Earlier this week, former Microsoft software architect Alex Kibkalo was arrested and charged with leaking Windows 8 code to a French blogger. According to Seattle PI, which broke the story, the blogger contacted Microsoft to verifiy the authenticity of the code. Investigators at Redmond subsequently dug into the blogger's Hotmail account and claim to have found evidence identifying Kibkalo as the source of the leak.
The fact Microsoft searched the blogger's Hotmail account has irked some privacy advocates. The search apparently didn't violate Hotmail's terms of service, but nobody reads those, anyway. Now, Microsoft clarified its position on Hotmail privacy and explained some of the circumstances surrounding the investigation.
Interestingly, Microsoft claims the blogger had a history of selling leaked code. A court order was issued to search a home related to the case, but getting legal authorization to search the blogger's email account apparently proved problematic. "There’s not an applicable court process for an investigation such as this one relating to the information stored on servers located on our own premises," Microsoft says.
Since the courts apparently aren't up to speed with this sort of thing, Microsoft has announced new policies that will guide its actions in similar matters:
Sounds reasonable to me. Some folks may still be uncomfortable with the fact that Microsoft can search their Hotmail accounts, but I guess they've never seen a sys admin wearing one of these shirts.
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