Azure implements stronger encryption to protect customers from ‘Government Snooping’

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.08.2014 at 01:34

I received a notification on my Azure Management Portal today. It basically said:

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When I clicked on OK to get more information, here’s what I got:

As part of Microsoft’s promise to protecting customer data from government snooping (details at http://aka.ms/Pltfsk) Azure is implementing stronger cryptography to protect communications. The Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Cipher Suite enhancements and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) are implemented in the August 2014 updates of the Azure Guest OS. These changes will be available in versions 4.11, 3.18, 2.30, and 1.38 (if released) of the Azure Guest OS. For more detailed information regarding these security enhancements or for information you can share with a customer, please see the MSDN article, "Differences between Azure Guest OS and Default Windows Server" at http://aka.ms/Ire274

Now, that is really cool.

It shows Microsoft’s commitment to protecting customer data privacy and confidentiality in the Snowden era.

According to CNN, Microsoft had challenged the US government’s search warrant when it requested Microsoft turn over customer emails stored in its datacenters in Ireland. Microsoft challenged the warrant on the grounds that it violated constitutional privacy protections and that US warrants only were valid in the United States.

On July 31 2014,  a US District Judge ruled that Microsoft has to comply with the government request.

Microsoft has immediately said that it would appeal the ruling.