Earlier today, sources spoke to The New York Times about a suspected tapping of fiber optic cables as the means by which the NSA managed to gather vast amounts of Internet data. Following this, sources — which may or may not be related to the NYT’s sources — told the Washington Post that Microsoft is rapidly boosting its encryption plans in light of concern that the NSA could be intercepting its traffic.
The sources are said to be people “familiar with the emerging plans” and “with direct knowledge of the company’s deliberations.” Reportedly, Microsoft is moving forward with encrypting its Internet traffic due to reports of NSA spying on communications links, and that this week top-level executives with the company are going to meet to discuss how and when it will roll out its encryption efforts.
Microsoft has no independent proof that the government agency is spying on the company’s traffic, but that doesn’t seem to matter, particularly since all the indications are there. Documents leaked by Snowden earlier this year have shown NSA targeting of both Yahoo and Google, and within the two slides detailing this references are made to some of Microsoft’s services, including Live Messenger, Hotmail, and Passport, as possible other targets of the same initiative.
Said the NSA in regards to questions about Microsoft, “NSA’s focus is on targeting the communications of valid foreign intelligence targets, not on collecting and exploiting a class of communications or services that would sweep up communications that are not of bona fide foreign intelligence interest to the U.S. government.”
The sources went on to state that Microsoft has already held meetings regarding encrypting traffic from both its consumer and its business services, and that the meeting this week — held in Redmond, Washington — is to make some big decisions on the matter. No information about how much this will cost the company have been provided, but the initiative will be a big one, and as one professional pointed out to The Post, represents a big change in how tech companies operate.
SOURCE: Washington Post