(Bloomberg View) -- Not long ago, Microsoft was widely seen as the archetypal evil corporate empire: A brutish monopoly, bereft of new ideas and embodying all that went wrong with first-generation tech titans. Under Chief Executive Satya Nadella, however, its creativity has been revived and its contribution to Europe's fight against U.S. Internet surveillance is evidence of that.

Last month, the European Court of Justice ruled that the U.S. could no longer be viewed as a "safe harbor" for European Internet users' data, because it made the data available to its intelligence services. The ruling was rooted in National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden's revelations of a program called Prism, which enabled the agency to peruse the private messages and other data sent by the customers of top U.S. Internet firms. According to Snowden's documents, Microsoft was the first to sign up for Prism, preceding the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook.

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