Since we first broke the news the NSA had gained unrestricted access to the backbone fiber optic lines between the server farms of Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and Google, the security of our information online has been called into question by members of Congress, foreign ambassadors, and entire nations alike.
“These allegations are very disturbing. If they are true these actions amount to hacking and seizure of private data and in our view are a breach of the protection guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said in an email.
As head lawyer for the big-M, Smith was careful not to imply that all of Microsoft’s information was open and readily available to the government via these unprotected streams, but did suggest that engineers are currently in the process of coming up with a method to lock down every connection in question with brand new encryption systems to thwart the US and UK governments. By spying on Microsoft’s interlinking data centers instead of the users computers themselves, this allows the two agencies to stay above water when it comes to the amount of petabytes they pull down, while also gaining an intricate and detailed picture of how the millions of accounts on their network communicate.
The news comes barely a month after another leak from the globetrotting whistleblower showed that the NSA was doing the same thing with Google and Yahoo!’s interlinks. One Google engineer was quick to obscenity when shown the tapping plans, dubbed Project MUSCULAR, and we’re wondering if Redmond CEO Ballmer is turning the air blue this morning.
Following the October leak, Yahoo! announced it will begin encrypting its interlinks between data centers, and Google has already got the majority of their lines taken care of, but Microsoft said it was holding off on such a move until as little as two weeks ago. Sources close to the story claim Microsoft has officially started the long, arduous process of adding encryption to its global data centers located on several continents spanning the globe, and we should expect our operating system info to be safe by sometime in early-2014.
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