Former Microsoft employee accused of leaking software pleads guilty

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A former Microsoft employee has pleaded guilty to charges related to sharing software code for looming company products.

On March 17 federal prosecutors charged Alex Kibkalo for handing the trade secrets over to an unknown technology blogger, who then proceeded to release the company software code online, according to court documents.

Kibkalo originally faced up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000, but according to Monday's plea agreement, he and prosecutors recommended a three-month prison term and a fine of $22,500 to the court.

In order to find out who was supplying the code, Microsoft searched the blogger's Hotmail account, a service provided by the tech giant. This move gained attention from privacy advocates, which prompted the company to change its policy related to cases like this, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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