- Good men should not be quiet spectators
- We will continue to work with refugee-hosting countries to find solutions
- Voting underway for Gazipur City Corporation elections
- SC upholds Khaleda’s bail in Cumilla arson case
- Teesta inundates 10 Nilphamari villages
- AL confident of victory, fair balloting in Gazipur
- Nahid urges all to work for improving quality of education
- Looting going on in banking sector: Menon
- PM for BD-India sharing of expertise in coastal security
- Ronaldo misses penalty, Portugal draws 1-1 with Iran
Microsoft suit is latest tech clash with US over privacy
San Francisco, BdChronicle:
As we live more of our lives online, the companies we trust with our digital secrets are increasingly clashing with authorities who want access to the messages, pictures, financial records and other data we accumulate in electronic form.
Microsoft opened a new front in the battle over digital privacy this week, suing the Justice Department over its use of court orders requiring the company to turn over customer files stored in its computer centers — often without notifying the customer involved.
It's the latest in a series of legal challenges brought by Microsoft and some of its leading competitors. Apple recently fought a high-profile battle over the FBI's demand for help unlocking an encrypted iPhone in San Bernardino, California, and it's continuing to challenge similar demands in other cases.
Other companies, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, have increased their use of encryption. They've also sued for the right to report how often authorities demand customer information under national security laws, after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of government data-gathering efforts.
Privacy advocates have applauded those moves, while authorities complain they could stymie legitimate investigations. But those legal maneuvers may benefit the companies as well as their customers. In the wake of Snowden's revelations and high-profile hacking attacks, tech firms want to reassure customers their information is safe.
"Privacy is an economic good at this point," said Jennifer Daskal, a former Justice Department attorney who now teaches law at American University in Washington, D.C. "It's good for business because consumers care about it. So the companies are competing over being privacy protective."
Many tech companies make money directly from customer information, of course, by selling advertising targeted to their users' interests and behavior. While some privacy advocates have criticized those practices, others note that's different from handing over information to authorities who have the power to put people in jail.