Microsoft vows to stop snooping our inboxes

Microsoft is listening, but not in the creepy, ear-pressed-to-a-glass-on-your-door kind of way. They’ve heard your outrage, and they’ve decided to do something about it.

It all started about a week ago, when it was revealed that former Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo had been busted leaking Windows 7, Windows 8, and Activation Server code to a french blogger. That obviously wasn’t the part that got people riled up. Microsoft’s allowed to protect what’s theirs, and no one was surprised that they pressed charges against Kibkalo. What had the tech-savvy public’s blood boiling was how Microsoft handled the investigation into Kibkalo’s crimes. Microsoft, under the protection of their acceptable use policy for SkyDrive and Hotmail, rifled through Kibkalo’s Hotmail inbox, SkyDrive contents, and MSN Messenger chat logs.

Microsoft eventually got the authorities involved, but the snooping took place before that happened. Apparently, they determined that they would have been able to get the green light to search had they asked, and that was good enough in this case. Yes, Microsoft has a very skilled and experienced corporate legal team. Yes, they were probably right. But no, they did not go about things the right way — and they got torched in the press for their mishandling of the situation.

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