While other technology companies have also recorded their concerns regarding illegal government snooping, Microsoft have been perhaps the most vocal opponent of this practice.

Maybe it is because of its software roots, or cloud ambitions, Redmond has said, on pretty much all available occasions that governments must stop any secret practices — and instead, come up with legal requests if they want access to private data.

Which is a perfectly sane demand.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s top legal counsel, again reiterated this idea at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, calling on the Congress and the White House to put an end to these attempts to collect user information.

In fact, he referred to this practice as the unfettered collection of bulk data:

“I want law enforcement to do its job in an effective way pursuant to the rule of law. If we can’t get to that world, then law enforcement is going to have a bleak future anyway.

By the end of this decade there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things around the world. This issue is going to become more important, not less.”

Drawing attention to these issues is well and good, but so far, we are yet to see any concrete steps in this regard from government agencies. All the while there have talks about the impact of global enterprises shying away from US based cloud and technology providers.

Let us all hope for some positive steps in this regard soon.

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  1. I don’t think he’s blowing smoke. This is a genuine concern that we should all have and I’m glad Microsoft is addressing it. Constantly having big brother watching over everyone’s back is no way to run a government (at least in America).

  2. I’m torn here. I agree Gov’t spying is very dangerous and goes against most of the principles this country was founded on. However, there are tons of crimes and other terrible things that could be prevented by this, so it’s a sticky situation.

  3. I think they know it is impossible. They do so just to tell the world that they didn’t help US government spying.

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