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03-29-2014 12:55 AM
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  1. psychotron's Avatar
    This EFF attorney explains far better than I was able to as to why Microsoft should have involved a third party sooner rather than later and how it most likely would have spared them this recent firestorm. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/0...oure-microsoft
    03-22-2014 09:09 PM
  2. Markham Ranja's Avatar
    Some of you act like this is a case were someone said something bad about MS and MS abused its power to hunt them down and destroy them. This was an investigation into a major crime. The reality is that the two people involved in this crime were incredibly stupid. The former employee was committing several crimes and he used MS services (SkyDrive) in the process. The blogger emailed Microsoft using his Hotmail account to ask them if the stolen authorization codes were legit. How stupid can you get?! If someone stole my phone and then started using it to call their friends and take pictures, do you think I should ask for a search warrant or court order before I look at their calls records on my cell phone bill? Should I get permission to copy their selfies that automatically upload to my OneDrive? What do you think the police would say when I ask them for permission to log into my AT&T account and read the text message that the criminal is sending? I'm pretty sure they would say, "why are you asking us for permission?"
    The reality is that there now seems to be an MS distortion field. Suddenly MS can access consumer Hotmail accounts, all on THEIR OWN suspicion that there may be criminal activity that may harm them? And this is fine? What rubbish.

    The problem here is that MS unilaterally went ahead and did this without a warrant. And yeah, just because it's Hotmail does not mean that MS automatically has the right. It's like a hotel or rented accomodation - a hotel must have a police officer present to open a guest's room without permission. That's the more appropriate metaphor. MS should have gotten the police involved and at least asked them to supervise or be present when this was going on.
    03-22-2014 11:00 PM
  3. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    It's hard to take you seriously when you are still talking nonsense about a private company "getting a warrant". That can't even be done as I already explained. Go back and re-read my post including the parts you conveniently left out when you quoted me. That part was actually specifically for you.
    03-23-2014 12:54 AM
  4. travis_valkyrie's Avatar
    ^^ I'm with you there. Apparently either a summary or a thorough explanation of what had happened wasn't enough for that guy. The thing is he's like unilaterally (seems like the only word he knows to defend his argument) defending Google just because he uses gmail. But what he doesn't know is apparently Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim right to read user emails | Technology | theguardian.com

    "Like Microsoft, other webmail giants all reserve the right to read user emails, if 'deemed necessary'"
    Last edited by travis_valkyrie; 03-23-2014 at 02:08 AM. Reason: This could be my last post in this thread. I felt like a high school teacher trying to teach monkeys how to be civilized.
    03-23-2014 02:05 AM
  5. colinkiama's Avatar
    ^^ I'm with you there. Apparently either a summary or a thorough explanation of what had happened wasn't enough for that guy. The thing is he's like unilaterally (seems like the only word he knows to defend his argument) defending Google just because he uses gmail. But what he doesn't know is apparently Yahoo, Google and Apple also claim right to read user emails | Technology | theguardian.com

    "Like Microsoft, other webmail giants all reserve the right to read user emails, if 'deemed necessary'"
    yeah, what do we have to hide anyway?
    03-23-2014 03:55 AM
  6. Zeem Frostmaw's Avatar
    All companies have the right to read the information on their servers. Why is this even surprising people? =/
    Cleavitt76 likes this.
    03-23-2014 04:03 AM
  7. colinkiama's Avatar
    would you have been okay if the NSA said that they were collecting data from us through a pop up or disclaimer. Basically something that lets us know.
    03-23-2014 04:26 AM
  8. Zeem Frostmaw's Avatar
    would you have been okay if the NSA said that they were collecting data from us through a pop up or disclaimer. Basically something that lets us know.
    Not sure why you're bringing up the NSA when they have nothing to do with this story.
    03-23-2014 05:20 AM
  9. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Not sure why you're bringing up the NSA when they have nothing to do with this story.
    I'm surprised Benghazi hasn't reared its ugly head.
    03-23-2014 11:06 AM
  10. neo158's Avatar
    The reality is that there now seems to be an MS distortion field. Suddenly MS can access consumer Hotmail accounts, all on THEIR OWN suspicion that there may be criminal activity that may harm them? And this is fine? What rubbish.

    The problem here is that MS unilaterally went ahead and did this without a warrant. And yeah, just because it's Hotmail does not mean that MS automatically has the right. It's like a hotel or rented accomodation - a hotel must have a police officer present to open a guest's room without permission. That's the more appropriate metaphor. MS should have gotten the police involved and at least asked them to supervise or be present when this was going on.
    RTFA as you've asked others to do many times. The blogger emailed Microsoft from his own Hotmail account, how much clearer do we have to make it, Microsoft didn't search through everyone's accounts as they knew exactly which account to look at in the first place. All email providers do this, it's in the ToS you agreed to when you signed up for an account.

    They didn't need a search warrant as a law enforcement agency wasn't involved, they didn't need a court order as it's their own servers and the search was carried out in accordance with the ToS for Hotmail. This was an internal investigation that has led to the arrest of the employee, if a manager at a workplace is investigating a theft then does that person need a warrant to search lockers?

