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Microsoft strikes back at US government with PR campaign

Microsoft seems to be going on a PR offensive against the government and is asking for the reformation of antiquated laws under which the US is trying to access the company’s clients’ data.

You’re probably aware of Microsoft’s troubles with the US judicial system that started back in April of this year when the government demanded that e-mails stored exclusively in Ireland be handed over to them.

The company has since been in a legal battle, fighting for its customers’ right to privacy and, some would argue, the respect of national sovereignty. After a subsequent loss and in the middle of an appeal right now, the company is fighting back by trying to get the public on its side.

The two videos embedded here have been published online and they try and explain what the cloud really is and why, in Microsoft’s view, the US government has no legal right to access the data it wants.

Curiously, this is a bit of step backwards when it comes to the company’s PR message about the cloud, which until now has been along the lines of “it’s simply the cloud, it just works, don’t worry about how that happens”. Suddenly, antiquated laws and legal pressure are pushing to company back to explaining that cloud data is not actually magic, but rather lives in very expensive, company operated data centers around the world.

Last night numerous technology and communication companies, not to mention privacy organizations, came to Microsoft’s support by filling amicus briefs in favor of the company’s stance against the US government.

Microsoft was one of the companies affected by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the way the NSA and the US government access people’s digital data with barely any legal oversight.

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