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Encryption, lawyers, and openness: Microsoft acts on NSA's 'persistent threat'

Brad Chacos | Dec. 6, 2013
"We all want to live in a world that is safe and secure, but we also want to live in a country that is protected by the Constitution."

Microsoft's also tackling another bugbear head-on. When it was recently revealed that the NSA spends billions to crack encryption efforts and install backdoors into software, speculation quickly raged that Microsoft software (such as Windows and BitLocker) were vulnerable, given the company's close relationship with the U.S. government.

To squash that rumor, Smith announced that Microsoft will expand an existing program that allows government customers to review the source code of Microsoft software. While you and I still won't be able to sneak a peek at Windows' innermost secrets, Microsoft plans to open "transparency centers" in Europe, Asia, and North and South America to make it easier for government agents to vet its code, and will be adding more products to the program in coming months.

"We all want to live in a world that is safe and secure, but we also want to live in a country that is protected by the Constitution," Smith wrote. "We want to ensure that important questions about government access are decided by courts rather than dictated by technological might."

Hear, hear.

 

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