5
How do we know who to be believe? Where is the truth in all this? Christ.
Posted by Simply Me on June 6, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
fletc3her 6
Ahh, but aren't they required by law to deny knowing about the program?
Posted by fletc3her on June 6, 2013 at 6:28 PM · Report this
Simply Me 7
Bingo @6
Posted by Simply Me on June 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM · Report this
The weasel word in Microsoft's statement is "voluntary."
Posted by PCM on June 6, 2013 at 8:10 PM · Report this
Just think of all the information they are now collecting on their cloud services, information they hold as a third party and which is therefore not protected by the 4th and 5th Amendments....
Posted by TechBear on June 6, 2013 at 8:20 PM · Report this
Betsy Ross 10
"Specific identifiers" could mean anything.
Posted by Betsy Ross on June 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM · Report this
Starting with Windows 98, Microsoft was capable of saving to the local pc all the sites visited, every e-mail header and address, every attachment sent/received, every search, every filename downloaded, all cookies, full readable e-mail from hotmail accounts and more in three extremely well hidden files on the local hard drive. So hidden you literally weren't capable of finding them from within Windows itself and a lot of voodoo to find and clean out (50 ish megs of space was a lot back then). I assume these days (like #9) they pipe directly to their servers.

How the late 70's/80's BC pop band PRISM became involved, I have no clue.
Posted by Large Hardon Colluder on June 6, 2013 at 9:38 PM · Report this
sirkowski 12
But they only spy on foreigners, right?

As a representative of all non-Americans; I don't care.
Posted by sirkowski on June 6, 2013 at 10:18 PM · Report this
@6: No.
Posted by yuiop on June 7, 2013 at 12:38 AM · Report this
There are so many escapes in that statement I don't really think you can make a judge either way.They don't state whether or not they would have considered PRISM legally binding. Identifiers could mean literally anything, e.g. "people who live in the U.S." The last sentence doesn't state whether or not they consider PRISM as being broader than the undefined criteria they set out in the first two sentences.
Posted by LEGALHOLES on June 7, 2013 at 12:55 AM · Report this
And yet their new console system has an 'always on' kinect that requires the system to be always online to play games or watch TV + their user agreement demands to accept terms in which you allow microsoft to record video and audio of you at any time to be used or sent to anyone (NSA, Youtube, who knows) for any reason.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, they arent involved in PRISM. Also, they would never lie about it if they were!
Posted by araucania on June 7, 2013 at 5:07 AM · Report this
Kinison 16
So even though Apple is doing the same thing as Microsoft, for some reason Goldy is going to once again give Apple a free pass, while attacking Microsoft in his usual biased way.
Posted by Kinison on June 7, 2013 at 5:28 AM · Report this
CC-Rob 17

U.S. Constitution - Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Posted by CC-Rob on June 7, 2013 at 6:30 AM · Report this
AFinch 18
Hahaha...I think the word you're stumbling on here is "voluntary" which is a lawyer speak way of saying, oh, no we don't participate in any program that doesn't actually exist - sure, the non-voluntary program that spies on all your junk continuously, we participate in that one.
Posted by AFinch on June 7, 2013 at 7:26 AM · Report this
#15 I have a hard time believing you have seen the final end user agreement for a consumer product that isn't out yet.
Posted by youmustbeMSFT on June 7, 2013 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Goldy 20
@16 Really? Please explain how this post is an attack on Microsoft?
Posted by Goldy on June 7, 2013 at 7:52 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 21
@13 is correct about @6.

Both MSFT and Apple have no choice but to spy on you for the govt.

And they can't admit they're doing it.

But they are.
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this

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