Microsoft Takes Steps To Keep NSA Out Of Your Account

Microsoft Takes Steps To Keep NSA Out Of Your Account

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"Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet," says Microsoft's Brad Smith. "We share their concerns."

Microsoft doesn't like the Snowden revelations, and the allegation that "some governments" - in the words of Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith - are bypassing legal process, to collect Microsoft's private customer data. To thwart this, Microsoft has promised to expand encryption, reinforce legal protection of customer's data, and enhance the transparency of its code, to reassure customers that there isn't a back door in its software.

"We want to ensure that important questions about government access are decided by courts rather than dictated by technological might," says Smith. "We're focused on applying new safeguards worldwide, recognizing the global nature of these issues and challenges."

Wondering why Microsoft's keen to be seen to be doing this? US companies took a massive blow to the wallet when the NSA revelations came out. The Cloud is the future, thinks Microsoft, but nobody's going to want to be in its Cloud if the NSA's poking around in there too. Analysts at Forrester Research claim that the Snowden case could cost the cloud computing industry as much as $180 billion by 2016. That's a full quarter of the industry's revenue, gone.

Most of Microsoft's measures, including the extra encryption protocols, will be in place by 2014 or are already there. "Ultimately, we're sensitive to the balances that must be struck when it comes to technology, security and the law," Smith concludes. "We all want to live in a world that is safe and secure, but we also want to live in a country that is protected by the Constitution."

Source: Microsoft

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Microsoft: NO ONE SPIES ON OUR CUSTOMERS BUT US!

Seriously, I always laugh when they talk about the cloud being 'the future' sure it's a business model that businesses love where you don't buy software but rather just 'rent/lease' it. Which is of course the wet dream of corporation. Industr's dream ideal is slavery where you have a labour force you don't have to pay. Commercial ideal is basically where you sell the customers things but don't give them anything. Or rather making a customer pay for the same thing twice or more. of course these ideals are only good for the companies and no one else.

All 'The Cloud' is is a throwback to the server/client paradigm of the the 60's,70's and early 80's. Yup, the future is a step back. though back then it made sense. components were just too bloody expensive to have strong desktops. Now we have a case where we have super desktops and they still want us in 'the cloud'. Adobe has already taken the first step, and they will suffer for it. Microsoft basically wants a situation where they rent you their OS so they can rake in profits monthly.. Yeah imagine paying a rental fee for WIndows 8.

BigTuk:
Microsoft basically wants a situation where they rent you their OS so they can rake in profits monthly.. Yeah imagine paying a rental fee for WIndows 8.

Aren't they already doing this with Office 365?

OT:
Don't lie, cheat, steal (or spy)
The government hates competition

Ninjga'd on the first post. Of course Microsoft doesn't want anyone to spy on their customers. They want to be able to sell that information and make some money with it!

Also off topic, what's this I'm hearing about a rental fee for windows?!

The concern is legitimate. I'm an executive at a tech company and we have gotten hammered by our international customer's over both the Snowden revelations and the US's reaction. The business community has strong concerns related to their wallets and they are going to do whatever is necessary to protect it.

Ironically, Huawei has dealt with accusations for years that it enabled the Chinese government to spy on their customers and they are having a field day with this.

Frankly, this strikes me as a tad naive. If you've studied how the NSA does their thing, it's actually contracted out to private firms in order to give the US government plausible deniability. So sure, Microsoft won't DIRECTLY give your info to the NSA anymore, they'll just sell it piecemeal to the front companies instead.

STAY AWAY FROM MY GAMERSCORE, NSA!

I don't think even if MS tries to keep the NSA out of our business that it'll work. Eventually they'll get what they want.

Wow I feel sooooo much safer knowing that Micro$oft will not let the government take my info out a backdoor in their system...... It will just go out the front door past the checkout clerk. "OK NSA will you be paying with cash, credit, political favors, or government contracts today?"

slash2x:
Wow I feel sooooo much safer knowing that Micro$oft will not let the government take my info out a backdoor in their system...... It will just go out the front door past the checkout clerk. "OK NSA will you be paying with cash, credit, political favors, or government contracts today?"

"None of the above. Here's a FISA order."

Oh, well that's nice.

Still doesn't magically reverse the issues I have with you, Microsaft. I still consider you the biggest threat to gaming as a whole since that time (times?) gaming's first amendment protections were at risk.

Micalas:

slash2x:
Wow I feel sooooo much safer knowing that Micro$oft will not let the government take my info out a backdoor in their system...... It will just go out the front door past the checkout clerk. "OK NSA will you be paying with cash, credit, political favors, or government contracts today?"

"None of the above. Here's a FISA order."

That's all there is to it.
Microsoft, legally, cannot say "no" whether they want to or not.
Nor can they disclose knowledge of such an agreement to the public.
So...All this amounts to is just a false promise to drum up good PR.

