According to a new report by the Washington Post, Microsoft is working to encrypt its internal server traffic, following revelations that the NSA might also be targeting its traffic in much the same manner that the agency targeted Google and Yahoo.
Citing anonymous sources inside the company familiar with its plans, the Post reported that Microsoft is working on finding ways to better protect itself from the NSA’s MUSCULAR program, which involves the spying agency tapping communications between the datacenters of key technology companies as a means of gathering information. While Microsoft hadn’t been listed as one of the companies targeted by the program, a pair of newly-released slides indicate that it may have been targeted by the NSA.
While Microsoft hasn’t publicly revealed more details about its plans, comments from Brad Smith, an Executive Vice President and the company’s General Counsel at its annual shareholder meeting point to a future with a Microsoft that’s better equipped to combat government surveillance.
“…we’re focused on engineering improvements that will further strengthen security, including strengthening security against snooping by governments,” Smith said.
At the moment, Microsoft is the only company reportedly targeted by MUSCULAR to not have publicly announced its plans. According to Google+ posts from a pair of Google engineers, the search giant is already encrypting its internal traffic, and Yahoo plans to have its internal traffic encrypted by the end of Q1 2014.
Still, it seems like the Redmond-based company is taking the Post’s allegations quite seriously. Smith didn’t mince words when discussing the allegations about the NSA’s spying on Microsoft’s traffic.
“These allegations are very disturbing. If they are true these actions amount to hacking and seizure of private data and in our view are a breach of the protection guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” he said in a statement provided to GeekWire via email.