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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:00PM   Printer-friendly
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.

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  • (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.

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