Microsoft's not entirely pleased with NSA reforms, says there is ‘more work to do'

The NSA and the Obama administration have found themselves in a tight spot after it was revealed that the government has been spying on just about anything and everything, even if it could be violating civil liberties.  One of the key players in calling for reform on this invasion of data privacy is Microsoft, as they have a lot at stake if the NSA is seen as a threat by foreign entities. To that that degree, Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft is calling for an international convention on government access to data to establish a legal framework.

The call of the convention is quite simple, as governments become more eager to obtain digital data, there needs to be a legal framework around providing access to this information in an open and transparent way. This is clearly a response to the NSAs more adverse ways of obtaining data and goes up against how some organizations were placed under a gag order about what they could reveal about their involvement with government entities.

With the fluff out of the way, Microsoft has to take a hard stance that the announcements by Obama about the NSA reforms are not enough and they are not happy with the current plans. More so, if you start to understand why they are unhappy, it becomes quite clear why the US (and all countries) needs a legal framework.

Here’s the deal. If the government is able to, at will, retrieve data from Microsoft (or Google, Apple, or Amazon) then it is hard to make the sell that US organizations are secure options for storing data (Cloud). Think about it, if you are outside the US and you choose any US firm to securely store your data, you are giving the US government access to your information, based on the current procedures. That, in itself, puts US companies in a tough position as they are now at a disadvantage where firms outside the US can advertise that they are able to offer more secure solutions than US based companies.

The current way of protecting civil liberties is outdated, Brad Smith argues, and it’s time we take a new look at the legislative process around protecting theses liberties. For Microsoft and other US companies, there is a lot at stake over what the government can and can’t do with its protected data. Seeing that Obama and the NSA reforms are not going far enough to protect Microsoft’s bottom line, the company feels it is time to be more open with its requests.

Source: Microsoft on the Issues | Security image via Shutterstock

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Even Obama looked embarrassed to spew that garbage. We have so many of these criminals ON RECORD with lie after lie and we're supposed to believe them now? LOL.

Vester said,
Simple solution for Microsoft, Move.. Go some place that wants your tax money and wont harass you!

And such place would be? Avalon, The City of the Sun, Hyperborea? The sad reality is that such a place does not exist.

Vester said,
Simple solution for Microsoft, Move.. Go some place that wants your tax money and wont harass you!

I agree, comrade!.

Plenty of Tax havens and places with less stricked rules/laws. Hell bill has enough money to buy himself his own country and be king of it.

Seams the USA is bad for business these days.

Definitely a LOT more to do. Glad companies like MS are pushing back. It's gotten to the point that it is hurting american companies' bottom lines as well as trampling on our rights.
When american politicians start calling the US a "great satan" and acting like that's a good thing, you know something's [url=]very wrong![/url]

Edited by Geezy, Jan 21 2014, 7:55pm :

What does it matter an international convention on government access to data if they're going to do whatever they want anyway? How can anybody be sure they're respecting legal boundaries?

It's only when you caught them with their hands in the cookie jar that you know they're misbehaving. And to think of the things we still don't know... and may never do.

I find it hard to deposit my trust in them, whether "transparent" or not.

Well this is an understatement... So far what Obama has proposed was nothing but nonsense that appears like action... I'm glad to see that this will hopefully get a full review. Perhaps that will result in some real reforms...