TAG | microsoft
Recently unsealed documents show that Microsoft was able to beat back a National Security Letter (NSL) from the FBI.
NSL are like subpoenas but go through a different, and secret, process that bypasses the courts. NSL also include a gag order forbidding the recipient from revealing the existence of the letter to anyone.
Microsoft fought the NSL in question because it violated their policy of notifying all enterprise customers when they receive any “legal order related to data”. The FBI withdrew it without any rulings on the legality or appropriateness of the NSL.
This may indicate a move towards some limitations of the gag order attached to NSLs, which would be very valuable for transparency in the whole process.
This and many other articles are relaying the information that governments are encouraging users to move to Chrome, Firefox, or Safari until this Microsoft Internet explorer bug is fixed. The vulnerability seems to have been in every version of IE since 6 through the current version 11. It is a remote exploitation vulnerability, so attackers can use it to run arbitrary code on your computer, effectively “owning” it. There are some work arounds within IE that may prevent the attack, but for now it is much safer and easier to simply move to a different browser.
It is important to remember that using a VPN like Anonymizer Universal does NOT provide any protection against this kind of attack. This is an attack directly against the browser using the content you have “requested”. The attack is launched from the site you are visiting, so the hostile content would flow through the VPN unhindered.
Anonymizer strongly encourages its users to move to Firefox, Safari, or Chrome, at least until this problem is resolved.
It looks like Microsoft got caught using “evercookie” or “supercookie” technologies to recreate tracking cookies even after users have tried to delete them from their browsers.