Alex Kibkalo, the ex-Microsoft employee who leaked Windows 8 secrets, has been sentenced to three months in prison and a $100 fine.
Kibkalo was found guilty of stealing trade secrets and leaking Windows 8 builds to a French blogger. The maximum sentence Kibkalo faced was 10 years in prison, although he eventually bargained with federal prosecutors to receive the reduced sentence.
Kibkalo, originally from Russia, was arrested in Seattle in March 2014 and has been in prison ever since. In other words, his prison term is just about over.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a major case because leaking trade secrets isn’t totally uncommon. What made this case unique, however, was the way in which Microsoft investigated it.
Specifically, Microsoft snooped through Kibkalo’s Hotmail account and Messenger chat logs to incriminate him.
Eventually, they found that Kibkalo had emailed Windows 8 RT builds and an Activation Server Software Development Kit to a French blogger.
Privately snooping through someone’s email and chat logs without disclosure seems like an invasion of privacy, right?
However, since the data was stored on Microsoft’s own servers, Microsoft was well within its legal rights when it searched through the database to find evidence.
Now that the case is over, Microsoft has claimed that it will never again search through private user data – even in cases of intellectual property theft against its own brand.
Anyways, the unique case is finally over and Kibkalo will be back in the general public soon enough – although he will never be a Microsoft employee again.