- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2014

Microsoft, meet crow. After slamming Google for sifting through users’ emails to deliver targeted advertisements, Microsoft is now fielding a privacy scandal of its own, admitting it snooped through a blogger’s Hotmail accounts.

The reason?

The company said it was trying to track who leaked out insider secrets, The Associated Press reported.

At the same time, deputy general counsel John Frank insisted that Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, went above and beyond and “took extraordinary actions in this case” to ensure other users’ privacies weren’t infringed, AP reported.

But those extraordinary measures still didn’t include a court order. Mr. Frank said Microsoft is now going to ask an attorney who used to be a judge to determine whether a court order in this instance — which involved a former worker who was a native of Russia, Alex Kibkalo — would have let the search go forth, AP said. But he also said the company didn’t think a court order was necessary.

“Courts do not issue orders authorizing someone to search themselves,” he said, AP reported.

Mr. Kibkalo had served as a software architect in the company’s Lebanon offices, AP said. Microsoft said he shared proprietary information with a blogger. The company subsequently searched through communications between Mr. Kibkalo and the blogger, including emails, instant messages and files in cloud storage accounts, AP reported.

Mr. Kibkalo has since gone back to Russia, AP reported.

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