Friday, March 22, 2013

Microsoft gives up your secrets to the FBI too

You already know your smartphone holds a ton of information about you from our previous article on Your Iphone and Android, and then our article on cellular companies not keeping secrets as they look for ways to turn a profit.

You know about Search Engines like Google turning over your secrets in the name of National Security.  

Now Microsoft recently came clean and spoke about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation is secretly spying on its customers with so-called National Security Letters that don’t require a judge’s approval.

National Security Letters target your information on Hotmail/, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Account, Messenger and Office 365.

The National Security Letters require Microsoft to hand over confidential records about their customers, such as subscriber information, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, websites visited, pictures, word docs, excel, and more.

In 2011, the year with the latest available figures, the FBI issued 16,511 National Security Letters pertaining to 7,201 different persons.

Under the Patriot Act, a National Security Letter may compel Microsoft to divulge “the name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records” of our users if it is “relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

An FBI agent can self-issue an NSL to credit bureaus, ISPs, phone companies or any business with only the sign-off of the special agent in charge of their field office.