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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the learned-it-from-watching-the-nsa dept.

Microsoft 206

After the recent Windows 8 leak by recently arrrested then-Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo, Microsoft has tweaked its privacy policies, but also defended reading the email of the French blogger to whom Kibkalo sent the software. "The blogger in question, who remains unidentified, happened to use Hotmail—the investigation began in 2012 before Hotmail's Outlook.com transition—as his primary email account. So as part of its investigation, Microsoft peeked into the blogger's email account to read that person's correspondence with Kibkalo. ... Microsoft says it was justified in searching the blogger's email account, because it had probable cause to believe Kibkalo was funneling trade secrets to the blogger.The company also pointed out that even with its justification for searching the account, it would have been impossible to gain a court order." "The legal system wouldn't have let us" seems a strange argument to defend any act of snooping.

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Joy of joys! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553157)

My penis is now erect!

Re:Joy of joys! (-1, Offtopic)

grub (11606) | about 8 months ago | (#46553345)

Grease up that Yoda doll!

Re:Joy of joys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553667)

where is the "Slashdot won't post this" nutcase now?

1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553167)

1st

Re:1st (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553203)

No wonder you don't have a girlfriend.

According to Arrington, Google reads it too (5, Interesting)

mTor (18585) | about 8 months ago | (#46553195)

Here's what Michael Arrington, former editor of TechCrunch, says:

I have first hand knowledge of this. A few years ago, Iâ(TM)m nearly certain that Google accessed my Gmail account after I broke a major story about Google.

A couple of weeks after the story broke my source, a Google employee, approached me at a party in person in a very inebriated state and said that they (Iâ(TM)m being gender neutral here) had been asked by Google if they were the source. The source denied it, but was then shown an email that proved that they were the source.

The source had corresponded with me from a non Google email account, so the only way Google saw it was by accessing my Gmail account.

A little while after that my source was no longer employed by Google.

ABOUT THAT TIME GOOGLE SPIED ON MY GMAIL [uncrunched.com]

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#46553389)

Its interesting that no one claimed someone else planted the emails there. If they are accessing accounts then i'm not sure how they can claim no one else (including them at another time) accessedthe accounrs and sent that message in order to escape being discovered. I mean they went behind their backs so why wouldn't they go behind their backs.

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553401)

At this point, I think Arrington has little credibility. So his claims about Gmail, right or wrong, are not going to be taken seriously.

Re: According to Arrington, Google reads it too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553847)

[citation needed]

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553495)

Uhm, so Google read the email of one of its employees? Gosh!

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 8 months ago | (#46553565)

Wow, you suck at reading comprehension.

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (2)

1s44c (552956) | about 8 months ago | (#46553649)

Uhm, so Google read the email of one of its employees? Gosh!

Google read the email of a third party that that one their employees sent an email to. Google have the ability to, and willingness to, read private email of people who use gmail who are not otherwise connected to google. Gmail isn't to be trusted.

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (2)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46553737)

No. Google read the email of a person who corresponded with a Google employee. The mailbox they found the mail in was not that of a Google employee.

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46553695)

Sure, the TOS gives Microsoft the right to look at pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want, and it's true that Microsoft could not have got a warrant to search their own email service [because companies don't get issued search warrants, either for themselves or to permit them to search other businesses or individuals].

What they gloss over is, Microsoft could have avoided this whole mess by getting the police/FBI to run the investigation. The FBI would have no problem getting a search warrant for the email, Microsoft hands the email to the FBI, who search through it.

The FBI get the information they need to charge the guy and Microsoft doesn't look like a total hypocrite.

Problem solved.

Re:According to Arrington, Google reads it too (3, Insightful)

stoploss (2842505) | about 8 months ago | (#46553845)

All I'm hearing is that these bloggers are incompetent at protecting their sources.

I mean, WTF? Who the hell would imagine it's safe to use a company's services when collecting insider information? I mean the data is on the company's servers, FFS. I bet real spies don't need to be told not to set up a dead drop inside, say, the Capitol rotunda or the FBI headquarters, either.

Protip for any planning to publish dirt on Yahoo: don't use Yahoo mail to collect the information. Not that anyone still uses Yahoo mail anymore...

