This news isn't Xbox One related, but it is Microsoft related (and a slow news day), so we thought it worth sharing with you guys. It is also news that should definitely go down in the history books. In a rare showing of solidarity, Microsoft and Google are standing together united in a single cause. They are suing the U.S. Government.
In case you missed it, over the past several months, one of the most defining news stories of the year (and maybe even the decade), is the leaked NSA (National Security Agency) documents from Edward Snowden. Mr. Snowden revealed classified documents which showed multiple instances over the past several years in which the NSA has been collecting data on U.S. citizens from data centers owned by major U.S. corporations like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and many others.
In regards to all of the drama that has ensued surrounding this probably unconstitutional attack on our civil liberties, several of the companies that had to comply with these actions from the NSA have come forward both denouncing what they were forced to do by the NSA, and have tried to be more forthcoming with U.S. citizens on what information they actually had to divulge. Both Microsoft and Google have been the most vocal and the most active in this fight. Both have been struggling to get the U.S. Government to allow them to share more about what data was given to the NSA. They were actually able to get the Government to agree to release a report listing the total number of these "security data" requests once a year.
Neither company believes that this goes nearly far enough to allow more transparency regarding this data collection. Because of the Government's stubbornness on the issue, both Microsoft and Google have decided to stand together in court and sue the U.S. Government for the right to be more transparent about the data collection. Here's a quote with a few more details,
It's a truly surprising turn of events, like something out of a Michael Crichton novel."The government’s decision represents a good start," writes Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith on the company's policy blog. "But the public deserves and the Constitution guarantees more than this first step."
Microsoft and Google had apparently agreed to six deadline extensions in the talks with government officials, but according to Smith, the negotiations have "ended in failure." Both companies feel they should have the right under the U.S. Constitution to specifically detail what information is being handed over upon the government's request--not just total numbers.
"To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart," writes Smith. "But today our two companies stand together."