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Microsoft in court over porn browsing mix-up

The man was using Internet Explorer and was disappointed when it failed to delete his browsing history as requested

An American man is suing Microsoft for $200,000 (£100,000) after his internet browser neglected to delete his browsing history. When Michael Alan Crooker was arrested on firearms charges, the FBI seized his home computer.

Despite password protecting his Windows XP machine and being assured by Circuit City, who sold it to him, that it would protect his privacy, the FBI were able to clone his hard drive to access all the data on it.

Federal agents managed to load up his browser history, which included a multitude of internet porn sites. They also discovered a home made porn film which Crooker had made with his girlfriend.

He said he had suffered "great embarrassment" about what had been discovered on his computer, none of which was illegal. He stated that he had set Internet Explorer to delete his browsing history every five days, something it evidently failed to do completely.

"Any day beyond those parameters is supposed to be permanently deleted and is not supposed to be recoverable," Crooker wrote in the lawsuit

Crooker claims he has already reached out of court settlements with the Circuit City retailer and HP which built the computer in the first place. He is, however, currently incarcerated in prison as he awaits trial for possessing illegally modified weapons and bomb-making gear.

James Rivington


James has been working with TechRadar for over 12 years and is now the Global Editor-in-Chief of eCommerce at TR and its sister sites including PC Gamer and T3.com. That means he looks after buying guides and deals pages as well as all of the nifty price comparison tools we use to help readers find the best deals on the coolest products.