Bad summary (5, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about 8 months ago | (#46553205)

Much as I hate to defend Microsoft, the summary mischaracterises Microsoft's statement. Microsoft is saying that it already had the right to search the mailbox, so a court would not have issued an order. It's like asking a court for permission to search your own house. The court won't issue an order, but that doesn't mean that it would be illegal to do the search.

I don't know if Microsoft is right in its claim that it would not have been able to get a court order, but let's get the facts straight when criticising Microsoft.

Re: Bad summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553387)

Quote : "Microsoft is saying that it already had the right to search the mailbox"

And you see no fallacy here? Incredible.

Intruder is saying he already had the right to break into the house. No need to ask for permission.

Good news : I am allowed to smash you in the face. Who allowed it? Well me, obviously. I allowed it so why should I ask you or someone else? Me as the owner of the fist allowed it.

Tl;dr : You must be batshit crazy to think that was legitimate without a court order. But hey, MS said so. Must be true then. Facepalm

Re: Bad summary (1, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46553413)

Intruder is saying he already had the right to break into the house. No need to ask for permission.

That's right. He owns the house. And guess what. A landlord can go into your apartment without your permission also.

Re: Bad summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553471)

That is not a universal law. In Europe your landlord can not enter the flat without the tenants permission. It is expressly forbidden.

Re: Bad summary (5, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 8 months ago | (#46553539)

A landlord can go into your apartment without your permission also.

Wrong. Except in cases of emergency, he needs your permission. Unlike what some people think, you do get a few rights when you pay for the use of the apartment...

Re: Bad summary (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46553631)

Yes, well, I've noticed it's pretty easy to declare an "emergency".

Re: Bad summary (0)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 8 months ago | (#46554039)

That actually varies by state to state... Some states require the landlord to provide notice, others do not. I had this problem at my first apartment. The landlord was constantly sending in maintenance and not bothering to tell me. They had to do work on the furnace, inspect the fire extinguishers, etc. At least once a month they came in and the only reason I knew was because I bought a security camera. It was ridiculous. In the end, I moved out. Legally there was nothing I could do and trust me, I was pissed and tried.

Re: Bad summary (1, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 8 months ago | (#46553613)

Castle doctrine, anyone?

Jingle jingle - creeeeaak - BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!

Officer: "Ma'am, why did you shoot the landlord six times?"

Tenant: "I ran out of bullets, officer!"

Re: Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553621)

A landlord can go into your apartment without your permission also.

Where I live he would get a police escort helping him leave and a nice notice from court forbidding him from getting anywhere near his property for the next few years.
After all there is a legal document that states that "I pay him" to use that apartment as "my" home and as a result unless "I" invite him into "my" home he has no right to be there - he has after all temporarily transferred parts of his rights as the owner to me in exchange for my money.

Re: Bad summary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 months ago | (#46553679)

A landlord can go into your apartment without your permission also.

Not in my country, he can't, other than under quite strictly defined conditions such as to effect repairs in an emergency.

What you say might be true in the US, but Europe typically has stronger privacy safeguards.

Re: Bad summary (0)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 8 months ago | (#46553777)

I know someone who owns a house that his ex wife has been staying in. When they divorced it also resulted in a restraining order being taken out by her against him. It is his house though. So he is in the position of being unable to approach the house or her to collect rent on the house or to evict her.

Re: Bad summary (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46553833)

But he absolutely cannot open your mailbox or paw through your personal papers. Generally, landlords who enter without permission are limited to actions necessary to protect the property from damage (fire, leaking pipe, etc).

Re: Bad summary (4, Informative)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#46553915)

Intruder is saying he already had the right to break into the house. No need to ask for permission.

That's right. He owns the house. And guess what. A landlord can go into your apartment without your permission also.

That's not quite how it has worked in in my experience as a renter in the US, Australia, and Sweden.

Re: Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553923)

And copy any documents he finds there? LOL!

Re: Bad summary (2)

Albanach (527650) | about 8 months ago | (#46553441)

Tl;dr : You must be batshit crazy to think that was legitimate without a court order. But hey, MS said so. Must be true then. Facepalm

So, you say they can't do it without a court order, but don't seem to address their statement that they cannot get a court order.

So what exactly is your proposal in these circumstances?

