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Microsoft planning to keep its user’s data outside U.S.

Posted January 27, 2014

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Microsoft is planning to keep its user’s data outside the boundaries of U.S. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said the company would allow its foreign customers to store their computerized information only in Microsoft data centers outside the U.S. A spokeswoman for Microsoft confirmed Smith’s comments, made in an interview with the Financial Times.

WSJ noted that — Smith’s remarks mean a Microsoft user in Germany – where revelations of National Security Agency surveillance efforts have spooked politicians, companies and consumers—can be assured its data would be kept Europe. But data-policy experts said Microsoft, as a U.S. company, is obligated to turn over data demanded lawfully by the NSA or a U.S. law-enforcement agency, no matter whether Microsoft’s computers are in Seattle, Dubai or Taipei.

In December 2013 Microsoft had announced several measures to protect customer data from government snooping. The move by Microsoft was to win back the user confidence, as its name was flashed among the top firm to allow US intelligence agencies snoop its IT infrastructure, which was revealed during Edward Snowden leaks. Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft mentioned “we are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data.”

Microsoft had decided to take coordinated action in three areas:

· Firm is expanding encryption across their services.
· It is reinforcing legal protections for their customers’ data.
· Firm is enhancing the transparency of their software code, making it easier for customers to reassure themselves that Microsoft products do not contain back doors.


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