Microsoft collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the NSA to circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top secret documents obtained by the Guardian.
The documents show that:
Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal.
The agency already had pre-encryption-stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail.
The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide.
Microsoft worked with the FBI’s Data Intercept Unit to “understand” potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases.
After Microsoft bought the web-based phone service Skype in October 2011, the NSA developed a new capability that tripled the number of video conversations being collected through Prism.