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A legal case filed this week accuses a former Microsoft employee of stealing company trade secrets via software code for the Windows operating system and leaking it to a blogger. To catch the alleged culprit, Microsoft read the e-mail and instant messages on the blogger’s Hotmail and message accounts, The New York Times reports. While the company’s actions were legal, reading customers’ private online accounts without a court order is unusual and may give users pause about using Microsoft’s communication products, said a civil liberties expect. Microsoft acknowledged its actions were unusual and says it is taking new steps to ensure consumer privacy. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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