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Microsoft Threatens Blogger Cease Desist Bing Cashback

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Microsoft's legal department recently demanded a blogger, Samir Meghani, remove his blog post exposing flaws of the company's Bing Cashback offer. There have been consumer complaints concerning the Bing Cashback  program, including delays in payment, what appear to be drastic changes in the amount of percentages offered, question concerning whether Bing search engine pricing is higher than that offered through other browsers, and Meghani's concerns about possible violations of the Bing Cashback program by potential scammers.
In this instance, Microsoft apparently didn't appreciate its Bing Cashback vulnerabilites so openly addressed. A cease-and-desist letter, sent from Microsoft attorneys, resulted in Meghani's blog being forced offline. Bing Cashback is Microsoft's incentive to get online users to utilize its Bing search engine in place of other popular search engines, wooing users through incentive of money back for online purchases.
What did Meghani address that got Microsoft and its lawyers so riled? Meghani exposed Microsoft potential issues, such as potential misuse of sequential IDs which he claims potential scammers can use to "deny [Bing] cashback rebates to legitimate users by using up available order ID numbers."
While Microsoft's ire may be understandable in that it does not want Bing Cashback vulnerabilities or flaws openly exposed for scammers to take hold, its methods in stopping that spread of information is questionnable. Perhaps Microsoft is missing the point that free testing has been performed for the company.
A good PR consultant might agree that Microsoft's act of sending a cease-and-desist letter, supposedly accompanied with what openly appear to be legal threats in the form of statement or insinuation that Meghani's awareness of Bing Cashback's flaws mean he has violated "various laws relating to computer intrusion, unauthorized access and unauthorized use of information," might have differently been handled. Suggestion by the company, that Meghani's actions could result in criminal charges, is a serious action by Microsoft. There has never been evidence that Meghani, himself, scammed Microsoft or the Bing Cashback program in any way. Meghani simply exposed Bing Cashback program flaws. Those are flaws which Microsoft apparently wished to remain hidden.
It appears no one considered the obvious: an offer of employment to a man whom has done his research.... more


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United States
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