Re: Bad summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553483)

If they can not get a court order, they have no right to intrude into the mailbox. Really simples. There is no dilemma.

Get a court order or stay out.

Re: Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553497)

Not accessing the email.

Re: Bad summary (2)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 8 months ago | (#46553535)

Typical corporate behavior - lobby incessantly against regulation but when caught in blatant malfeasance shirk accountability with the excuse "it may be unethical but it is not illegal"

Re: Bad summary (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#46553933)

Typical corporate behavior - lobby incessantly against regulation but when caught in blatant malfeasance shirk accountability with the excuse "it may be unethical but it is not illegal"

It's more like, "If we ask, we know that we'll be told it's illegal. Therefore, we won't ask."

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553801)

His legal defence is weak, however bad PR Microsoft will ensure...in other words, the guy going down, and Microsoft Cloud Biz is going down as well!

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46554053)

That's complete BS. To stay with your house comparison: It's as if they were to search a part of the house they own, that they rented out to someone else.

You do need a search warrant for that and of course a private entity won't get one.

Still better than being Scroogled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553217)

Still better than having every email read by Google for advertising. Cue the "bit, it's automated" apologists below.

Re:Still better than being Scroogled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553593)

You think Microsoft doesn't read your mail for advertising?

Try again. They read it to build up mailing lists to send you more mail...

Re:Still better than being Scroogled (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 8 months ago | (#46553683)

Microsoft have the strong advantage that they are no good at it. You have no privacy if you give your email to either of these companies.

The traditional slashdot approach was to run your own mail server. I don't know how common that is any more but I still do it.

Re:Still better than being Scroogled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553723)

You think Microsoft doesn't read your mail for advertising?

Try again. They read it to build up mailing lists to send you more mail...

So, I use outlook.com because I think it is the best free email service currently, and especially like how they unlike Gmail offer real anonymous aliases, and I have seen no evidence of your claim, it is my most spam free account. So it seems to me and my experience that you are (cough, full of it) just defending Google bad practices.

Re:Still better than being Scroogled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553887)

Wait, seriously?

Algorithm matching up keywords to bids to - gasp! - show you ads is worse than random people digging through your mail because they feel like it?

You gotta have your priorities checked.

beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553219)

I kinda like beta

Re:beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553341)

Fuck you. Fuck you in your ass.

Don't store unencrypted email online (4, Insightful)

gwstuff (2067112) | about 8 months ago | (#46553227)

While this story is crazy, and MS should be spitballed for it... I don't buy that other companies that let your store your data online don't give access to your data to their employee, if only for "debugging and administrative purposes." If you want to store your data online encrypt it.

Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553351)

Unfortunately, you have a saying in that. [facebook.com] Well, not unless you don't have any friends, which may not even save you depending on where you live [bbc.co.uk] . Well, I suppose you could always move to Ecuador....

Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 8 months ago | (#46553439)

If you want to store your data online encrypt it.

Unless you're using a one time pad, don't bother... You're only slowing down the script kiddies.

Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 8 months ago | (#46553677)

Unless you're using a one time pad, don't bother... You're only slowing down the script kiddies.

Funny, I wasn't aware that PGP, TwoFish, AES, and ECC have all been broken by script kiddies. Thank God we still have the ole one-time pad to fall back on!

In all seriousness, no matter how smart the hacker or how well funded the organization, modern encryption standards, implemented correctly, are essentially unbreakable. Please don't discourage people from encrypting their data online, as it's absolutely essential for properly protecting your data. If you encrypt your data locally with a well-vetted standard, there's nothing ANYONE can do to retrieve it (other than circumventing it by stealing the key, etc), which, as far as we know, even includes the likes of the NSA.

Re:Don't store unencrypted email online (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46553867)

I came here to say exactly this. All the cloud companies whose internal workings I am familiar with use the data in ways that violates people's privacy, or to actively destroy competition. The sole exception was a company that was too incompetent to find a useful use for the data, otherwise I know they would have as well.

Scroogled by Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 8 months ago | (#46553235)

Here is to Microsofts shit ad campaign "Scroogled" - first they snoop on all Skype communication and now they admit to reading emails LOOKING for things.

I fully expect the daft ad men at Microsoft to continue their pathetic ad campaign.

Glass houses and all that.