    If you really can't see why everyone is disagreeing with you then that's not our problem!!!
    Last edited by neo158; 03-23-2014 at 12:34 PM.
    shmsnh, Ian Too and Zeem Frostmaw like this.
    03-23-2014 11:15 AM
  11. fatclue_98's Avatar
    ^^ You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
    03-23-2014 11:21 AM
  12. 2tomtom's Avatar
    Huh? Are you THAT short sighted? So MS have the right to read my email if they think I might be harming their company? **** that!

    Also, it is dangerous to say "they can't be that stupid" about MS; they have often shown that they are and this is one of them. Even in this case, MSFT has stated that they will modify their process in the future; they will have a "former federal judge" review such issues. I have no legal training, but I believe that could be construed as an admission that the process was insufficient in this instance (why would they change it otherwise?) and that could very well screw them.
    Apple, Google and Microsoft have the same Terms of Service. So you are saying they are all wrong and breaking the law?
    03-23-2014 11:40 AM
  13. 2tomtom's Avatar
    Some of you seem to be confused about search warrants, court orders, constitutional rights, and similar US laws.

    Search warrant: "A search warrant is a court order issued by a magistrate, judge or Supreme Court official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person, location, or vehicle for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found. A search warrant cannot be issued in aid of civil process.

    Search warrants are not issues to private companies or individuals. They are for law enforcement. A search warrant doesn't apply in this case any more than I would need a search warrant to take pictures of my own house if I was collecting evidence for a vandalism/theft case that I reported.

    Court order: "A court order is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that ... requires the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case."

    If MS had asked for a court order to gather evidence from their own servers for a criminal case in which they are the victim the judge would no doubt think they were total idiots. Court orders are used to force someone to turn over information/evidence that they are otherwise unwilling to turn over.

    As far as "rights to privacy" with services offered by a private company, that does not apply when you are involved in a crime. The terms of service of any service provider clearly state that the data on their system can be searched/seized/deleted/etc. if there is reason to believe you are doing something illegal (which these people were). Microsoft didn't go trolling through all of the data in Hotmail to track down the blogger. The blogger emailed Microsoft to ask them about the stolen information! That's a lot like the stupid criminals that accidently drop their wallet at the scene of the crime. Do you think a search warrant is needed for the victim (or law enforcement) to look inside that wallet?

    Some of you act like this is a case were someone said something bad about MS and MS abused its power to hunt them down and destroy them. This was an investigation into a major crime. The reality is that the two people involved in this crime were incredibly stupid. The former employee was committing several crimes and he used MS services (SkyDrive) in the process. The blogger emailed Microsoft using his Hotmail account to ask them if the stolen authorization codes were legit. How stupid can you get?! If someone stole my phone and then started using it to call their friends and take pictures, do you think I should ask for a search warrant or court order before I look at their calls records on my cell phone bill? Should I get permission to copy their selfies that automatically upload to my OneDrive? What do you think the police would say when I ask them for permission to log into my AT&T account and read the text message that the criminal is sending? I'm pretty sure they would say, "why are you asking us for permission?"
    That's how I see it. Criminal activity from stealing in the first place, to criminal activity to misuse or sell the stolen property. In this case I see MS as being right.

    If someone broke into my house and stole property and I caught them as I opened my front door, would I be wrong to take reasonable action to stop them and take back my TV...
    03-23-2014 12:04 PM
  14. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    The reality is that there now seems to be an MS distortion field. Suddenly MS can access consumer Hotmail accounts, all on THEIR OWN suspicion that there may be criminal activity that may harm them? And this is fine? What rubbish.

    The problem here is that MS unilaterally went ahead and did this without a warrant. And yeah, just because it's Hotmail does not mean that MS automatically has the right. It's like a hotel or rented accomodation - a hotel must have a police officer present to open a guest's room without permission. That's the more appropriate metaphor. MS should have gotten the police involved and at least asked them to supervise or be present when this was going on.
    I'm glad you feel that the hotel room is an appropriate metaphor in this case and I tend to agree that it's a good one. Unfortunately for you, your facts about US hotel room privacy laws are wrong...

    "Is there a right to privacy in my hotel room? Generally, yes, you have a right to expect privacy in your hotel room as long as you are using the hotel room in a normal, responsible way. However, if you are engaging in anything illegal or disturbing other guests, hotel management can enter your room without your permission. Note that hotel management, not the police, can enter the room without your permission and hotel management cannot give the police permission to search your room. The police must go through the usual process, which usually means getting a warrant before they are allowed to search your room. A final exception to your right to privacy is for cleaning and maintenance. Hotel management does have the right to enter your room to clean or perform necessary maintenance."


    So there you have it.

    • The owner of the hotel room has the right to search their own property if they have reason to believe you are doing something illegal.
    • The owner of the hotel cannot grant the police/government access to your hotel room unless the police have a search warrant.
    • Search warrants are for law enforcement and other government agencies and cannot be issued to private companies or individuals.


