Encryption | We’ve Heard A Lot About Apple Recently, But What About Microsoft?


The talk over encryption and the right to personal privacy on our technological devices is something which has been at the forefront of discussion for weeks now. Before 2016 I wonder, how many ‘average’ citizens could have actually had an intelligent conversation over encryption? Even if the Apple trail resulted in a loss for encryption supporters, the silver lining can be found in the fact that so many people are now better educated about this topic. One thing which seems to have been lost in this ordeal, important to point out is the fact that Apple took unprecedented steps towards protecting their customers – something other companies do not.

Last December an investigation by the Intercept, the same news source employing Edward Snowden and Barret Brown, reported that “what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key — which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk — to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out.Full Report: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/28/recently-bought-a-windows-computer-microsoft-probably-has-your-encryption-key/

Microsoft has since come under heavy criticism for this behavior and on March 11th released a statement to Motherboard maintaining that “we have not provided a customers encryption key to law enforcement officials.” Microsoft contends that the company keeps such records for customer support reasons, not to spy. The spokesperson later went on to specify that Microsoft has also never given Federal agencies such as the CIA and NSA customer data. If you were unaware the NSA and CIA consider themselves intelligence gatherers – not “law enforcement” agencies. In an official statement available on their web site Microsoft states:

When governments or law enforcement make a lawful request for customer data from Microsoft, we are committed to transparency and limit what we disclose. Because Microsoft believes that customers should control their own data, we will not disclose data hosted in the Microsoft Cloud to a government or law enforcement except as you direct or where required by law.

The statement later goes on to specify what “except where required by law” actually means – “subpoenas, court orders, warrants or the local equivalents“. Meaning the company has indeed given information of their customers to law enforcement officials and has maintained this policy for years. Remember, Apple had to go to court because this wasn’t their policy. Microsoft then points out the fact that “only a tiny fraction—a small fraction of a percent—of our customers have ever been subject to a government request related to criminal law or national security.”  As we learned last week, this “small fraction” of customers can be construed as very misleading. 3-27-16 Google announced that 0.1% of their customers received warnings they were being hacked by the US government and that tiny fraction of a number happened to be nearly 1 million accounts.

So if you are one of the new people in society learning about the encryption debate you might be disappointed to realize that Apple was only the tip of the iceberg. The fact of the matter is that major corporations have been compromising the information of their customers for years now. Just last week news came to light that the FBI will now be assisting law enforcement agencies around the country to help break into Iphones and have also announced new plans to continue to use the court system to end encryption privacy.

Helpful Links To Keep You Protected

How to remove the Microsoft encryption key feature for Microsoft Pro or Enterprise editions: http://news.softpedia.com/news/here-s-how-to-remove-encryption-keys-from-microsoft-s-servers-498213.shtml

How To Make Your PC Safe | By: Anon.Dos: http://anonhq.com/make-pc-safe/

Enable Hard Drive Protection: http://www.pcworld.com/article/153826/data_encryption_tools.html

Enable BIOS Protection For Added Security: http://www.pcworld.com/article/158292/Enable_BIOS_Passwords_for_Extra_Security.html

How To Secure Windows Phone: https://ghostbin.com/paste/vromn

Pro’s & Con’s of Windows 10 | Anonymous Forum: https://www.anonboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=733

This article (Apple Encryption Case Brought Awareness To An Important Issue. So What About Microsoft?) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ. Join the conversation at www.anonboards.com



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