Coffeehouse Thread

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Does Microsoft keep MSN Messenger logs?

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  • User profile image
    Xenon101

    I've been hearing recently that Microsoft keep logs of all conversations occuring over their MSN Messenger software on their servers. Is this actually true or just someones overactive immagination? And if so surely they couldn't keep them long as they would take up masses of space and most likely slow the whole service down?

  • User profile image
    Manip

    They keep logs of what conversations took place, not the contents of the conversation.

    For example a log might show:

    Mr X talked to Mrs Y at 10:30, the conversation lasted 15 minutes.

    This kind of thing is for law enforcement purposes.

  • User profile image
    Xenon101

    Aha! Well that makes me feel slightly more at ease as I'm sure I've never read anything in the privacy policies stating that conversations will be logged server level.

    I find it hard to believe that such a limited log could help law enforcement however.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    It helps them build a chain of communication. If you arrest a drug dealer and you get his logs then you can figure out who he is talking to over MSN and investigate them, maybe even finding who his supplier(s) are.


    [Yes I *could* have used terrorism but I am SO sick of people using that in examples!]

  • User profile image
    Xenon101

    My bad lol, its hard to think of real life examples of things when you've been awake for around 48 hours Smiley

  • User profile image
    BruceMorgan

    Manip wrote:
    They keep logs of what conversations took place, not the contents of the conversation.

    For example a log might show:

    Mr X talked to Mrs Y at 10:30, the conversation lasted 15 minutes.

    This kind of thing is for law enforcement purposes.
    What's your source for this assertion?

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    I'd suspect (very solidly) that AOL, MSN, Yahoo!) and other ISP's do email for law enforcement. However normally since IM's are static (Anyone can register, don't need any billing info, etc) that IM's would be worthless to track. However because your using the service...you subject yourself to it being possible (Read the TOS).

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    Orbit86 wrote:
    no not really.. If the law enforcement got ahold of the PC they can track what emails, usernames were logged on and from the IP addy

    That depends on the offense as well if your neighbor threatens you over IM and you go to the police, Well lets just say they would be very reluctant to do anything about it. However if your MSN passport is BTK1979 and you start IM'img people that they're next I would guess they would probably act on that.

    Next on MS's list of world domination....probably those losers over at Apple. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Manip

    BruceMorgan wrote:
    What's your source for this assertion?


    Read it in an article about monitoring Instant Messaging on the internet in relation to 'terrorist' activities. Obviously that is just poetic licence on the log line, a real one would also contain IP information and such.

  • User profile image
    Tyler Brown

    Orbit86 wrote:
    well yeah..it can..

    where were you at 7:59..

    "I was online talking to X"
    This alone would not constitute an aliby. Anyone can log onto your MSN account from anywhere in the world. Even if the log showed your home IP, more evidence would be needed to show that no one else could have been logged onto your MSN on your computer.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Manip wrote:
    BruceMorgan wrote: What's your source for this assertion?


    Read it in an article about monitoring Instant Messaging on the internet in relation to 'terrorist' activities. Obviously that is just poetic licence on the log line, a real one would also contain IP information and such.

    An article on the internet?

    You still believe those?

  • User profile image
    Xenon101

    Tyler Brown wrote:
    Orbit86 wrote:well yeah..it can..

    where were you at 7:59..

    "I was online talking to X"
    This alone would not constitute an aliby. Anyone can log onto your MSN account from anywhere in the world. Even if the log showed your home IP, more evidence would be needed to show that no one else could have been logged onto your MSN on your computer.


    Good point, you could just dial in to your house then take advantage of your home ip!

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Of course they do.  They probably do keyword analysis, too.
    And AOL does too... and Yahoo... and your local phone company...

    If any of them don't, they're fools.  The Patriot Act says they don't even have to tell you they're doing it.

    Which is why I'd like to see support for PGP / GPG in an IM client.  Where I could upload my public key to my IM profile, and send IM's encrypted to my conversation-mate's public key.  Transparently.

    That way I would know that the only person reading my IM is the person I'm sending it to... and anyone else they care to share it with.

    Why should I want to do this?  I don't know... why do I seal envelopes that I send in the mail, instead of just putting the stamp directly on the letter?

    EDIT: Like SecureIM for example

  • User profile image
    olene

    AIM version 5.5 and above support encrypting messages with RSA keys.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Before anyone get's too hyper, this has been occurring in the phone industry since phones were connected by computer.  Every phone call ever made is logged somewhere by someone and law enforcement routinely (yes routinely) subpoena's this information from all the carriers along the chain of the call. 

    This went on well before 9/11, so it isn't based on terrorism.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    olene wrote:
    AIM version 5.5 and above support encrypting messages with RSA keys.


    (/me tries it...)  I like it.  I might have to try to convince some of my buddies to get certificates.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    Xenon101 wrote:
    I've been hearing recently that Microsoft keep logs of all conversations occuring over their MSN Messenger software on their servers. Is this actually true or just someones overactive immagination? And if so surely they couldn't keep them long as they would take up masses of space and most likely slow the whole service down?


    Here's the MSN messenger privacy statement.

    There's also a contact number you can email for more specific questions.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Link doesn't work Larry.

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