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Microsoft Adds Encryption to Outlook to Prevent Snooping, Hacking

Image: Microsoft Adds Encryption to Outlook to Prevent Snooping, Hacking

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 09:04 AM

Microsoft has added new encryption layers to Outlook.com emails as part of an ongoing campaign to protect customers from government surveillance and hackers.

According to a blog post from Microsoft posted Tuesday, the security measures center on three new developments: TLS encryption for both outbound and inbound email, PFS encryption support for OneDrive, and the opening of the Microsoft Transparency Center on the company's campus in Redmond, Washington.

"Over the past six months, we have been working across the industry to further protect and help ensure your mail remains protected," wrote Matt Thomlinson, vice president of trustworthy computing security. "This includes working closely with several international providers throughout our implementation, including, Deutsche Telekom, Yandex and Mail.Ru to test and help ensure that mail stays encrypted in transit to and from each email service."

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Thomlinson said that the new Transparency Center is just the first of many the company hopes to open around the world, continuing with a Brussels location announced in January.

Part of the mission of the centers is to provide national governments with access to "source code for our key products," which will, "reinforce that governments use appropriate legal processes, not technical brute force, if they want access to that data."

In sizing up Microsoft's new efforts, GeekWire noted that Google was an early mover in TLS encryption for email, and recently called on other webmail providers to use it too. The new security, which has been planned since last year, should "provide end-to-end encryption for email," it wrote.

It could ease government snooping, which was uncovered in documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The documents show that the NSA used a program called MUSCULAR to intercept data from hundreds of millions of users by exploiting weaknesses between the servers of large technology companies.

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Microsoft has added new encryption layers to Outlook.com emails as part of an ongoing campaign to protect customers from government surveillance and hackers.
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2014-04-02
Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 09:04 AM
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