Fri Dec 6, 2013, 04:37 PM
dsteve01 (312 posts)
Microsoft Compares Government to Cyber Criminals
When does the national security budget become a national security risk?
Now, I'll be the first to take Microsoft word with a grain of salt. I feel that Microsoft's legacy of awesome business decisions don't always equal technological advancement for the rest of society.
But today they made an excellent point.
Brad Smith, Executive Vice President for Microsoft's Legal and Corporate Affairs, summarized the situation on the official Microsoft blog. He cited the government as an "advanced persistent threat" which roughly translates to "cyber criminals". You can read the details below:
Smith, B. (2013, December 4). Protecting customer data from government snooping. Retrieved from http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2013/12/04/protecting-customer-data-from-government-snooping.aspx
All of these changes in policy I agree with . It's a well documented fact that the federal government has been pouring NSA and CIA funds into silicone valley. This last year it was approximately 30 to 50 Billion dollars (the real number has been kept secret and the CIA cites "national security" rationale). Microsoft reported Microsoft reported $21.76 billion in profits for fiscal year 2012.** Microsoft needs to come up with a dynamic methods to prevent NSA agents from stealing their intellectual property. The NSA spends maybe twice (2x) as much money lobbying silicon valley as Microsoft reports as profits!
**Robertson, A. (2013, August 29). Unprecedented 'black budget' leak reveals the scope of $52 billion US spy complex. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/29/4672414/leaked-snowden-documents-reveal-details-of-surveillance-budget
These points made by Smith are particularly poinent in the shadow of the recent revelations regarding NSA's claim that they no longer need search warrants for digital tracking as you can read below:
Soltani, A. & Gellman, B. (2013, December 4). NSA Tracking Cellphone Locations Worldwide, Snowden Documents Show. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-tracking-cellphone-locations-worldwide-snowden-documents-show/2013/12/04/5492873a-5cf2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html
Kravets, D. (2013, December 6). NSA Wrongly Says Warrantless Mobile-Phone Location Tracking Is Legal. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/12/nsa-cell-site-data/
Overall, I'm glad to see that at least one multi-billion dollar enterprise standing in support of the 4th Amendment. I hope that they continue to push the government on why search warrants are necessary in our modern democracy--even if they are doing it out of their own self-interest.
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Replies to this discussion thread
Microsoft Compares Government to Cyber Criminals (Original post)
Response to dsteve01 (Original post)
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 05:19 PM
RC (25,592 posts)
1. In this part, that unnamed government “intelligence lawyer” is wrong. Very wrong.
That alarming scoop by The Washington Post via documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden included wishful thinking from an unnamed government “intelligence lawyer” interviewed in the story. This official, according to the Post, said that the data “are not covered by the Fourth Amendment,” meaning a probable-cause warrant isn’t required to get it.
Just because it is needed for the technology to work, does not mean a search warrant is not required. This is most diffidently a 4th Amendment violation, if no warrant is in evidence. Especially when vacuuming up everyone's communication data.
Response to RC (Reply #1)
Fri Dec 6, 2013, 07:35 PM
dsteve01 (312 posts)
2. Preaching to the Chior
I know, I know. But where do we even start with the appealing process? How do you work against a shadow lawyer in a backwoods, yet corporate nightmare?