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Fearing NSA spying, Microsoft to boost security
November 27, 2013, 5:09 am

Reports suggest that Microsoft may have been in the NSA's crosshairs [Getty Images]

Reports suggest that Microsoft may have been in the NSA’s crosshairs [Getty Images]

In further fallout from revelations of expansive US National Security Agency surveillance of global communications first made public by whistleblower Edward Snowden, Microsoft announced that it is moving to increase its encryption security for Internet traffic.

Since the NSA espionage scheme was revealed by The Guardian in June, foreign governments have started to look at how data centres operated by the world’s largest Internet companies – such as Yahoo and Google – store information.

But according to reports published in The New York Times and Washington Post Tuesday, the NSA may have been tapping into the cables that carry data between centres. And the reports suggest that the NSA may have or was interested in tapping into Microsoft’s fibre-optic cables.

Yahoo, Google, and Facebook recently said they would boost their cyber-security measures between data centres; Microsoft senior officials are expected to meet this week to work out a possible security upgrade for their data transfer mechanism.

Following the revelations of security intrusions on communications cables, a number of countries have sought alternative means to communicate data.

In early November, Brazil – one of the countries that allegedly was the focus of much NSA espionage – drafted a bill to force Internet companies to store data locally.

On Monday, Brazil called on its fellow members in the Union of South American Countries (UNASUR) to come up with a cyber defence strategy.

Brazil, which along with most Central and South American countries, routes its internet traffic through the Network Access Point hosted in Miami, had previously refocused emphasis on construction of the BRICS Cable, an underwater fibre-optic link with two endpoints in Fortaleza, Brazil and Vladivostok, Russia.

By the time it is completed the BRICS Cable will be the third longest undersea telecommunications cable in the world, covering a distance of 34,000km, and significantly enhance security.

Source: Agencies