Microsoft: We Won’t Help the Government Hack Our Users

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Redmond pledges to defend users against government hacks.

Microsoft is one of the companies that brought the US government to court for data request orders which it claimed violated the law, and now the software giant is reiterating its support for protecting users by saying that it doesn’t plan to collaborate with authorities on hacking customers.

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith has said in a recent interview that the Redmond-based company is fully committed to working with governments on providing user information when they are legally compelled to, but other than that, there’s no intention to reveal customer data as part of any other programs.

“Law enforcement needs information, sometimes it needs it very quickly to save lives. When we get those kinds of requests, or warrants, and when they are lawful, we act quickly. We can do so in a matter of minutes. But when governments go too far, we will say no,” Brad Smith was quoted as saying.

“We will not help any government, including our own, hack or attack any customer anywhere. We will turn over data only when we are legally compelled to.”

No information from Wikileaks

Speaking about the recent revelations from Wikileaks, Brad Smith explained that no information was received by the company via official channels, despite recent reports that the tech company had been provided with a 90-day window to address security vulnerabilities.

“The reality is throughout the tech sector, we haven’t yet started to receive information from Wikileaks. We’ll all learn more when we get the information. So far we know the same things journalists do. Any day that we learn and read about more governments taking more steps to hack their way into private technology is a day our concerns should grow,” Smith said.

Microsoft is currently fighting in court a US government order to provide access to user data stored overseas, with the company claiming that such warrants should only be valid for information that is located within the country and not beyond its borders.

Additionally, Microsoft has received the support of several other tech companies, including Cisco and long-time rival Apple, which also believe that data requests must only target data centers in the country.