Microsoft believes that the government, but not necessarily the National Security Agency (NSA), may stymie the IT industry’s efforts to safeguard corporate and user data.
Top security executives at the company have put together their top predictions for 2014 for the Microsoft Security Blog. Paul Nicholas, senior director of Global Security Strategy for Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division says that government efforts to bolster cyber-security may end up doing more harm than good if all stakeholders fail to see eye-to-eye.
On Wednesday, The Guardian published a secret order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to demand vast swaths of metadata from Verizon. The order, which specifies that Verizon hand over the information on an “ongoing, daily basis,” encompasses the phone records pertaining to all of Verizon's American customers, whether the communications are between US-based callers, or between a US caller and an international caller.
A senior Huawei executive has said he believes it's standard practice for governments to use the internet to spy and steal sensitive data.
Making the bold claim is the company's head of security operations and ex CIO for the British government, John Suffolk, who told the Australian Financial Review that states had always embarked on such practices.
His comments followed reports that the Chinese company had gained access to secret designs of US weapons, which it was alleged were taken from Australia's new intelligence agency headquarters.
IT security firms have been asked to put themselves up for membership of a special-purpose panel to provide security services across all of government.
The move is partly in response to a number of recent incidents involving privacy and security breaches at government agencies, commissioning agency the Department of Internal Affairs says. It sees the panel arrangement as a way of ensuring more consistency in security “skills and techniques” provided to agencies.
The Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records for reporters and editors who work for the Associated Press news agency, including records for the home phones and cell phones of individual journalists, according to the AP, in what the agency characterized as “serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”