An ex-Microsoft employee was arrested by the FBI for stealing and leaking copies of Microsoft Windows 8.
Tech companies have denied any acknowledgement of the government spying on people who use their Internet services.
Although, a legal case was recently filed against a former Microsoft employee that proves the companies snoop on their customers whenever they like.
Microsoft accused their former employee of stealing company trade secrets and leaking the software to a blogger.
A further investigation showed that there were email instant messages of the blogger and the ex-Microsoft employee conversing about these accounts.
The ex-Microsoft accused employee is Alex Kibkalo, he allegedly gave a French blogger the source code to Windows 8, prior to his discharge.
During the case’s investigation, the company snooped on the blogger’s Hotmail emails and instant messages. They found that he did receive confidential information from Kibkalo.
Not too long after the revelation, Microsoft released a statement saying the company would take the necessary steps to reassure users that their communications will be private.
Microsoft’s vice president and deputy general counsel, John E. Frank, said if Microsoft has any evidence of wrongdoing against it, the company will submit that evidence to an outside lawyer who is a former judge, and would conduct a search of private communications only if the judge concluded there was enough evidence to meet the standards for a court order.
Mr. Kibkalo, a Russian national, was arrested in Seattle earlier this week. Russel Leonard, the public defender assigned to represent him, did not respond to the request for any comments.
The blogger also admitted to receiving confidential information and software from Mr. Kibkalo. He disclosed that activation keys were sold for Windows Server software on eBay.
Nate Cardozo, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that many companies had broad terms of service. It is extremely rare that the terms are actually followed through and sift through a customer’s personal email.
“To see Microsoft using this right to essentially look through a blogger’s email account for evidence of wrongdoing and then turn it over on a silver platter for law enforcement, it is extremely undesirable,” Mr. Cardozo said.
Click on this link to view the full Document Complaint Against Alex Kibkalo.
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Microsoft admits snooping on blogger’s Hotmail account to find Windows 8 leak – Tech Spot
Microsoft Software Leak Inquiry Raises Privacy Issues – NY Times