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Microsoft Taking Steps to Protect Customers from ‘Government Snooping’

xbox One Kinect
Microsoft

Microsoft has become increasingly sensitive to consumer complaints about government interference in their online security, including the Xbox One, and is taking a stand to prove it’s on the side of the people.

Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, posted on the Microsoft Blogabout the company’s plans to ensure consumer security and rights were being protected. “Many of our customers have serious concerns about government surveillance of the Internet,” Smith said. “We share their concerns. That’s why we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data.”

As such, Microsoft will be expanding encryption across its services,  reinforcing legal protections for customer data and enhancing the transparency of its software code. The latter is being done so consumers have a better understanding of Microsoft products without backdoors. First up will be boosted encryption for Windows Azure, the cloud service powering the Xbox One, SkyDrive and Outlook. More legal protections and better transparency will come, too, but the encryption is a major key in keeping private data private. “All of this will be in place by the end of 2014, and much of it is effective immediately,” Smith said.

“We want to ensure that important questions about government access are decided by courts rather than dictated by technological might,” Smith concluded. “And we’re focused on applying new safeguards worldwide, recognising the global nature of these issues and challenges.”

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