Microsoft will expand encryption in response government ‘snooping’
Microsoft announced this week that it is expanding encryption across its networks and services to better protect its customer data from ‘snooping’ by the National Security Agency.
The announcement followed recent news reports that the NSA had secretly broken in the communications links between data centers of Internet companies like Google and Yahoo. The reports, based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, described how NSA’s MUSCULAR program would intercept and copy “entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information among the data centers” of the Internet companies.
“Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted efforts by some governments to circumvent online security measures – and in our view, legal processes and protections – in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data. In particular, recent press stories have reported allegations of governmental interception and collection – without search warrants or legal subpoenas – of customer data as it travels between customers and servers or between company data centers in our industry,” wrote Brad Smith, General Counsel for Microsoft. “Government snooping potentially now constitutes an ‘advanced persistent threat,’ alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks.”
In response to allegations of NSA’s interceptions of customer data from private networks, Smith said Microsoft will step up encryptions of user data and contents across its networks and services, including Outlook, Office, and Windows.
Smith said Microsoft will also challenge gag orders to prevent the company from notifying its business customers that their records are being sought by the government.
- Microsoft: Protecting customer data from government snooping
- WashingtonPost.com: NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say
- WhatTheFolly.com: Washington Post: NSA collecting nearly 5 billion cellphone location records per day
- WhatTheFolly.com: Documents released by Edward Snowden reveal NSA surveillance on Germany & European allies
- WhatTheFolly.com: U.S. files Espionage Act charges against Snowden
- WhatTheFolly.com: Senators demand answers from Director of National Intelligence on NSA’s bulk data collection programs
- WhatTheFolly.com: NSA Surveillance Programs