Microsoft calls government snooping an “advanced persistent threat”

Microsoft’s corporate affairs executive, Brad Smith, has said he and the compare are “especially alarmed” by recent allegations of a “concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures.”  Smith said Microsoft will do everything in its power to make sure customer data remains safe from prying eyes.

Speaking in an open letter outlining the company’s plan, Smith said the allegations of governmental interception and collection without search warrants or legal subpoenas of customer data “threaten to seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications.”

“Indeed, government snooping potentially now constitutes an ‘advanced persistent threat’ alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks,” said Smith. “In light of these allegations, we’ve decided to take immediate and coordinated action in three areas: we are expanding encryption across our services; we are reinforcing legal protections for our customers’ data; and we are enhancing the transparency of our software code, making it easier for customers to reassure themselves that our products do not contain back doors.

“This effort will include our major communications, productivity and developer services such as Outlook.com, Office 365, SkyDrive and Windows Azure, and will provide protection across the full lifecycle of customer-created content.”  What do you think of these allegations.