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[FYI] NSAKEY may cause legal problems for MS


"Eric C. Grimm" wrote:
> The HotMail hole means a lot of fun 
> and games about whether one or more
> privacy causes of action lie against 
> a private entity -- Microsoft.  But if
> this latest NSA rumor turns out to be 
> true, then it appears to be more of a
> straight shot -- fraud, common-law 
> conspiracy, 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, and 42
> U.S.C sec. 1985 against both Microsoft 
> and NSA.
> Any others have thoughts or comments?

Assuming the key is a backdoor to intercepted encrypted information,
Microsoft would be walking on very thin ice indeed, but may have severe
legal problems in any event. The federal wiretapping statute is very
clear in its prohibitions against advertising or distributing in
commerce "devices" for intercepting electronic communications.  Except
in very narrowly drawn circumstances, a court order is necessary and
must address the need to intercept communications of a particular
person, and only for a limited time.  See
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2511.html (prohibitions);
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2510.html (definitions);
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/2518.html (procedures for
obtaining court order).

[ and it goes on and on ... ]

Kristian Köhntopp, NetUSE Kommunikationstechnologie GmbH
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