Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Business Intelligence Sales & Marketing More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Computing
Fiercely productive scanners
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Microsoft Stepping Up Privacy Efforts
Microsoft Stepping Up Privacy Efforts

By Barry Levine
December 5, 2013 12:58PM

Bookmark and Share
As well as expanding encryption to thwart NSA spying, Microsoft is reinforcing legal protections for customers’ data, and “enhancing the transparency” of its software code. The additional encryption to ward of NSA snooping will occur by the end of 2014. Microsoft will work with other service providers to encourage the implementation of similar efforts.
 


Redmond is looking to become a leader in a newly competitive space: your privacy. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it is expanding encryption across all of its services and undertaking other actions to guard against snooping by governments.

On the official Microsoft blog, General Counsel Brad Smith wrote that his company shares the concerns of customers “about government surveillance of the Internet.” Because of this shared interest, he said, the company’s steps are designed to ensure that governments “use legal process rather than technological brute force to assess customer data.”

He specifically mentioned “recent allegations in the press of broader and concerted efforts by some governments to circumvent online security measures” in order to gather private customer data, in particular the interception without warrants or subpoenas of data as it travels “between customers and servers or between company data centers.”

Tapping Backbones

Last month, The New York Times reported that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) could spy on Google and Yahoo users, and possibly others, without having direct access to the data centers of those companies, by tapping into the fiber-optic Internet backbones of such providers as Verizon, the BT and Level 3.

The story said it wasn’t clear if the providers cooperated and, at any rate, Yahoo and Google are now encrypting their data for backbone travel. One assumes such encryption could make the NSA’s task harder, but it’s also not evident how difficult decoding that encrypted data would be for the world’s most capable encryption/decryption governmental agency. Microsoft said it will employ “best-in-class industry cryptography,” such as Perfect Forward Secrecy and 2048-bit key lengths.

Microsoft noted that it has been encrypting its products and services for years to protect against hackers, and it has “no evidence” of unauthorized government access but it wants to address the issue directly.

‘Enhancing the Transparency’

Services included, or enhanced, in this new initiative include Outlook.com, Office 365, SkyDrive and Windows Azure, as well as all of its customer-created or stored content. Third-party services that run on Azure will be the responsibility of the respective developers, although Microsoft will make tools available. All of the additional encryption will occur before the end of next year, and Microsoft pledged that it will work with other services, such as e-mail providers, to encourage the implementation of similar efforts.

In addition to expanding encryption, the company also said it was reinforcing legal protections for customers’ data, and “enhancing the transparency” of its software code, so that coders could perform due diligence and help ensure that products have not been built with back-door access. In fact, a network of “transparency centers” will be opened around the world to support these efforts.

Legal enhancements will include the notification of business and government customers if Microsoft receives legal orders about their data. If a gag order is imposed, the Microsoft vows to challenge it.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

RealPrivacy:

Posted: 2013-12-06 @ 6:35am PT
I don't worry about snooping by government. I do worry about snooping by commercial interests, like Microsoft.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Computing
1.   VMware Rolls Out DR-as-a-Service
2.   Red Hat Unveils OpenShift Marketplace
3.   Tips To Defeat the Heartbleed Bug
4.   NSC Backs Disclosing Vulnerabilities
5.   Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware


advertisement
Don't Reset Passwords for Heartbleed?
Added caution needed to ensure security.
Average Rating:
Last Fixes Tuesday for XP, Office 2003
Microsoft closing out support for two.
Average Rating:
Tech 101: What Is Open Source?
Foundation of countless applications.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tips To Defeat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 
Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware, Too
It appears the Heartbleed security bug affects not just Web sites, but also the networking equipment that connects businesses and homes to the Net, including Cisco and Juniper's equipment.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 
Analyst: Samsung Galaxy S5 Won't Sway iPhone Lovers
The Samsung Galaxy S5 hits store shelves on Friday and the reviews are starting to pour in. The question is: Can the latest in the Galaxy line grab more market share from Apple’s iPhone?
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Contact Centers | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.