Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Mar 2014 23:10 UTC

One of the revelations in this week's case of a Microsoft worker who leaked pre-release Windows 8 software was that Microsoft accessed the Hotmail account of the blogger to whom the data was leaked. And it did so without a court order.

Well, it turns out Microsoft was apparently within its rights to do so, having explicitly carved out the right to access communications to protect its own intellectual property.

Yahoo and Google have similar clauses.

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RE[2]: Comment by ichi
by flypig on Fri 21st Mar 2014 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ichi"
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The solution? Don't use that service. A service is a tool. Use the right tool for the task that you're planning. The right tools are freely available. It can be as easy as that.

I do agree largely with what you say: Microsoft are entitled to impose and enforce anything (legal) they like in their contracts. People should be careful about what they sign up to.

However, it's also true that email (and social networking generally) is a bit of a special case, since it's not just the receiver, but also the sender that ends up being bound by the conditions.

If I send someone an email I also have to accept that Microsoft might intercept it, even though I didn't sign up to their agreement.

This means that people should be especially carefully about the communications services they use, since it impacts on others too. And services should have an obligation to be sensitive to others.

Having said all that, email is probably a bad example, since it's basically a public communications medium anyway.

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