    Thanks for providing such a good real world analogy of the situation. Sorry it disproves all of your points.
    shmsnh likes this.
    03-23-2014 12:27 PM
  15. Ty1361's Avatar
    Actually I think the owner of the property can let the police in a room with out a warrant.

    Just like if you invite police into your own home, they can enter without the need of obtaining a warrant.

    I have seen police bust drug dealers in an apartment I used to live in by letting the apartment owner opening the door
    03-23-2014 12:39 PM
  16. Cleavitt76's Avatar
    Actually I think the owner of the property can let the police in a room with out a warrant.

    Just like if you invite police into your own home, they can enter without the need of obtaining a warrant.
    I'm not lawyer, but I agree that in some cases that can be done. I think it depends on the situation. For example, if the police have "probable cause" they can search a car, home, etc. without a search warrant, but police can't search your home, car, etc. just because you look suspicious or something. They can ask, but you can decline to be searched. Law enforcement basically has to have already witnessed something illegal or similar to claim probable cause.

    The hotel room owner could certainly let the police in to the room once they have found out themselves that something illegal is happening. For example, the housekeeping staff finds a 100 killos of cocaine in the closet. This would effectively be reporting a crime which they are obligated to do and the police would have probable cause since a witness is reporting a crime.

    However, I'm guessing that the hotel owner cannot allow law enforcement to perform a voluntary search (i.e. no warrant and no probable cause) of your hotel room if they don't have your consent and they are not aware of any illegal activity. In other words, if a police officer shows up at the hotel's front desk and says, "we want to search this guy's hotel room because he looks like a dirtbag drug dealer" the hotel cannot give law enforcement access if a warrant hasn't been issued because they would be consenting to a voluntary search by law enforcement on your behalf (waiving your constitutional right against illegal search and seizure).

    I have seen police bust drug dealers in an apartment I used to live in by letting the apartment owner opening the door
    Most likely they had a search warrant in those cases or they had probable cause because they already arrested the drug dealer outside his apartment. They just don't want to kick down the landlord's door if they don't have to.
    03-23-2014 01:32 PM
  17. Ian Too's Avatar
    The fanbois are out in force today, I see.

    Yes, Google scans your email. Let's put this in context. An automated system scans the words in your email, matches it to keywords which advertisers have selected and shows an ad. That's as far as it goes.
    That's all I thought they did and it's still wholly unacceptable.

    MSFT accessed a private individual's account - This guy WAS NOT A MICROSOFT EMPLOYEE. He was a "third-party" if you RTFA:

    "An ex-Microsoft employee was recently arrested for allegedly leaking company secrets, all because Redmond found evidence against him in his contact's Hotmail account. "

    Humans read his email, WITHOUT a warrant signed by a judge. That is a very very different thing.
    If you read the T&Cs, Microsoft reserve the right to access any account in certain conditions, including to protect its own intellectual property. Google do the same. This article makes it plain.

    I do agree with you, that generally people's privacy is sacrosanct, which clearly puts Google in the wrong, but Microsoft clearly had reason to suspect this individual complicit in an illegal act. I'm happier that a company can examine private communications given reasonable cause than I am thinking email is being scanned en mass.

    If you want to aviod a corporate version of 1984, then VPN and PGP are for you. I know I'm going to and I have nothing to hide.
    03-23-2014 01:41 PM
  18. blehblehbleh's Avatar
    Ultimately, what MS did is one of contract created by the ToS and one that any user effectively consents or intends to be bound to by the usage of Hotmail. Privacy violations may occur assuming that MS violated some federal legislation created to protect us. Absent that there is no 4th amendment right b/c MS is a private not public entity. Don't like getting your email scanned? Don't use email; at least until law protects such services.
    03-23-2014 06:46 PM
  19. Markham Ranja's Avatar
    That's how I see it. Criminal activity from stealing in the first place, to criminal activity to misuse or sell the stolen property. In this case I see MS as being right.

    If someone broke into my house and stole property and I caught them as I opened my front door, would I be wrong to take reasonable action to stop them and take back my TV...
    I see it differently - there are many crimes happening and it's the job of government to handle this. If you or me were to take to the streets and confront muggers or whatever, that would be vigilantism and is as illegal as a the initial crime itself.
    03-29-2014 12:37 AM
  20. Markham Ranja's Avatar
    I'm just going to make one final post here.

    My view is that, if MSFT has definitive evidence that this blogger was involved with illegal activities, they should refer the entire matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

    For example, if I know that a person with xyz@hotmail stole something from me for example, what would happen? If I present MS with definite evidence that the user is a criminal, will they go through his email? No, they'll tell me to go and tell the police. The police will ask MS for any relevant info from the Hotmail logs that they need. This is the procedure that should be followed.

    Interestingly, MSFT's general counsel has posted exactly this today: We€™re listening: Additional steps to protect your privacy - Microsoft on the Issues - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

    Relevant quote: "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."

    I'm glad that MS is listening to real users' feedback and not that of defensive MS-can-do-no-wrong fanbois. Bravo, MS.
    Last edited by Markham Ranja; 03-29-2014 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Punctuation.
    03-29-2014 12:42 AM
  21. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    03-29-2014 12:55 AM
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