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Microsoft makes a huge stand to protect you

Microsoft makes a huge stand to protect you
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Given the privacy concerns with Windows 10, you might be surprised at what Microsoft just did. It's suing the federal government on the subject of secret government access to your online information.

As it stands, the government can subpoena your records from any tech company storing your information and then tell the company to keep quiet about it. The company has no choice but to comply. Microsoft says those gag orders are unconstitutional and is challenging the practice in court.

Microsoft says that in the past 18 months it received 5,624 requests for customer information. Half of those had gag orders, and half of those had no time limit. In other words, Microsoft can never tell those customers that the government looked at their data.

Those siding with Microsoft say that gag orders violate the Fourth Amendment, which says the government has to notify someone when searching or seizing their property. Microsoft also says it violates the company's First Amendment right to communicate with customers.

The Justice Department is taking the approach that letting people know their online files are being looked at could compromise an investigation. A smart criminal would delete the files and change how they communicate.

The cloud is such a new and vague technology, that this case could take a while to be resolved. However, the major tech companies are throwing their support behind Microsoft, so it should be an interesting showdown.

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