To a certain extent we guess most of us assume that companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, or Google don’t comb through our emails despite having the ability to do so. However it was recently discovered that is exactly what Microsoft did which led to the arrest of a former employee, Alex Kibkalo.
For those who missed our coverage, Kibkalo was recently arrested after it was found that it was he who leaked the Windows 8 files to a French blogger along with the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit which basically would allow hackers to reverse engineer the Windows activation process.
What happened was when Kibkalo emailed the French blogger, the blogger in question tried to verify the authenticity of the email by emailing another Microsoft employee. However that employee went straight to Microsoft’s then-President of Windows, Steve Sinofsky, who then decided after meeting with Microsoft’s Office of Legal Compliance that they had the right to go through the blogger’s email to find evidence of the leak.
According to the court filing, it reads, “After confirmation that the data was Microsoft’s proprietary trade secret on September 7, 2012, Microsoft’s Office of Legal Compliance approved the content pulls of the blogger’s Hotmail account.”
Now before you get all outraged, it should be noted that Microsoft is protected by its privacy policies, which is something that many of us admittedly never both to go through. According to the policy, it states that, “We may access information about you, including the content of your communications…to protect the rights or property of Microsoft.”
Microsoft also stated that despite that policy, they only enact it under the most exceptional circumstances and that there is a rigorous process that they themselves have to go through in order to enact that policy, although we’re not sure how much better you might feel about that.