Microsoft to the US Government: Stop Hacking Our Servers

The company published a new open letter for US authorities

By on June 5th, 2014 13:15 GMT

Microsoft is one of the large US companies who are calling for a reform of the government surveillance laws, asking not only for increased transparency, but also for new laws that would basically block American agencies from accessing information stored on servers across the board.

In a lengthy letter published by Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, Redmond reminds that the United States government should only be allowed to access user information stored on domestic servers and the search warrants “must end at U.S. borders.”

“The U.S. government wouldn’t stand for other governments seeking to serve search warrants within American borders to seize the content of U.S. citizens’ emails without going through U.S. legal process. Why should it expect other governments to react any differently? The U.S. government should stop trying to force tech companies to circumvent treaties by turning over data in other countries,” Brad Smith wrote.

But one very important point of this post refers to the potential hacking attempts launched by the United States intelligence agencies at data centers belonging to large tech companies and located outside the countries.

Reports that have been published in the past revealed that data centers owned by Google and Yahoo were attacked by what seemed to be experts working for the National Security Agency (NSA), who were trying to access user details stored on these computers.

The software giant says that it's already working on prevention measures and reminds that it's permanently trying to enhance encryption to make sure that no hacking attempts are successful, but also states that such attempts should no longer occur, especially from a large entity such as the NSA.

“We believe our efforts to expand encryption across our services make it much harder for any government to successfully hack data in transit or at rest. Yet more than seven months after the Washington Post first reported that the National Security Agency hacked systems outside the U.S. to access data held by Yahoo! and Google, the Executive Branch remains silent about its views of this practice,” Microsoft exec explained.

“Shouldn’t a government that prosecutes foreigners who hack into U.S. companies stop its own employees from hacking into such businesses? Why must we continue to wait for an assurance on this issue?”

At the same time, Microsoft has again asked for great transparency, pointing out that an international effort to win back users' trust is absolutely needed.

Read all Brad Smith's comments in the press release section below and let us know what you think in the box after the jump.
Show Press Release

4 Comments