Re:Scroogled by Microsoft! (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 8 months ago | (#46553443)

I once went to Microsoft for a meeting and was talking with someone. They had my entire work profile stored in there. I never gave it to them nor did I ever apply for a position in Microsoft. They have a profile database on everyone they have even a tangential connection with.

Microshafted (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553765)

Time for the "Microshafted" campaign to start.

Free Email (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553243)

Is not free. They are reading your email to make money via ad sales, via selling your information to third parties, and via selling it to governments.

You are the only person who doesn't care about your information even though everyone is using it against you and your interests.

It's time for people to wake the hell up.

I want to be shocked, but honestly I'm not (1)

ocsibrm (3588573) | about 8 months ago | (#46553253)

I'd expect the same from damn near any company, which is why if I was funneling secrets about a company I would just roll my own mail server.

Re:I want to be shocked, but honestly I'm not (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 8 months ago | (#46553289)

Not to defend Microsoft's actions, but this does seem like exceptionally poor judgement on the part of the leaker, on par with robbing a bank and having them put the money in your safe deposit box.

Re:I want to be shocked, but honestly I'm not (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 8 months ago | (#46553963)

My thought exactly. If you're going to leak information about your company to a blogger, don't use either your company email account or an account with a service your company owns. Best, of course, is to find a way to get the data home and send it from there using an email address they neither know about nor have access to.

They checked without a warrant (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 8 months ago | (#46553271)

Does ownership of the network override the laws of the country the network is in?

If they had opened physical mail, this would be a criminal charge. But because it's digital, somehow ownership of the service exempts them from having to obey any kind of privacy laws.

Dangerous and shows why you should not trust anything online.

Re:They checked without a warrant (2)

raburton (1281780) | about 8 months ago | (#46553357)

> Does ownership of the network override the laws of the country the network is in?

It's not a legal question at all. If you use the service you have accepted their terms and so have given them permission to do this.

> If they had opened physical mail, this would be a criminal charge. But because it's digital, somehow ownership of the service exempts them from having to obey any kind of privacy laws.

The fact it's digital doesn't make it a special case, if you agreed to let them open your physical mail they could do that too.

> Dangerous and shows why you should not trust anything online.

You shouldn't trust anyone on line, that's true. However this isn't the best example of that, but it is a good example of why you should read the T&C of anything you sign up to.

Re:They checked without a warrant (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 8 months ago | (#46553529)

Companies can write all the terms they want, they shouldn't be able to override the laws already in place.

Re:They checked without a warrant (3, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | about 8 months ago | (#46553585)

> It's not a legal question at all. If you use the service you have accepted their terms and so have given them permission to do this.
That *is* a legal question. If the EULA says: we own your first born, is that so just because you checked a box on a web site? Nope. There are laws governing the reading of email, and Microsoft has to obey those rules like everyone else.

Re:They checked without a warrant (1)

raburton (1281780) | about 8 months ago | (#46553755)

> That *is* a legal question. If the EULA says: we own your first born, is that so just because you checked a box on a web site? Nope. There are laws governing the reading of email, and Microsoft has to obey those rules like everyone else.

I'll ignore your stupid analogy and stick to the point. Do these laws you reference say that that you aren't allowed to give your permission for someone else to read your email? I'd be very surprised (though you haven't stated any specific laws to check), so if you've given someone permission to read your email then they have every legal right to do so. There are plenty of issues here, moral ones mainly, but I don't see any legal problem. If you can see a legal issue here, i.e. one that isn't addressed by the user having given microsoft permission to read his email (under certain circumstances, which appear to have been met), do please elaborate.

Re:They checked without a warrant (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | about 8 months ago | (#46553739)

EULA does not and never will override legal, law of the land.

I can put slavery in a EULA, that doesn't make it legal.

I can put invasion of your privacy, that doesn't make it legal either.

This is a matter for the courts. A company documents does not make law.

Re:They checked without a warrant (1)

raburton (1281780) | about 8 months ago | (#46553819)

> EULA does not and never will override legal, law of the land.
> I can put slavery in a EULA, that doesn't make it legal.
> I can put invasion of your privacy, that doesn't make it legal either.

