While Microsoft has already said that it only provides access to its online services to the US government when it gets a "legally binding order or subpoena", a report now claims that the company has in fact worked with the National Security Agency to allow it to gain access to Microsoft's many online services.
The Guardian's story is based on files that have been leaked to the UK newspaper by the now famous (or infamous) ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The story claims that Microsoft has facilitated access to its SkyDrive cloud data service to the NSA.
It also claims that the agency got a way to circumvent the encryption on the chats generated on Microsoft's Outlook.com service. The article also alleges that that Skype worked with the agency to collect audio and video chats, even before Microsoft acquired the company in 2011.
The story additionally claims that the NSA shares the information it has gathered from Microsoft's services with the FBI and CIA. In a statement to the Guardian, Microsoft repeated that it only gives out customer information to the government "in response to legal processes." Microsoft added that it checks every such request and rejects them if it does not consider them valid. Finally, Microsoft says it "would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks."
Source: The Guardian | Image via NSA