Tutanota cries out of disbelief over Microsoft Teams blocking sign-ups for its email users – Meczyki.Net

Microsoft is being asked to block users of Tutanota, an end-to-end encrypted email service, from registering an account with its cloud-based collaboration platform, Teams, if they attempt to do so using a Tutanota email address. We do.

The problem, which hasn’t been fixed for some time – with an initial complaint raised with Microsoft Support in January 2021 – appears to have arisen because it treats Tutanota as a corporate email, rather than as a real one. What is (and always has been) ), an email service.

This misclassification means that when a Tutanota email user tries to use this email address to register an account with Teams they get a classic ‘computer says no’ response – registering with the interface Blocks and suggests the person to “contact your administrator or try a different one”. E-mail”.

“When the first Tutanota user registered a team account, they were assigned the domain. So now everyone who logs in with a Tutanota address must report it to their ‘admin’ (see screenshot),” said one of Tutanota’s When the spokesperson was asked why he felt so.

Screengrab: Tutanota

To overcome this denial – and register a team account – the Tutanota user must enter a non-Tutanota email. (Like, for example, a Microsoft email address.)

Unsurprisingly, Tutanota is crying out over Microsoft’s failure to fix an apparent SNAFU — and urging action from opposing authorities to ensure that competition, and pro-privacy business models like its own, in general, More powerful, the gatekeeping tech giants don’t hurt by failing to provide. a level playing field.

one in blog post Detailing the saga, Tutanota co-founder, Matthias Pfau, called Microsoft’s behavior a “serious anti-competitive practice”.

“Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are discussing stronger antitrust laws to regulate Big Tech. These laws are badly needed, as in the example of Microsoft, which prevents Tutanota users from registering a Teams account. ,” he writes. “The problem: Big tech companies have the market power to harm smaller competitors with a few simple steps like denying customers of smaller companies access to their services.”

“This is just one example of how Microsoft can and does abuse its dominant market position to harm competitors, which in turn harms consumers as well.”

The German company behind Tuttanota, founded in 2011, was going to launch its encrypted email client in 2014—so Microsoft can’t be accused of keeping its finger on the pulse here.

But Tutanota says that when it asked the company’s support staff to fix the problem they created, they were told it wasn’t “feasible.”

“We have reviewed this internally and, as of now, it is not possible for the domain to become public domain and this is because the domain used Microsoft Teams Services,” Microsoft support staff wrote in an unsolicited email response to Tutanota. Which was reviewed by Meczyki.Net.

“As discussed earlier, we are unable to make your domain public domain. The domain has already been used for Microsoft Teams. If Teams has been used with a specific domain, it may not work as a vanity/public domain,” downplays another response from Microsoft’s support.

Tutanota kept trying to put pressure on a reason why Microsoft couldn’t reclassify domains for weeks — but simply refused the same brick wall. So it is now going public with its complaint.

“Negotiations went on for at least six weeks until we finally gave up – due to repeated feedback that they would not change it,” the spokesperson said.

In the blog post, Pfau argued that “competing with Microsoft is impossible given their sheer market power”, and urges executives to “break Big Tech’s market power” — between a pro-privacy end. Exposes the gap between end-to-end encrypted email services, such as Tutanota, and tech giants such as Microsoft, which has a large edtech business, fueled by tracking web users, stripping them of their privacy to monetize targeted advertising. Fills.

“We need to break through the market power of Big Tech like in the nineties. This will lead to a new development in today’s online world. One where growing products that focus on benefiting the consumer – not maximizing advertising revenue “To free themselves from being tracked online, people need privacy-respecting options,” they write.

Microsoft was contacted about Tutanota’s complaint, but the tech giant had not responded at the time of writing.

This is not the first time Tutanota has found its users’ access blocked by larger platforms, which have already experienced problems. AT&T And Comcast in America.

Since then, the European Union has passed sweeping new antitrust legislation that began to come into force early next year – aka the Digital Markets Act (DMA) – that mandates the most powerful platforms (the so-called “gatekeepers”). Will set up front rules. Actively motivate them to play fair by other businesses backed by a regime of major penalties for violations.

Cloud services are under the purview of the DMA – and the regulation includes a requirement that in-scope core platform services be subject to fair and non-discriminatory general terms of access (aka frnd terms) among a long list of other operations’ dos and don’ts. should do. don’ts’ – so Microsoft’s Teams platform could, potentially, be in frame for the EU’s upcoming special abuse regime to implement it in the future.

That said, EU lawmakers have previously suggested that Microsoft is unlikely to be the first GAFAM giant to qualify for the bloc’s shiny new east east Considering how widespread the concerns of widespread competition are when it comes to the full spectrum of Big Tech (ie Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple etc.). But Block’s direction of travel is now under increasing scrutiny of platform power and the objectivity of its effects, so Microsoft’s dismissive attitude toward Tutanota’s complaint seems ill-posed to say the least.