I think you are missing an important legal distinction. Microsoft / the EULA isn't overriding any law. You can't make slavery illegal by putting it in an EULA because slavery is illegal. Reading email is not inherently illegal. Reading it without the permission of the owner might well be, but microsoft does have that permission (therefore they are never doing it without permission which is the the part that might be illegal). They have permission it because the user gave it to them. The law is generally fine with you granting other people permission to do things on your behalf, so long as that thing isn't illegal in itself. It's not uncommon for people to give their secretary permission to read their email, does that mean the secretary is breaking the law when they do?

Corporations do NOT operate under color of law (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 8 months ago | (#46553281)

Microsoft has no right to act as a law enforcement entity. So, when they try to justify trespassing on someone's email account and stealing their email by saying that they had "probable cause to believe" whatever, it doesn't fly.

Maybe I should go break into my neighbor's house in the middle of the night and ransack the place because I have probable cause to believe he "borrowed" my week whacker without asking... that'd be perfectly okay, right Microsoft?

Re:Corporations do NOT operate under color of law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553331)

More then likely their TOS makes this all legal.

Re:Corporations do NOT operate under color of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553849)

"More THEN"...

You American cretin.

Don't you even understand what the words 'then' and 'than' mean? Idiot.

Re: Corporations do NOT operate under color of law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553477)

My TOS states that I can legally kill you anytime I wish! Hey you agreed, your life is now owned by me! Your rights aren't so eaisy to waive, what are you a communist? This is a country of free people protected by laws for the people! Our right to privacy is covered by the constitution! It's absolutely mail and a wire tapping criminal action! It couldn't be more clear. It really pisses me off that some will give thier freedom away so easily, damn, just damn...

Re:Corporations do NOT operate under color of law (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 8 months ago | (#46553527)

So, when they try to justify trespassing on someone's email account

Which is a service provided by them. Hosted on their servers. Stored on their servers. Wait, which part of this was trespassing?

stealing their email

Reading. Unless they somehow actually moved the bits of the e-mail out of the person's account, and into theirs. Even if they made a copy, it's not stealing.

by saying that they had "probable cause to believe" whatever, it doesn't fly

Why doesn't it, though? And in what sense? A moral sense, a business internal rules and regulations sense, a legal sense?

Maybe I should go break into my neighbor's house in the middle of the night and ransack the place because I have probable cause to believe he "borrowed" my week whacker without asking... that'd be perfectly okay, right Microsoft?

Horrible analogy. What if your neighbor came into your house each night, with your permission of course, you told them that they can use your computer all they like without fear of you peeking of their shoulder as it were, as long as they don't start downloading a bunch of movies, and that you reserve the right to check their internet activity if you believe they did - then find that your internet usage surged and you kept hearing the 20th Century Fox, Universal and other well-known studio themes?

Would you then, as per your own stipulation, check whether maybe they did download a whole bunch of movies - even though the person may have just been downloading Linux distros and playing those studio themes on youtube because they're a fan of movie studio themes?

If no: Why not?

If yes: How bad would you feel about doing so?

While it's all good and well to think our stuff at third parties is private - and in some cases some laws may even agree with you to an extent - I think we're all aware that in practice, anybody can be looking in.. and when the subject of the material is the proprietor of the service, doubly so.

This surprises whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553285)

1) They're saying they don't need a court order, which is true, because it's Microsoft's property;

2) If you know or are ever likely to know anyone or know anyone who knows anyone who is an employee of any major webmail provider, you can assume your e-mail can and will be read on a whim. Can confirm this is the case at Yahoo, anyway. The question shouldn't be, "Why is this happening?" but, "Why does anyone think this doesn't happen?"

Re: This surprises whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553403)

Wrong. It is false that didn't need a court order. Ownership of the server is irrelevant.

Dear Microsoft, (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 8 months ago | (#46553301)

Fine. Read peoples' emails. Whenever you think it's necessary. But don't be surprised when people stop trusting you, and, consequently, your profits go down because of it.

Before it did look inside the blogger's account, however, the company claims it went through a "rigorous process" to justify the snooping.

Uh huh.

Personal criminal liability applies (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#46553309)

I suspect that certain MS managers and system administrators should now refrain from traveling to the EU for the next few years. Under EU law, you may not even look at email of your employees without having gotten a signed waiver on paper or a court order.

