Microsoft facilitated collection of private Skype and email transmissions

User data on Skype, Hotmail, and SkyDrive intercepted by the National Security Agency with Microsoft's assistance.

Microsoft allegedly assisted the National Security Agency in intercepting user communications, the Guardian has posted.

According to reports, Microsoft assisted in the circumvention of its encryption for various communication services, including Oulook.com, Hotmail, Skype, and cloud storage service SkyDrive.

The collection of communication data was executed using a program codenamed Prism, which purportedly collects information from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple.

According to the report, Microsoft also coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist the NSA in its data collection.

An individual warrant is not required by the secret surveillance court to collect these communications, so long as the NSA holds a 51 percent belief a target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time of collection.

Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed Skype would be integrated into its next-gen Xbox One console. The console will support Skype video calling using Kinect voice and gesture controls to execute onscreen actions.

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time Australian competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

Discussion

4590 comments
StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

It is beyond stupid to think that just because the government has the ability to spy on you that they actually do. Unless you are doing something bad, there is no reason for you to labor under the delusion that you are important enough to warrant some random person sitting in some government office somewhere watching or listening to what your XB1 Kinect just recorded, which apparently it does not, in fact, do.

At any rate, the important thing to note is that you cannot have absolute safety as well as absolute privacy. Some compromise must be made. But... lol... a drop in national privacy at the cost of national security/safety is not going to start in YOUR living room.

Palantas
Palantas

Microsoft and every other big software outfit.  Who cares?  This is a problem with the US government and its executive branch, not Microsoft.

JKeyz90
JKeyz90

it would be very hypocritical of me to say i'm not getting a X1 because of kinect when i own a cell phone, ipad, 2 laptops, smart tv...i mean it's a long ass list not to mention my mom and uncles work for the govt......geesh i'm so freakin scared -.-  smh NOT!!! let's be real about this for a second, all this heat on MS and nobody is mentioning a damn thing about Sony? yea they better be quiet they're probably secretly doing worse but some dumbfucks will never know and no i am not a sheep a fangirl, idiot, robot or whatever i'm just saying what's one more camera or spybox in the house ? right? LOL jk jk do whatever you want idc i'm getting all of em :D

arqe
arqe

They dont spy on you with PC Mics / Webcams which every single home got more than 1 but they will spy on you with a console which doesnt even sell 100 million in almost 10 years. Yeah we got too many genius here ...

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

Furthermore, if you people are really that insecure then by all means go and buy a ps4...I will enjoy my xbox one with complete peace of mind because I am a law abiding U.S. citizen and have nothing to fear from this...I don't know why I am even going to reiterate what was said but...THE GOVERMENT STILL NEEDS A WARRANT OR PROBABLE CAUSE TO COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA....SO GROW A PAIR AND GO LIVE YOUR LIVES...

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

obviously everyone that has commented has not read the article and either cannot comprehend what was posted or is just a complete dumbass...or is a tweaked out meth head tripping over something that is not relevant...

Atalalama
Atalalama

Geez, if M$ wants to watch my cat fart while I play video games I could just send them a video.

Mokks
Mokks

I don't like the idea of them watching me have a pull on my couch and not getting paid for it, makes me feel cheap, used even...

HAZCHEM88
HAZCHEM88

Time to vote with the wallets people. M$ are blatantly lying and will implement the spying after the initial sales scam.

Ragnawind
Ragnawind

This article is completely contradictory to another article posted by this same website. Further proof that MS lies about their practices

GotTheDeets
GotTheDeets

From '1984' by George Orwell: "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment."

Revl8n
Revl8n

Just wait for more details from the Snowden files. And anyone claiming they don't care about Kinect because they already have a cell phone is simply too ignorant to matter... which is exactly what Homeland Security is counting on.

hardvectorman
hardvectorman

it not Microsoft it Sony an anyone you communicate with cell phone pc or anything that is connected to the internet it has been that way for along time

dereky
dereky

Blame Congress, blame the NSA, hell blame Microsoft if you want. Just remember we, the people of the United States, allowed this to happen and it will continue to happen because we have such a sort attention span and so quick to believe everything the media says. You can continue to whine in the comments or actually do something about it?