Whilst I have to say I'm cynical about this the fact that the list includes more transparency in code gives me a sliver of hope.

If they give me code that I can look into and compile myself then that's something real and tangible.

I'll see it before I believe it though...

I've still got a sliver of hope left for hoverboards in 2015 as well, so maybe we're in for some surprises eh? Open source from Microsoft and flying skateboards?

an annoyed writer:
Frankly, this strikes me as a tad naive. If you've studied how the NSA does their thing, it's actually contracted out to private firms in order to give the US government plausible deniability. So sure, Microsoft won't DIRECTLY give your info to the NSA anymore, they'll just sell it piecemeal to the front companies instead.

Got it in one. This is basically a tried and tested PR exercise. It is the same misdirection that toilet paper manufacturers use when they say "For every tree we cut down we plant X ammount more", only, they don't cut any trees down, someone else does and they just buy and pulp the wood. But it sounds good and people who don't care to look below the surface are taken in by this.

With the NSA it gets even more convoluted than this when you consider that most of the sub contracting that goes on is done not directly between a contractor and the NSA, but via centralised Federal procurement processes and with the contracts that are eventually handed out being accountable to umbrella agencies -which only exist for the duration of the contract- representing the NSA, along with other executive agencies which makes it virtually impossible to trace where any of the collected data ever ends up.

Atmos Duality:

Micalas:

slash2x:
Wow I feel sooooo much safer knowing that Micro$oft will not let the government take my info out a backdoor in their system...... It will just go out the front door past the checkout clerk. "OK NSA will you be paying with cash, credit, political favors, or government contracts today?"

"None of the above. Here's a FISA order."

That's all there is to it.
Microsoft, legally, cannot say "no" whether they want to or not.
Nor can they disclose knowledge of such an agreement to the public.
So...All this amounts to is just a false promise to drum up good PR.

you basically said it all. Microsoft is screaming stuff like this makes it look like they are beign siphoned for information but are not allwoed to tell it, so they are trying to let us know some way where they wont get locked up in a dark cell. They cant say no or tell us about it, but they sure as hell can make us as suspiciuos as possible. you know, they were trying to sabotage their own console as well so maybe they are trying to make costumers not buy the thing so NSA would get off? nah, thats too much conspiracy already i guess.

Let's break this down, shall we.

The American government is notorious for being so corrupted that democracy barely even exists in the US. The politicians are just corporate shills most of the time. Microsoft's been a part of PRISM since 2007. Now they claim that they're fighting the same program that wasn't even supposed to exist, yet they were already a part of it.

Yeah, let's cover our eyes and ears and trust Microsoft. They wouldn't lie to us. Right?

Take a step back for a moment and look at some trends.

First: games are now regarded as services, in many cases, subscription services and digital distribution, while absolutely the way forward and generally a good thing, is the norm now.

Second: There is a growing trend in game companies, releasing games earlier and earlier in the development stage, more and more unfinished. Rome 2 is the worst case I have seen in a AAA title. Now you can chalk this up to publisher set release dates or restrictive budgets (even game budgets are the biggest they have ever been) but the fact remains that game companies are giving you less and less for the same amount of money.

For me, the next logical step is a developer or otherwise corporate oriented subscription service, where you subscribe to any given corporation/dev for X amount of time at Y dollar rate and you get whatever they give you in that time.

Very similar to a DLC season pass, isn't it? The Cloud is just what makes it really obvious.

TallanKhan:

an annoyed writer:
Frankly, this strikes me as a tad naive. If you've studied how the NSA does their thing, it's actually contracted out to private firms in order to give the US government plausible deniability. So sure, Microsoft won't DIRECTLY give your info to the NSA anymore, they'll just sell it piecemeal to the front companies instead.

Got it in one. This is basically a tried and tested PR exercise. It is the same misdirection that toilet paper manufacturers use when they say "For every tree we cut down we plant X ammount more", only, they don't cut any trees down, someone else does and they just buy and pulp the wood. But it sounds good and people who don't care to look below the surface are taken in by this.

With the NSA it gets even more convoluted than this when you consider that most of the sub contracting that goes on is done not directly between a contractor and the NSA, but via centralised Federal procurement processes and with the contracts that are eventually handed out being accountable to umbrella agencies -which only exist for the duration of the contract- representing the NSA, along with other executive agencies which makes it virtually impossible to trace where any of the collected data ever ends up.

If I may attempt to further abstract Microsoft's "promise to expand encryption", they'd already been exposed for providing NSA contractors backdoors through the encryption they had in the first place. Stronger encryption isn't going to fix that.

I very well might be playing semantics here, but one can't help but notice that lies of omission seems to be the MO in these situations

 

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