12 July 2013
By Luke James in Britain:
‘Ditch Microsoft about Snowden spy leaks’
Saturday 31st May 2014
LECTURERS have called on universities to ditch agreements with Microsoft over the company’s role in the online spying scandal exposed by Edward Snowden.
Last summer’s revelations came just a month after the government-funded Janet education network used by academics linked up with Microsoft.
Dr Freedman said delegates should be “pissed off” that a company “complicit with the surveillance operations that were endemic across the UK and the US are presiding over our emails and data storage.”
And the media specialist said it was another symptom of the privatisation of higher education.
Goldsmiths is just one of Britain’s universities and colleges that have handed lucrative IT contracts to global corporations with poor security records.
The decision at the London college brought a number of “infuriated” academics into their trade union for the first time, explained Dr Freedman.
He added: “This is the kind of issue that speaks to the changing nature of higher education.
“The fact is that there’s more outsourcing, more marketisation, that we’re losing whatever control we had over where our research and email are stored.”
The union committed to call on university leaders to review their IT contracts in light of the surveillance scandal.
Skype under investigation in Luxembourg over link to NSA. Ten years ago, the calling service had a reputation as a tool for evading surveillance but now it is under scrutiny for covertly passing data to government agencies: here.