Microsoft Agrees To Hand Over Skype User Data To Russian Police
from the laying-down-for-its-users dept
Microsoft's defense of its very close relationship with national intelligence agencies has historically been that it "complies with applicable laws." However, its "compliance" in the past seemed to have exceeded the compliance of other companies, as it offered the NSA pre-encryption access to most of its popular services as well as "working closely" with the agency to allow it to grab both audio and video from Skype, which it acquired in 2011.
The company has taken a tougher stance in recent weeks, releasing statements that decry the agency's overreach and promise better protection of users' information and data. But given this recent development, it appears the tough talk was saber-rattling for the public's benefit. Microsoft is still very compliant when it comes to working with intelligence agencies.
Microsoft Corporation that owns the Internet call service Skype is ready to keep in store its Russian users’ negotiations, correspondence and data exchange during six months and share it with the Russian police, if necessary, Microsoft’s press office told Itar-Tass.Well, I suppose there are none of the usual constitutional concerns that might (theoretically) limit Microsoft's obliging attitude towards the Russian's counter-terrorism efforts. Every Russian Skype user will have their data stored for six months and handed over to the police whenever they ask for it. If the Russian agencies decide they need more data, or want to extend the length of time the data is stored, Microsoft has already agreed to honor any future law targeting its Skype users.
Microsoft thus confirmed its commitment to work in full compliance with the Russian law, the way it does in all countries of its operations. If any new law is adopted, the company will comply with it as well, the press office said.
The pending legislation covers a whole lot of ground, data-wise.
According to the document, an individual or a legal entity that has organised users’ contacts on the Internet are to store information about the reception, transmission, delivery and processing of voice information, texts, images, sounds or any other actions in the process of information dissemination and/or data exchange, for six months following such actions and share the mentioned information with the state authorities, if requested.Any service that has user accounts (which would be close to 100% of them) will be required to hold tons of user data and metadata for six months at the behest of Russian authorities. This isn't that much different than the NSA's data hauls, except that some of its programs don't specifically ask for permission before grabbing data and the collections are stored onsite by the agency.
Details are presumably still being hashed out, but Microsoft has already sworn its allegiance to the Russian law in whatever form it takes after being pushed through the legislative process. Not exactly a heartening indicator of Microsoft's new-found willingness to stand up to government overreach.