American tech giant Microsoft is in the middle of a privacy storm, after it acknowledged that it read a blogger’s Hotmail inbox during an ongoing investigation related to a software leak. On March 20, 2014 the company admitted that it read the anonymous blogger’s emails in an attempt to identify an employee who was a suspect in leaking information.
The company is the owner of Hotmail – now called Outlook.com – which is a free email service. Regarding the incident, the deputy general counsel for Microsoft, John Frank said that the company took ‘extraordinary actions in this case’. Even though the search was legal when it comes to technical terms, Frank went on to say that Microsoft would talk to outside counsel in the future.
The company’s actions were revealed this week as part of a legal case which is handled by US prosecutors against Alex Kibalko, the former employee of Microsoft who was a Russian native and worked in the company’s office in Lebanon. Microsoft had been alerted in 2012 regarding the fact that the blogger – whose identity was not revealed in the court papers – had received certain stolen lines of code from the Windows 8 operating system, which has not been released yet.
The blogger posted screenshots of the upcoming operating system to his blog and Microsoft started an investigation in order to determine the source of the leak.
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