Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the we-won't-look-we'll-get-law-enforcement-to-do-that dept.

Blackmoore writes:

SN reported last week the story of a search by Microsoft through a reporter's Hotmail account looking for evidence of stolen IP, which resulted in quite a bit of criticism for Microsoft's heavy-handed approach.

Mike Masnick at TechDirt reports that Microsoft and its legal team took the criticism seriously. Microsoft's General Counsel Brad Smith has now put out a new blog post announcing a complete change in policy, promising that it will not unilaterally look through any Microsoft user's content in search of "stolen" intellectual property. If such a search is thought necessary they will refer the matter to Law Enforcement.

Related Stories

Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested for Leaking Code 35 comments

Rashek writes:

"Alex Kibkalo, an ex-Microsoft employee was just arrested for stealing and leaking company secrets.

Having spent seven years working for Microsoft, Kibkalo is alleged to have leaked Windows 8 code to a French technology blogger in mid-2012, prior to the software's release. Kibkalo was apparently angry over a poor performance review."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:02PM (#24410)

    Email inception? So their beginning of email? What does that even mean?

    • (Score: 1) by Blackmoore on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:18PM

      by Blackmoore (57) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:18PM (#24419) Journal

      Got me there. I ripped that out of the Techdirt Article.

      I'm no damn journalist.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:28PM (#24425)

        No you didn't. The TechDirt article does not use "inception" anywhere. The title is:

        Kudos: Microsoft Changes Policy, Promises Not To Inspect Customers' Content (Email)

        • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:31PM

          by Blackmoore (57) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:31PM (#24430) Journal

          or i misspelled Inspection. or chose the wrong option in the spell checker.
          either way my fault.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:05PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:05PM (#24411)

    It would be of value for someone to create a closely curated cloud privacy wiki.

    I would be interested to know which hosted cloud storage provider would be most interested in my pr0n, google drive, dropbox, spideroak, or the bazillion other providers?

    A more general privacy advisement service would be interesting, for email providers from this article, etc.

    Someone's probably squirted out some kind of ad supported service along these lines?

    • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:17PM

      by fliptop (1666) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:17PM (#24497) Journal

      It would be of value for someone to create a closely curated cloud privacy wiki

      Are you suggesting someone actually read all the Terms and Conditions? Seriously, no one here usually bothers to RTFA, so good luck w/ that.

      --
      To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday April 02 2014, @11:20AM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 02 2014, @11:20AM (#24693)

        Yeah that's why it's a classic "somebody else should do this so I can use it" project.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by lx on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:05PM

    by lx (1915) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:05PM (#24412)

    I stopped using Hotmail because Leo DiCaprio and that stupid top of his kept popping up in my emails.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:21PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:21PM (#24422) Journal

    Quoting the linked blog:

    Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required.

    So as I read this, if some third party alleges sharing of IP via Microsoft's email (or presumably onedrive) Microsoft won't do anything except refer it to the police.

    Which means they are washing their hands of the whole matter until the Police contact them back and tell them they need to inspect that storage.

    However, the police aren't going to do anything about sum random request unless there are big lawyers involved. Seriously, what police force has the time to track down someone distributing a song or a movie on some random web site.

    This suggests to me that Microsoft may have some local Officer Friendly which will turn around and rubber stamp a search request so Microsoft can pretend they had nothing to do with it.

    Either that or they are going to make each complainant go through some level of law enforcement before they will get involved.

    Somehow I suspect there are giant loopholes in this policy carefully hidden in weasel words that allow a lot more freedom to Microsoft than it appears at first blush.

    I have a hotmail account and a OneDrive account, but I've never entertained the crazy notion that Microsoft affords me any level of privacy in either, other than the anonymity that comes from being in a crowd. My suspicion is that this new promise rings hollow.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by kristian on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:40PM

      by kristian (2395) <{kristian} {at} {waffl.in}> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:40PM (#24434) Homepage

      However, the police aren't going to do anything about sum random request unless there are big lawyers involved. Seriously, what police force has the time to track down someone distributing a song or a movie on some random web site.

      The whole issue here had to do with Microsoft's own intellectual property (in this case source code) being leaked through a hotmail account. I don't think that they intend to report anybody for distributing songs and movies. They probably take the same approach to this that other tech companies take, which is to ignore the infringement until a DMCA notice shows up.

      --
      The opinions expressed in this post are those of the individual sender and not those of Kristian Picon.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01 2014, @09:53PM (#24482)

        FWIW "leaked through" is a little misleading. The sender, while a microsoft employee, did not use hotmail to send anything from microsoft. He did talk to a reporter who had a hotmail address - MS knew the reporter was involved (he reported it, duh) so MS went through the reporter's old email to see who had been talking to him.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday April 02 2014, @12:34AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 02 2014, @12:34AM (#24540) Journal

        The prior incident was microsoft IP sent to hotmail.

        However, the new policy addresses much more than simply Microsoft source code. You have to look past the triggering event, and toward the future, because that is exactly what Microsoft's new policy addresses.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by carguy on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:22PM

      by carguy (568) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 01 2014, @08:22PM (#24451)

      > other than the anonymity that comes from being in a crowd.

      Big difference between a crowd and a searchable database!

  • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Saturday April 05 2014, @12:02PM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 05 2014, @12:02PM (#26637) Journal

    ... it will not unilaterally look through any Microsoft user's content in search of "stolen" intellectual property.

    Thanks Microsoft. So that's one scenario in which you won't look through a user's content. What about every other scenario? What if, instead of a journalist reporting a leak of Windows 8, it was instead a journalist reporting, for example "a press conference scheduled for 3 weeks time, where VMWare will be launching a new top secret product that I think will eat into a big chunk of Microsoft's revenue"?

    And there a million and one other scenarios where Microsoft or its employees may wish to take a peek.

     
    TFA agrees:

    Personally, I wish the announcement and policy change went a bit further -- beyond just "intellectual or physical property," but making it clear across the board that, absent a reasonable warrant signed by a judge, Microsoft will not allow anyone to access anyone's content.

    I think "a bit further" may be an understatement.

     
    Hopefully the answer is that most scenarios are already excluded by their policies, and "stolen intellectual property" was one of the exceptions, and it is now being removed from the list of exceptions. But the Microsoft blog post doesn't say that.