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

This means the NSA will spy on your via Kinect, obviously. As well all know kinect and xbox are the most likely means terrorists will plot their next attack, so the NSA will in future be monitoring gamers in case they let slip their plots whilst scratrching themselves and waiting in the lobby for the next  halo game to start.

FriendBear
FriendBear

Disgraceful, congress - Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves.  

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
Benjamin Franklin

gosushi
gosushi

I hope they don't misinterpret any of my game chatter while I'm playing CoD...

FELOFLOW
FELOFLOW

That only show that assholes only open their legs and buy xbox one consoles, because they want to be gineapigs

i never buy and xbox console i want a 360 but pay for xboxlivegold is for retarded people because i play halo 3 and i wait like 10 min in every lobby to start a match and pay for the same ping of and ps3 that i play killzone 2 u choose the server and enter in less that 1 min with the same ping i love how poeple dont think only pay i have to make a company in USA

DWalker131
DWalker131

playing games is gonna be as quiet as sitting through church coz "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law"

so let me spell it out for you, if you plan to play Fifa with a mate over at your house, you can't say things like 'pass the bong', you have you smoke it in a different room as the Kinnect or else they'll video evidence of you smoking it, pretty much sucks the enjoyment out of gaming

kinda feels like your home is a public place, where scratching your balls feels awkward coz you don't know whose watching lol

Revl8n
Revl8n

The more Microsoft publishes about Xbone, the more I, convinced its actually a sociological experiment to test the limits of human gullibility.

Holy-Rapture
Holy-Rapture

what the hell is going on over at microsoft? haha, this thing really gonna spy on people or what

pmamba45
pmamba45

I can see alot of gamers giving the rear trouser down at Kinect at launch. It's bound to turn into a craze but M$ was asking for it.

Palantas
Palantas

@JKeyz90 I agree.  People throwing a fit about Kinect should also be throwing a fit about Sony Vaio laptops with integrated webcams.

straightcur
straightcur

@deadly_yank33 so naïve.  you really need to do some research into all the new powers given to these secret agencies and the secret court.  

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

@Revl8n You are so insecure it makes me feel bad for you

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

@dereky The information the government collects from Microsoft is from foreign aliens or people who have broken the law...why would you not support trying to apprehend criminals?

Revl8n
Revl8n

Actually the people did what they could and voted a man into office who, among other things, pledged to close Gitmo and reign in Homeland Security. Lies as usual... All he's done is lead the charge to prevent me from defending myself.

FELOFLOW
FELOFLOW

Sorry for my grammar I'm learning this language, that is why i think, because i am not for that country, that gift their money to pay for xbox live and only for empty games like halo, and not like mgs, but of course that is not the way will be use is, when u sit in the coach and game with some soda and a snack so they will know what is u favorite, and because they will give u the hdmi in and out and control ur tv they will control the commercials u receive thanks to what they watch in u kinect (and not only that there is alot that can be done), and is it and excuse that microsoft say yea yea forgive us the government is the culpable, but is it not because thnks that the gov give the permission they are free to make what they want, MICROSOFT SUCKS i regret of buy and sidewinder x6 and wireless reciver and 360 controller for my pc, thanks god my microsoft os is pirate because that company of pigs like ballmer is a fail.

And i prefer to have bad grammar but no be a idiot that don't want to see and want and xbox one because of stupidness or Because is a fan

DWalker131
DWalker131

@gosushi

imagine that !

playing CoD and yelling 'he shot me in the leg!!"

and the kinnect responds, "quick send a medic, and while you wait soldier please check out these band-aids that are on sale !!"  (coz you know how it advertises as well)

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

@FELOFLOW hey there little sheep! you were born less than a month ago the day of e3 2013...Sony is your daddy! have fun with that ps3.5 that you paid $400 bucks for and all you get is some upgraded graphics...the same crap controller and poorstation network is included! but don't feel too bad because you ended up saving $100...*cough* I mean wasting $400....but hey maybe sony will be in less debt now with your poor purchase

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@FELOFLOW Some proper grammar and punctuation wouldn't go astray.