Re:Personal criminal liability applies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553511)

I am sure this is incorrect. Can you point me to your source (e.g. legislation)

Re:Personal criminal liability applies (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 8 months ago | (#46553553)

I'm neither a lawyer nor intimately familiar with the details of this particular case, but I'm a bit confused how EU law would apply to a US based company running a US-based service (such as an outlook.com email address), regardless of the nationality of the person who signed up for said service.

Re:Personal criminal liability applies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553625)

Russian citizen. French blogger.

Guess EU laws apply to at least one of them...if not both.

Re:Personal criminal liability applies (1)

Teun (17872) | about 8 months ago | (#46553889)

Microsoft offers these services as a commercial enterprise to nationals of and in other countries, separate jurisdictions from the US.

The laws of the land where they are doing business is rather relevant, this 'business' was not in the US.
It would surprise me if their local representative isn't going to be charged for this breach of confidentiality.

Re:Personal criminal liability applies (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about 8 months ago | (#46553589)

Even if this is illegal on paper, I don't expect to see anyone who works at Microsoft be arrested for this if they go to the EU.
There are laws, and then there are laws that actually get enforced on individual people who work for big businesses. This is one of those laws that gets resolved with a fine against the corporation, not by tossing people in jail.

Cyberhacked by Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553335)

When Microsoft becomes law enforcement, THEN and only then will they be entitled to say "we had probable cause." Until then, then hacked his account, just as if I had gained access to it and read his mail too.

ToS not a contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553349)

ToS are not contracts. A ToS can only specify the policy by which the service is provided to end users and does not form part of a legally binding contract between parties. A policy is merely a formal statement of a series of rules that a provider intends to follow and can be changed at any time. A ToS is not legally enforceable and the inclusion of particular rights, to either party, is not legally valid.

As such, it is clear that Microsoft committed a criminal act by accessing and reading the emails.

Oh dear...

Re:ToS not a contract (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 8 months ago | (#46553409)

Where's Groklaw when we need it?

In the US, under the CFAA [digitaltrends.com] you can be prosecuted for violating a ToS.

If a prosecutor so chooses, she can use the CFAA to argue that anyone who violates a Terms of Service is committing a felony. That means every 12-year-old who uses Google Search (or Facebook, for that matter) could technically be targeted under CFAA.

It's not a great law by any means and I don't support it but until it's repealed it can ruin anybody's life.

Re:ToS not a contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553525)

Where's Groklaw when we need it?

Thankfully dead and buried as the biased trash that it was.

Re:ToS not a contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553645)

Groklaw was the most truthful source of information available.

PJ was most careful about that, clearly labeling what was her opinion, and what was legal practice.

Re:ToS not a contract (1)

russotto (537200) | about 8 months ago | (#46553605)

I believe that reading of the CFAA -- that violating the TOS is a felony -- was struck down by the 9th Circuit in the Lori Drew case. Which doesn't mean they can't try to prosecute you for it, it just means it's an uphill battle (especially in the area of the 9th circuit).

Re:ToS not a contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553533)

ToS are not contracts. A ToS can only specify the policy by which the service is provided to end users and does not form part of a legally binding contract between parties. A policy is merely a formal statement of a series of rules that a provider intends to follow and can be changed at any time. A ToS is not legally enforceable and the inclusion of particular rights, to either party, is not legally valid.

Correct.

As such, it is clear that Microsoft committed a criminal act by accessing and reading the emails.

How do you get that from the first part? They're allowed to look at e-mail on their own servers. There's no law against that.

Re:ToS not a contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553691)

There is, in electronic terms it amounts to a wiretap. There is no difference between data that resides on storage and data in transit. Its just the same thing. Facebook and Google are having cases brought against them:

http://marketingland.com/facebook-sued-under-federal-wiretapping-law-for-mining-private-messages-69461

Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553411)

There is no longer any expectation of privacy with email. If you don't want anyone else reading it, use encryption.

BS click-bait headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553429)

BS they are reading my mail. I am not a MS employee engaged in criminal activities.

And when using Outlook.com (that used to be hotmail.com) you have agreed to what is on that page.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/code-of-conduct

                includes content that is protected by intellectual property laws, rights of privacy or publicity, or any other applicable law unless you own or control the rights
                  thereto or have received all necessary consents.

