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Microsoft calls government snooping an “advanced persistent threat,” vows to protect customer data

Thursday, 5th December 2013 21:10 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft’s corporate affairs executive, Brad Smith, has said he and the compare are “especially alarmed” by recent allegations of a “concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures.” Smith said Microsoft will do everything in its power to make sure customer data remains safe from prying eyes.

Speaking in an open letter outlining the company’s plan, Smith said the allegations of governmental interception and collection without search warrants or legal subpoenas of customer data “threaten to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications.”

“Indeed, government snooping potentially now constitutes an ‘advanced persistent threat’ alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks,” said Smith. “In light of these allegations, we’ve decided to take immediate and coordinated action in three areas: we are expanding encryption across our services; we are reinforcing legal protections for our customers’ data; and we are enhancing the transparency of our software code, making it easier for customers to reassure themselves that our products do not contain back doors.

“This effort will include our major communications, productivity and developer services such as Outlook.com, Office 365, SkyDrive and Windows Azure, and will provide protection across the full lifecycle of customer-created content.”

Smith goes to to explain things in more detail and you can read over the entire thing through the link.

Thanks, Gamespot.

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17 Comments

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  1. Asgaro

    Lies.

    The only solution to protect customer data is to make Microsoft a EU based company because then, American laws won’t be applicable.
    Since that will never happen, they still have that Patriot Act which gives the US government free reign.

    ‘MURICAA AMIRITE.
    LAND OF THE FREE AMIRITE.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    This is a good move. They should have made an announcement like this sooner.

    What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that the NSA isn’t giving American businesses a choice. The most any of them can do is be transparent about the issue. Openly *admitting* it’s a problem is a good step, and it’s a refreshing change from the cookie cutter “We care about your security, honest!” PR crap.

    They need to ditch the hypocritical “Scroogled” crap as well. It just makes them look desperate.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. manamana

    “Microsoft will do everything in its power to make sure customer data remains safe from prying eyes.”

    NSA: give us the data!
    MS: no!
    NSA: okay then, we’ll tap your cloud anyhow.
    MS: fine, aslong as we don’t agree to hand out the data, we’ll have a clean slate.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. Diingo

    Microsoft is only doing this because it affects their reputation.

    The fact that they were some of the first few companies to allow the NSA to fully snoop through their data proves they simply don’t give a shit about people.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    @3 Blame the government for that, not Microsoft.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. xBASSxMONSTAx

    Microsoft will do anything to save it’s reputation. We all know it’s bullshit though.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. sebastien rivas

    And they insist with PR bullshit and media overload to make me buy a Xbox1 but here is the truth, the one and only.

    Bye MS

    #7 5 months ago
  8. lolatfanboys

    No Company is save, a company would only allow access if they A. Profit from it B. are forced to do it by Law. People like us are responsible for the outcome of that system. That´s democracy, if you don´t want your government to spy on you, I suggest to elect somebody that is against such measures…And if you lose out on the votes…well either A. persuade your fellows voters to vote differently next time B. Go into politics yourself…or C. Move out of the country. Those are the only options I see. Not a huge Msoft fan myself, but this one is on the Government too so please consider this before you bash M$soft too harshly ;)

    #8 5 months ago
  9. fearmonkey

    Nice that MS feels this, yet Skype was one of the services that MS gave the NSA access to, and thats now firmly planted in the Xbone.

    Lets see a camera with all those abilities not be a target for the NSA to find a way to utilize.

    #9 5 months ago
  10. Djoenz

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/30/microsoft-privacy-chief-nsa

    #10 5 months ago
  11. Unknown_Gamer

    Said the company who support NSA .

    #11 5 months ago
  12. Djoenz

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

    #12 5 months ago
  13. Tormenter

    #13 5 months ago
  14. Tormenter

    Smith said Microsoft will do everything in its power to make sure customer data remains safe from prying eyes.

    Until they recieve a better offer from the snoopers.

    Does no one find the turnaround, on this subject, quite absurd?

    Now we’re to believe it’s our friendly faceless conglomerate protecting us from the big bad governments…… STOP THE FUCKING WORLD I WANT OFF.

    #14 5 months ago
  15. lolatfanboys

    People have to go away from Microsoft and make them lose alot of money, next time a government agency asks them for a peep show, they will think twice :D

    @NSA I´m just kidding of course, love you guys…

    #15 5 months ago
  16. bradk825

    This is about info not obtained by a warrant, so the NSA thing is unrelated.

    #16 5 months ago
  17. Djoenz

    They dont need a warrant for non USA citizens.

    #17 5 months ago