A new report from The Guardian reveals the scope of Microsoft's alleged collaboration with the National Security Agency and its PRISM domestic spying program. According to the report, which cites top secret documents obtained by the Guardian, Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption related to its Outlook portal and web chat services; provided help with Hotmail mail services, its cloud storage service SkyDrive; and Skype. Microsoft also worked closely with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit, and - the report claims - data collected through PRISM has been routinely shared with both the FBI and the CIA.
The documents obtained by the Guardian come from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) which NSA leaker Edward Snowden describes as the "crown jewel" of the agency. SSO is responsible for all programs aimed at domestic communications systems through corporate partnerships such as PRISM.
Microsoft strongly denied that the documents were accurate. The company issued a statement saying that it "does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product." The company says that it cannot discuss further details on how it cooperates with law enforcement and spy agencies because it would be breaking the law in doing so.
You can read the extent of Microsoft's alleged cooperation with the NSA and other agencies here.
Our thought on this whole situation is that if Microsoft will share encryption and other information on Skype, Outlook and SkyDrive with law enforcement and the intelligence community, it stands to reason that it would likely share information on services gamers use every day such as communication via Xbox Live and Kinect.
We will have more on this story as it develops.
Source: The Guardian