Microsoft reportedly implementing stronger encryption to combat NSA spying

By on November 27, 2013, 12:30 PM
microsoft, nsa, hotmail, spying, encryption, windows live messenger, data collection

Microsoft is now beginning to heighten its internet traffic security measures based on concerns that the NSA may already be spying on its network, according to a report from the Washington Post. The Post says that high level Microsoft executives are currently in talks regarding implementing a new level of encryption in order to combat NSA activity.

Microsoft's concerns are based on leaked Snowden info from back in October pointing at a program called "Muscular," in which the NSA was accused of secretly collecting data from Google and Yahoo. While there are some previously unreleased documents that mention Microsoft's Hotmail service, Windows Live Messenger and even Microsoft Passport, there has been no specific information pointing at Microsoft being an NSA target.

"We’re focused on engineering improvements that will further strengthen security," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said to the Washington Post, "including strengthening security against snooping by governments."

Microsoft told the post that it has no independent confirmation that it has indeed been tapped by the NSA, but that revelations regarding Yahoo and Google has certainly heightened the company's sensitivity to the issue even more.

As for what these encryption methods Microsoft will be introducing are, the details are still a little vague, but we do know that the initiative would cover the company's complete range of "consumer and business services."

Previously, Microsoft teamed up with other tech giants, Google and Facebook among others, to back an official push calling for a broader level of transparency regarding government data requests. Later, the tech giants joined forces once again in support of USA Freedom Act amendments pertaining to the NSA.

The NSA issued the following statement regarding questions about secret Microsoft data collection:

“NSA’s focus is on targeting the communications of valid foreign intelligence targets, not on collecting and exploiting a class of communications or services that would sweep up communications that are not of bona fide foreign intelligence interest to the U.S. government.”




User Comments: 12

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psycros psycros said:

"While there are some previously unreleased documents that mention Microsoft's Hotmail service, Windows Live Messenger and even Microsoft Passport, there has been no specific information pointing at Microsoft being an NSA target."

Microsoft was never a target because they *VOLUNTARILY* gave the NSA direct server access, at least briefly (and under protest according to some accounts). How could Techspot be unaware of this? The US now has semi-secret and totally unconstitutional laws giving the government carte blanche in terms of spying, warrentless search and seizure, arrest powers and *indefinite* detainment of anyone it chooses, for ANY reason. There are also secret courts where anyone who doesn't cooperate can be tried and convicted without meaningful counsel. Apparently no one bothered to read the last major defense bill - it essentially shredded the Bill of Rights.

Guest said:

"accused of secretly collecting data"

Interesting choice of words for what should be 'stealing'.

Guest said:

What a load of crap! They are all part of the problem. Microsoft, Google and the rest are good little corporate citizens now are they?

I've just had my 14 year old son come to me and tell me how he's going to ditch Xbox because they are wanting too much information and want control over everything!! Thanks MS, I've been trying to get him off it for years!

Even PS4 sounds like its a no go too. If his generation is saying this then looks like these corporations my just be shooting themselves in the foot! Your games being rumbled, literally!!

Chazz said:

"While there are some previously unreleased documents that mention Microsoft's Hotmail service, Windows Live Messenger and even Microsoft Passport, there has been no specific information pointing at Microsoft being an NSA target."

Microsoft was never a target because they *VOLUNTARILY* gave the NSA direct server access, at least briefly (and under protest according to some accounts). How could Techspot be unaware of this? The US now has semi-secret and totally unconstitutional laws giving the government carte blanche in terms of spying, warrentless search and seizure, arrest powers and *indefinite* detainment of anyone it chooses, for ANY reason. There are also secret courts where anyone who doesn't cooperate can be tried and convicted without meaningful counsel. Apparently no one bothered to read the last major defense bill - it essentially shredded the Bill of Rights.

You know they all "voluntarily" gave up data right?

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Microsoft saying they are deploying stronger encryption is on par with monkey's throwing poo at cars driving by to warn them of speeding.

Guest said:

I believe all this, reeeeallyyy.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Microsoft saying they are deploying stronger encryption is on par with monkey's throwing poo at cars driving by to warn them of speeding.

Indeed, and it is same for Google & Yahoo and the rest.

2 people like this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

At least they are calling it rain, when they piss on you now.

1 person liked this | bielius bielius said:

At least they are calling it rain, when they piss on you now.

Don't expect warning signs when the hurricanes come bearing shit inside.

/shitstorm

Holotus said:

Mega corporations might as well be government agencies designed to collect and control our lives from the very technology we're highly dependent on.

Guest said:

"Microsoft reportedly implementing stronger encryption to combat NSA spying"

right.

PC nerd PC nerd said:

I thought Microsoft were openly helping the NSA spy on its customers.

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