The Free Software Foundation has responded to Microsoft's privacy and encryption announcement, explaining that, in fact, it's all in vain.
Microsoft has made some promises regarding an effort to protect customer data from government snooping, but the Free Software Foundation thinks that everything they've said is actually in vain.
“While we have no direct evidence that customer data has been breached by unauthorized government access, we don't want to take any chances and are addressing this issue head on. Therefore, we will pursue a comprehensive engineering effort to strengthen the encryption of customer data across our networks and services,” said Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft.
On the other hand, the Free Software Foundation says anything that Microsoft will do in this regard can't really be trusted because they are using proprietary software.
“Microsoft has made renewed security promises before. In the end, these promises are meaningless. Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft's privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure. A lock on your own house to which you do not have the master key is not a security system, it is a jail,” said FSF Executive Director John Sullivan.
The FSF director has explained that, while the promise of “transparency” sounds good, it will amount to nothing because it's impossible to review the code that they are running.
“Freedom and security necessitate not just being allowed a peek at the code. Microsoft has demonstrated time and time again that its definition of a 'back door' will not be the same as yours. Noticing that the back door is wide open will do you no good if you are forbidden from shutting it,” ended John Sullivan.
If we were to follow the Free Software Foundation’s advice, the only way to be sure that you don't have any backdoors is to switch to a GNU / Linux operating system and never look back.