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Submission + - Revealed: how Microsoft handed the NSA access to encrypted messages (

7-Vodka writes: You can thank Glenn Greenwald for the astounding information below:

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

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 portal;

  The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, 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 also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases;

  In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;

  Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".


Submission + - Balmer threatens Android and Linux with patents (

7-Vodka writes: In an interview with Fortune, Balmer first admits that vista was badly done then when asked about Google giving away Android for free versus Microsoft, which charges smart phone carriers, Ballmer took issue with that assessment, stating, "And there's nothing free about Android. I mean at the end of the day as we certainly have asserted in a number of cases you know there's an intellectual property royalty due on that. Whether they happen to charge for their software or not is their business decision."

Read the rest of the interview Here

Submission + - The EFF Launches Panopticlick ( 1

7-Vodka writes: I read via that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is conducting a new experiment called Panopticlick.
Panopticlick tests your browser to see how unique it is based on the information it will share with sites it visits. Follow the link to and you will be given a uniqueness score, letting you see how easily identifiable you might be as you surf the web.
As for myself, I suppose it's a bad thing that the message I receive is "Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 633,402 tested so far." However I'll check back when the database grows.

Submission + - files for IPO

7-Vodka writes: "That's right, the very popular online computer parts store and second largest online-only store has filed the necessary papers for an IPO.. In doing so they've also released the most recent 5 years of financial statements.
While their financial performance is very impressive, one may wonder now if their newfound dubious pricing practices will eventually drive loyal customers away."

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle