Microsoft leans on US government over NSA

A year after Snowden, Microsoft has unleashed its nastiest lobbying hounds into Washington to demand reform.

According to PC World, Vole is demanding that government search warrants should end at the country’s borders.

Redmond is getting a canning overseas because foreign countries, particularly China, do not like the idea of the US government spying on it through American companies.

Writing in his bog, Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said the government needs to address important unfinished business to reduce the technology trust deficit it has created.

Redmond is concerned about government attempts to use search warrants to force companies to turn over contents of communications of non-US customers that are stored exclusively outside the country.

Snowden revealed the government intercepted data in transit across the Internet and hacked links between company data centres which could kill off the US’s chance to make any impact in the lucrative Cloud trade.

Microsoft is not the only one which might threaten to cut off US politicians gravy train of political funding if it does not do what it is told. Cisco Systems’ CEO John Chambers is also jolly cross.

In May he penned a stiffly worded letter to President Barack Obama, asking for his intervention so that U.S technology sales were not hit by a loss of trust from customers abroad because of reports of NSA surveillance.

This followed reports of how the NSA physically intercepted network equipment to plant surveillance tools before repackaging the devices with a factory seal and sending the products to international customers.

So far eight technology companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo asked for a reform of government surveillance laws and practices worldwide. Together they are sitting on shedloads of lobby dollars which help to put congressmen’s kids through college.

US politicians do not really seem to get the risk they are facing. In May US politicians watered down the USA Freedom Act which basically still meant the spooks can do what they like.

Microsoft said it never received an order related to bulk collection of Internet data, it believes the USA Freedom Act should be strengthened to prohibit more clearly any such orders in the future, Smith wrote.