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- American whistleblower and former National Security Agency contractor
Tech firm Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages sent over Outlook and Skype, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
According to leaked internal memos given to The Guardian, the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Microsoft in order to enable them to read personal messages sent over Skype as well as Outlook email, and its predecessor Hotmail.
Microsoft also gave the NSA access to its increasingly popular SkyDrive cloud storage service, according to the reports.
Former NSA contractor Snowden provided the newspaper with documents that suggested a ‘sophisticated’ link between the government agency and the tech giant.
Microsoft claims that it is only doing what it is compelled to do to stay within the law, explaining in a statement:
“When we upgrade or update products we aren’t absolved from the need to comply with existing or future lawful demands.”
In June, The Guardian revealed that NSA claims to use ‘Prism’ software to access all of the major tech companies including Apple and Google.
The revelations follow Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales calling the UK government’s proposed data encryption ban ‘moronic’. Under such a ruling, services that use encrypted data, such as WhatsApp, could be banned.
Following a series of leaks regarding his former employer, Snowden has been indicted in the U.S. under the Espionage Act. He has requested asylum from numerous countries and is currently living in Russia.
He recently made headlines when he joined Twitter and naively forgot to turn off email notifications. Be was subsequently bombarded with 47GB of emails after gaining over a million followers in a matter of hours.