Feeds

Luxembourgeois data protection watchdog probes Microsoft in Skype PRISM complaint

"Happy to answer questions" says Redmond mouthpiece

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft is co-operating with regulators in Skype’s home country of Luxembourg over its possible participation in the NSA’s PRISM program, a spokesperson has confirmed.

A Redmond spokesperson told The Register Microsoft is “happy to answer any questions” that Luxembourg's Commission nationale de protection des données (CNPD - National Commission for Data Protection) might have.

“We regularly engage in a dialogue with data protection authorities around the world and are always happy to answer their questions,” the spokesperson told The Reg.

The investigation follows a complaint in June by privacy campaign group “Facebook v Europe” over possible breaches of EU data protection law under PRISM.

The complaint named Skype and Microsoft, which bought the VoIP telco in 2011 for $8.5bn.

The campaign group also filed complaints against Facebook and Apple in Ireland, and Yahoo! in Germany.

At the time, the group said: “It is now up to the data protection authorities in Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland to decide whether it is legal for European companies to "mass transfer" personal data to a foreign intelligence agency.”

Europe v Facebook originally sprung to life in 2011 taking on Facebook. Specifically, the group has accused Facebook of violating Europe’s data protection laws and has campaigned against the group in different countries and challenged different countries data protection officials.

Since then, it's taken issue over the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its data-slurping PRISM programme, as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this year. Key to Snowden's revelations was the snippet that PRISM operated with the active help of major technology companies.

Snowden claimed the NSA were “tapping into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets.”

According to the documents Snowden leaked, Microsoft joined PRISM in September 2007. The Redmond-based firm has denied it was providing a backdoor to government snoops through its servers.

In a statement made at the time, Microsoft said: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it." ®

Bootnote

Vulture Central's backroom gremlins note that Luxembourg's Commission nationale de protection des données, which is the nearest thing the European microstate has to an equivalent of the UK's Information Commissioner, is based at "1, avenue du Rock’n’Roll". Who says privacy isn't cool?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.