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

@DWalker131 you are not too smart are you? and you obviously didn't read the article...if you feel that comfortably posting about weed on gamespot then why would not be in front of your t.v.? also you don't know much about rules of evidence or warrants...maybe you should rethink life or try and give yourself a better education

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

@Revl8n why is it that every negative thing people can think of about the xbox one can so easily be flipped on the ps3.5...have fun sheep with that piece of junk..you get upgraded graphics for $400!!! congratulations!

thefinalzapkeet
thefinalzapkeet

@Holy-Rapture saying the kinect will spy on you is basically like saying your web cam will spy on you

Microsoft was using skype in this instance, and skype won't always be on

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@straightcur @deadly_yank33 Ditto.

I'll save you the time and effort. They CANNOT look at your personal data or watch you through your Kinect unless they believe that you are participating in some illegal act. That is how it works.

If some guy in some office in some un-named place, got on his computer and used it to track what you were doing, WITHOUT permission, he would be fired like that! *snaps fingers*

Basically... don't do anything worthy of suspicion. Simple as that.

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@DarkSaber2k @deadly_yank33 Yes... they do.

And you won't believe a random guy on the internet who goes to work every day to do a specific job which will not be detailed any further.

But just know that while you're sitting there being paranoid, laboring under the delusion that the government can spy on you or look at your personal data without any kind of warrant or cause, I will be sitting behind my computer screen laughing at your ignorance.

straightcur
straightcur

@deadly_yank33 @dereky actually they collect it about everyone, even americans.   and ollect enough info on anyone and they can construct a "profile" on someone that can make anyone look like a potential criminal.... and that's all they need now, no proof is needed anymore, just being a suspected or potential criminal is enough to take your freedom from you....

dereky
dereky

@deadly_yank33 @dereky Because if I have to choose freedom or security, I'm going to choose freedom every time. I'm not going to just sit and allow the U.S. to be some giant prison. Sure now it's foreigners (so they say), but what is to stop them from watching us? A piece of paper? Not their secret courts, not the president. I'm not concerned about who they collect information on but how they collect it and whether it is legal (court order with legit reason).

iDead1988
iDead1988

@Revl8n what can you do bro, president gets paid by banksters, they run the shit lol, and huge corporations of course... also gates donated over 30 bil to population reduction plan, sick if you ask me

FELOFLOW
FELOFLOW

sorry little asshole i dont have ps3 i have and 3000 dolar pc with gtx 670 sli and 3770k cpu playing bf3 in REAL 1080P and if i want in 3D with 120fps in an asus monitor that is 27 inch but 120hz 2ms something that consolers will never understand and i will not try to teach but microshit is shit and i want a console so my brain obviously say go for ps4 some assholes only go the wrong way so please THINK before replay to me with stupidity

dereky
dereky

@StarsiderSajun @dereky @deadly_yank33 Let me rephrase then. I don't mind a little security as long as they follow the rules. I just don't like it when they are allowed collection of data without a warrant. If they were really looking at specific people they wouldn't need all of Verizon's phone records. The fact that they can obtain information about me without asking permission is what disturbs me. Careful sir, "in the name of" is a dangerous phrase with no defined end. I am curious as to why you believe the Kinect can't be used as a spy device? You don't give a reason. I don't think it does but I have nothing to back it up.

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@dereky @deadly_yank33 I'll agree. It's a fine line.

In the end though I'll always say that security > freedom. I don't mind someone tracking what websites I visit and whatnot so long as it's in the name of preventing another thing like 9/11.

And I'm getting tired of saying this, and the reason for it is because why should anyone believe me anyways but: the government cannot just watch what you do on the Kinect. It does not happen.

dereky
dereky

@iDead1988 @Revl8n I see you have already given up. Voting is the lowest form of political participation. If you want something done you need to call your Congressman. Everyone needs to do that in fact because that's what corporations do. A government is like a child. It must be watched at all times so that it doesn't do something it shouldn't. For too long have we done the minimal required when it comes to politics. You can't just elect somebody and expect them to know what you want. You have to tell them. You have to be involved. Either we stop the madness or let it run its course and watch our end unfold.