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Print 22 comment(s) - last by Piiman.. on Jan 25 at 2:30 PM

The NSA has foreign customers worried for their privacy

A Microsoft lawyer said that customers should be able to have their personal data placed in non-U.S. data centers after the recent U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) revelations.
 
According to CNBC, Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith feels that customers outside of the U.S. would likely feel more at ease with not only having their data stored in a non-U.S. facility, but also choosing the exact location of the data center.
 
"People should have the ability to know whether their data are being subjected to the laws and access of governments in some other country and should have the ability to make an informed choice of where their data resides," said Smith.
 
While Smith's comments have not been confirmed by Microsoft, it's still pretty shocking to hear the idea from a lawyer associated with a major U.S. tech company because tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter have all called for greater transparency and the end of bulk data collection, but haven't made a push for foreign customers selecting their own non-U.S. data centers. In fact, the tech companies made a unified decision saying, "Governments should not require service providers to locate infrastructure within a country's borders or operate locally."


Brad Smith [SOURCE: CNET]

However, Microsoft could be worrying about public backlash overseas due to the NSA's behavior, which is spying on foreign customers of tech companies through their data centers. It would also be easier for Microsoft to offer customers a choice of where to have their data stored because the company has many data centers around the globe. 

Smith added that there should be an international agreement between the U.S. and EU saying that neither side will try to seek data in the other's borders. 

"If you want to ensure that one government doesn't seek . . . to reach data in another country, the best way to do it is . . . an international agreement between those two countries," said Smith. "Secure a promise by each government that it will act only pursuant to due process and along the way improve the due process."

The NSA has been under the microscope ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the NSA's secret spy programs to the media early last year. It was later revealed that Snowden conned between 20 to 25 NSA employees to give him their login credentials and passwords while working at the NSA regional operations center for a month in Hawaii last spring. Snowden reportedly told the NSA employees that he needed their passwords in order to do his job, and after downloading secret NSA documents, he leaked the information to the media.
 
Since then, it has been revealed that the NSA taps into tech companies' data centers to search for information specifically on foreign customers in an effort to detect terrorist activity. But the NSA was gathering certain information without any specific reason, leading non-U.S. citizens to fear for their privacy.

Snowden told the media last month that his mission is complete after spending the last year leaking secret NSA documents. 

Source: CNBC



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hopefully.. they all got fired
By kattanna on 1/23/2014 11:30:11 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It was later revealed that Snowden conned between 20 to 25 NSA employees to give him their login credentials and passwords


every single person who gave snowden their login info should have been fired, or worse, for being so stupid as to share your classified login info with anyone




RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By hartleyb on 1/23/2014 11:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
From the tone of your email you must think it's ok for the government to have access to all your data! While I don't agree with how Snowden released the information on the NSA, I do believe that every American's fourth admendment has been violated and we have a right to know what information they have. We currently have much the same case as what happened when Hoover was incharge of the FBI, the false belief that the end justifies the means. There is no evidence that the NSA has saved one American life with the data that has been stolen, while on the other side there is a large amount of evidence and a huge number of cases where data the NSA stole has been used illegally against private citizens. When do we say enough is enough?


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By Rukkian on 1/24/2014 11:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get from his comments that he was advocating for the NSA collection of data, but he may feel that.

I am glad that the info got out about what the NSA was doing, and do not condone it, but still think that anybody that gave away their passwords should be fired at the very least. That should be the number one rule when you are in a top secret position - never let somebody else use your account. If it is common practice for admins to need credentials from others, then whoever is in charge should be fired. There is no reason for this in any company, let alone somebody working for the NSA.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By kattanna on 1/24/2014 11:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
From the tone of your email you must think it's ok for the government to have access to all your data!


nope, not at all.

