Microsoft Justifies Reading Your Email in ‘Exceptional Circumstances’

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has admitted to reading the Hotmail email inbox of a blogger who leaked details of its newest operating system, Windows 8, before it was released. The company launched an investigation in which it read the blogger’s emails in an effort to identify the employee responsible for releasing the details, BBC News reported Friday.

Ex-Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo, a software architect, was arrested and charged with leaking early copies of Windows 7 and 8 to an anonymous French technology blogger. Kibkalo apparently leaked the copies after a poor performance review at Microsoft, tech news outlet The Verge reported on Wednesday. Investigations have been ongoing for over a year now.

Kibkalo is also accused of stealing Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit, which is used to protect against piracy. Kibkalo leaked the software kit to the same, unnamed French blogger, which then allowed users to bypass the activation process necessary to use copies of Microsoft Office as well as the Windows operating system.

As part of its investigation, Microsoft reportedly accessed the blogger’s Hotmail email account in order to track down Kibkalo and stop further leaks of the sensitive software. The company admitted to accessing the user’s emails in federal court documents, CNN reports.

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