And that is even more the case when you are an MS employee.

Slashdot is circling the drain faster and faster these days.

Everybody is reading your email (1)

houghi (78078) | about 8 months ago | (#46553487)

When comparing email to snail mail, standard email is like a postcard. Everybody who gets their hands on it can read it.

If I send a postcard and somebody else reads it, should I be upset? I think not. I should not have written it on a postcard.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553489)

We are Microsoft and we can do what we want if we want to do it.

Don't steal stuff.. (1)

KliX (164895) | about 8 months ago | (#46553517)

..from the company controlling your comms! Jesus Christ these were crappy thieves!

scroogled hypocrisy (1)

mpicpp (3454017) | about 8 months ago | (#46553537)

Didn't M$ run an ad campaign dissing Google for scanning email for personal information? They say "Think Google respects your privacy? Think again." http://www.scroogled.com/mail [scroogled.com] hypocrites!

Re:scroogled hypocrisy (2)

1s44c (552956) | about 8 months ago | (#46553727)

All multinationals are hypocrites. All advertising is an attempt at making people believe things that are at best only part true.

If you give your data away you don't have it anymore. Don't give Google, Microsoft, or anyone else all your private email.

Remember kids... (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#46553599)

Remember kids...
Do not store incriminating evidence on the servers of the company you're trying to screw.

Legal system? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46553607)

I wasn't aware that and EULA, or TOS could be used to violate the law or a persons rights.

I can't be the only one wondering wtf is going on in the US these days:

  • Companies violate the law because the courts wouldn't give them permission?
  • The police use an NDA as an excuse to violate the law [slashdot.org]
  • I don't even need to get started on the NSA disaster
  • Our previous president invaded two countries for... Well, we really don't have a valid reason
  • The current president chooses what laws will and will not be enforced because... I don't know, he doesn't like them?
  • The TSA has to be the biggest farce in the history of mankind. Does the fourth amendment even mean anything any more? Then we have "stop and frisk"

At the rate we're going, the next administration will use the bill of rights and constitution to wipe their ass and then set them on fire. Sadly, half the country will probably applaud them for it.

Corporations should be classified differently .. (1)

macaulay805 (823467) | about 8 months ago | (#46553653)

This is why I've always thought that corporations equaling a private person (in the eyes of the law) was a gross error. I've been thinking for quite some time now that corporations should be reclassified as a form of government (or recognized as a government body). With that being said, all corporations should have the same restrictions placed on corporations that the US government has. No search and seizure without a warrant, nothing done without "whitelisting" (specifically granting them powers, instead of them doing whatever they want and a law restricts their actions after the fact), corporations should not have a vote (only real people), etc. Furthermore, US Government officials would be still forbidden from "taking bribes from foreign government officials" would also fix the whole ....... campaign contribution scheme. Just ideas ...

Scroogled by Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553715)

Terms of Service, we are Evil.. get use to it!

The legal system wouldn't have let us (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 8 months ago | (#46553721)

>The legal system wouldn't have let us

Using "The French legal system will not let us spy on someone in France about charges in a country that is not France' as a justification makes sense actually. Trying to shield yourself by working with someone in a third country shouldn't shield you from domestic actions, and the French are notoriously bad about doing anything about people in france charged elsewhere, including on very serious crimes. See Roman Polanski.

That blogger is an airhead (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about 8 months ago | (#46553775)

Who receives leaks from Microsoft at an email-account owned by a division of Microsoft?
That's as if Snowden had contacted Greenwald from his BAH account.

Insane.

Re:That blogger is an airhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553835)

Who receives leaks from Microsoft at an email-account owned by a division of Microsoft?

That's as if Snowden had contacted Greenwald from his BAH account.

Insane.

Sounds like a MS kool aid guzzler. Probably doesn't realize there are alternatives. Or maybe actually believed those Scrooged ads.

Re:That blogger is an airhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46553943)

Or a plant in which case MS took the bait.

What TOS are you reading? (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 8 months ago | (#46554057)

Has anyone seen a TOS that does not give the company rights of ownership of you, yours, and all things associated with everything else they can cram into the TOS? I've often wondered why TOS are so wordy. I would simply write, "Do you confirm that you are our bitch and everything yours is now ours?".

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