My comment was solely about what is obviously a very lax attitude about security within that office.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By hartleyb on 1/24/2014 12:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
I would really like to know if this in fact true, or if he got the login and passwords by another means. As an administrator it's real easy to get someone to give you their login and password without them knowing it; i.e. if you ask them to login, say to fix a problem, and you are monitoring the system remotely you can capture both the login and password if you know what you are doing. While the government takes steps to limit data breaches the bottom line is if you work for the government, have access, and are willing to break the law there is always a way to take the information no matter what steps are put in place. There is no such thing as a fool proof security system. The problem the NSA had, or still has, is they didn’t sufficiently compartmentalize the data to the point that a data breach would have only provided limited knowledge of the full extent of NSA operations. Government rules dictate that no one person should have a level of access that grants them full access to all information. This applies to both users, and administrators. These rules are put in place to compartmentalize data, limit data breaches, and limit damage should a data breach occur. Different levels of administration would have prevented, or at a minimum set of alarms that could have prevented, what Snowden did at the NSA.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By Piiman on 1/25/2014 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
The login password is all ****** even if you are remoted in. the only way to get it that way is with acamera pointed at their keyboard. However as a admin its very common to give it to them so they can do the work they need to do. It was a just a few day ago Snowden said he never stole any passwords or duped and NSA employees. Even if they did give it to him is it so hard to think that an admin with security clearance could be trusted.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By Piiman on 1/25/2014 2:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
Please post a link to all this evidence of the NSA using this data illegally against private citizens. I have not heard or seen any such thing.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By Jeffk464 on 1/24/2014 6:27:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
every single person who gave snowden their login info should have been fired


What about the people that hired the Chinese spy to work in our top nuclear weapons research facility, or the Indian spy to work on the B2, or the Iranian spy that worked on the F35? The fact is we suck at the whole espionage thing.


RE: hopefully.. they all got fired
By Piiman on 1/25/2014 2:11:19 PM , Rating: 2
he recently said he did not steal any passwords and as an Admin he wouldn't have to.


Which Country?
By stm1185 on 1/24/2014 12:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
Because I dont know is MS knows this but most of them have spy agencies that would tap into that data center in a heartbeat.

Maybe they can buy an island.




RE: Which Country?
By Rukkian on 1/24/2014 11:05:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because I dont know is MS knows this but most of them have spy agencies that would tap into that data center in a heartbeat.

Maybe they can buy an island.


Right now, the US spying is in the press, so they have to come out and try to show they are against it.


RE: Which Country?
By Rukkian on 1/24/2014 12:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because I dont know is MS knows this but most of them have spy agencies that would tap into that data center in a heartbeat.

Maybe they can buy an island.


Right now, the US spying is in the press, so they have to come out and try to show they are against it.


Hey guys
By Perry Tanko on 1/23/2014 8:56:41 PM , Rating: 1
the terrorists will now change their online names to... get ready for it... Chris Smith and Todd Jones, and use botnets to tunnel thru a U.S. host whenever they're emailing and chatting.
This will do nothing to protect against terrorist attacks or safeguard users.
Maybe the U.S. should outsource its security to Mossad. The NSA doesn't know what they Hell it is doing...... did it ever?




RE: Hey guys
By Piiman on 1/25/2014 2:28:01 PM , Rating: 2
They know a lot more than you do that's for sure


Thank Ballmer
By nonfed on 1/23/2014 6:59:46 PM , Rating: 2

I think its good to protect and take a stand. I just wish other companies would have done the same. It only looks like MS is doing it as the others are reaping defense money. You have google developing autonomous military robots, military robot cars, spy glasses, and google bus protests. then you have amazon and its relationship with other agencies that store all America's data and then you have the Amazon warehouse protests.

Redmond took a stance that others should follow. We should thank Steve ballmer as it would have been his doing.

Ballmer 2016




So, wait,
By Schrag4 on 1/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: So, wait,
By Makaveli on 1/23/2014 12:45:14 PM , Rating: 5
After reading that it seems clear MS's clients that are not in the US are worried about it so MS has to worried about it also. The american government has all of the tech companies by the balls what did you expect them to do for you. The only way to stop this is for you guys to stop voting morons into office.

And I think it would be safe to assume these clients bring in a ton of revenuee for MS and probably alot more than you provide them.


RE: So, wait,
By garagetinkerer on 1/23/2014 1:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
I logged in sir, to rate you up. Common sense is quite not so common anymore.


RE: So, wait,
By ipay on 1/23/2014 1:30:24 PM , Rating: 4
And by commenting your rating was nulled.

[Insert joke about common sense here.]


RE: So, wait,
By Piiman on 1/25/2014 2:30:55 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter who you vote for.
1. Because someone will always think they are morons, even the news guys.

2. They bow to $$ not us.


RE: So, wait,
By B3an on 1/23/2014 1:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
No, MS just realises that people like myself don't want the **** US government spying on us. What the US does to it's own citizens should have nothing to do with us, sort out your own ****.


RE: So, wait,
By StevoLincolnite on 1/23/2014 6:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree in a less crass way. :P

I don't trust my own Government much less one overseas that is significantly more Bureaucratic and flippant.

I have a right to my privacy!


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes














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