Microsoft is one of the large US companies who are calling for a reform of the government surveillance laws, asking not only for increased transparency, but also for new laws that would basically block American agencies from accessing information stored on servers across the board.
The U.S. and German governments remain far from an agreement on the appropriate level of surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency on German residents, leaders of both countries said Friday.
The two countries still have “differences of opinion to overcome” on the appropriate use of surveillance, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint press conference with U.S. President Barack Obama. The two leaders met in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss political unrest in Ukraine and other issues.
Microsoft and the government are not strangers -- they have met in court, most notably during anti-trust hearings. More recently, the General Council of the company took matters into his own hands when he deemed the US government an "advanced persistent threat". Now Brad Smith is back for round two.
This time the lawyer is aiming at the upcoming World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland. Smith posted a missive today regarding the conference and calling for an international convention to address recent concerns.
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.