Bomb suspect sues Microsoft over undeleted porn records

A man awaiting trial for selling illegally modified firearms and for possessing bomb making equipment is suing Microsoft because its software did not delete his pornography browsing history.

Michael Alan Crooker has filed a suit in the Massachusetts Supreme Court, according to Information Week, which claims $200,000 in damages from Microsoft because the company failed to keep his private data secure.

Crooker said that when he bought his computer in 2002 he was told it would keep his information secure, and he set browser Internet Explorer to delete his browsing history after five days.

Crooker was raided in 2004 by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in an investigation into the sale of an air gun fitted with a silencer. The court papers say that the agents found "laboratory devices, apparent IEDs, fermenting castor beans, chemicals and chemical equipment appropriate for the processing of castor beans into ricin, and what appeared to be ricin and ricin precursors in various stages of development, indicating that Crooker was successfully manufacturing ricin".

They confiscated his computer, which was sent for analysis to forensic computing experts at the FBI. That analysis revealed sexually explicit videos of Crooker and his girlfriend and cached pornographic internet pages.

Crooker's suit says that Microsoft claimed that it would keep his data secure and did not. Its failures, he says, have caused him great embarrassment and he is now seeking the $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.