In the case of third-party services that are running on Azure, the level of data protection will be up to the developers, but Microsoft plans to offer the tools needed to allow them to easily implement strengthened protections. The goal is to have everything done by the end of 2014.
Microsoft has taken a stance, and there's clear indications that the government is starting to push boundaries. If anything, it's clear that things have taken a turn for the worse when the nation's largest software corporation says the government's intelligence operations are a threat, placing them on the same level as common criminals.
The term APT is often overhyped and used to describe things that it shouldn't. It's a buzzword used to push marketing efforts and sales. However (and perhaps unfortunately), when placed in context, Microsoft's use of the term fits perfectly as a way to describe the NSA's initiatives.
"Ultimately, were sensitive to the balances that must be struck when it comes to technology, security and the law. We all want to live in a world that is safe and secure, but we also want to live in a country that is protected by the Constitution. We want to ensure that important questions about government access are decided by courts rather than dictated by technological might. And were focused on applying new safeguards worldwide, recognizing the global nature of these issues and challenges," Smith concluded.
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