Documents provided by Edward Snowden implicate Microsoft in collaborating with US intelligence services to ensure its access to encrypted data gleaned from SkyDrive cloud storage, VoIP service Skype, and Outlook.com messages, according to the Guardian.
A new batch of files provided by Snowden shows a concerning co-operation between technology companies and intelligence agencies including the NSA. This is a relationship that is largely kept secret by law, yet many technology and hosting firms are appealing to the US government to be able disclose their obligations to the security community more fully in the interest of customer transparency. Neither Microsoft, nor any of the other tech companies implicated by the documents leaked by Snowden have claimed any knowledge the existence of such programs.
According to the Guardian, the leaked documents suggest that Microsoft had worked for months with the FBI to provide the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program easier backdoor access to SkyDrive.
In June, the Guardian reported that Microsoft had worked with the NSA to give pre-encryption access to emails in Outlook.com and Hotmail, an allegation Microsoft denied.
Microsoft stated in response to these allegations in July: “Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product.” But added, “There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That’s why we’ve argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.”