Microsoft Corporation again explained its stance on cooperation with the Belarusian security agencies.
Сharter97.org website published an article about cooperation of Microsoft, Skype's owner, with Belarusian security agencies and disclosing data of 35 Belarusian Skype accounts. The company's representatives agreed to give a comment on the issue to charter97.org:
"Please be informed that in accordance with the information in Microsoft's report on requests to Microsoft from law enforcement authorities, Microsoft provides data to law enforcement agencies exclusively on the ground of requests from judicial authorities or equivalent duly executed requests, which Microsoft has all reasons to believe to be valid, and discloses only account information. If Microsoft has no reasonable grounds to believe that the requests are relevant to a criminal investigation, Microsoft does not disclose customer information.
Microsoft's lawyers considered all five requests from judicial agencies of Belarus relating to criminal investigations of, for example, frauds involving stolen credit cards. Please take note that in none of the cases were the data beyond the scope of account information and relating to content of customer communications revealed by Skype."
Сharter97.org reminds to readers and representatives of foreign organisations providing services to Belarusians that the Belarusian security services often abuse power and prosecute people on political motives and there is no independent judicial system in Belarus. On legal grounds, Belarusian law enforcers received bank information of Belarusian human rights activists from the law enforcement authorities of Lithuania and Poland that resulted in sentencing Ales Byalyatski, the head of Viasna human rights centre. Skype conversations were used as evidence at the trials over the events of December 19, 2010. Thirteen political prisoners still remain in jails.