[FSFE PR][EN] New Snowden leak: Storing your data at Microsoft is negligent

press at fsfeurope.org press at fsfeurope.org
Fri Jul 12 12:56:08 CEST 2013

= New Snowden leak: Storing your data at Microsoft is negligent =

[Read online: https://fsfe.org/news/2013/news-20130712-01.en.html ]

In an article published today, The Guardian[1] describes how Microsoft
is actively cooperating with the NSA. According to the article,
Microsoft is providing the NSA with broad access to the communications
of anyone using the company's services:

- Microsoft gives the NSA access to encrypted mails on Hotmail, Live.com
  and Outlook.com, as well as web chat messages.

- Microsoft provides the NSA with easy access to its SkyDrive storage
  service, which currently has 250 million users worldwide.

- Microsoft makes it possible for the NSA to monitor audio and video
  calls on the Skype service which it acquired in 2011.

  "This makes it clear that trusting Microsoft with your critical
  company data is downright negligent," says Karsten Gerloff, President
  of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "In both the public and the
  private sector, those responsible for security and data protection
  urgently need to take action to protect their organisations, customers
  and clients."

While it is difficult or impossible to entirely escape surveillance,
there are ways to minimise the risk that sensitive data, such as
confidential product data or patient records, is intercepted by a third
party. Free Software solutions for groupware, office products and
operating systems are fully auditable, and often data security a
priority. End-to-end encryption with Free Software products such as
GnuPG[2] and off-the-record messaging (OTR)[3] protects data in transit.
Products providing secure audio, video and chat communications, such as
Jitsi[4], go a long way towards replacing Skype.

  "We advise companies and all other organisations that wish to protect
  their data to use Free Software solutions, to store data in-house
  wherever possible, and to cooperate only with providers whom they
  trust to protect their customers' data," says Gerloff. "Such providers
  will often use strong encryption, and minimise the amount of data they
  store. Using smaller providers instead of global IT companies makes it
  somewhat less likely that customers' data will be caught in the NSA's

Users should actively take control of their data and communications. One
way to do so is to support the developers of Free Software encryption
technologies, so they can continue to provide these important products.
"Now is a good time to donate to the Free Software PGP implementation
GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG)[5]!", says Matthias Kirschner, FSFE's Head of
Public Awareness.

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data/
  2. http://gnupg.org/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-the-Record_Messaging
  4. https://jitsi.org/
  5. http://g10code.com/gnupg-donation.html

== Press Contact ==

  Karsten Gerloff, Free Software Foundation Europe President
  <gerloff at fsfeurope.org> m +49 176 9690 4298
  Linienstraße 141, 10115 Berlin, Germany

== About the Free Software Foundation Europe ==
  The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a non-profit
  non-governmental organisation active in many European countries and
  involved in many global activities. Access to software determines
  participation in a digital society. To secure equal participation in
  the information age, as well as freedom of competition, the Free
  Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) pursues and is dedicated to the
  furthering of Free Software, defined by the freedoms to use, study,
  modify and copy. Founded in 2001, creating awareness for these issues,
  securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people
  Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues
  of the FSFE.

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