Many people are divided on their beliefs about major companies like Microsoft and Google making claims of not being complicit with spying efforts carried out by the National Security Agency. However, it can’t be argued that such news is bad for business, and therefore makes the arguments against any kind of partnership with the NSA more believable.
For his part, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general council and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs, famously called the US Government an “advanced and persistent threat”. He then proceeded to outline the company’s plans to deal with this menace, in much the same way the corporation would treat "malware" (another term he used).
One of the ideas outlined was the creation of “transparency centers” across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Now Microsoft has unveiled one of those locations. At today’s Munich Security Conference, Matt Tomlinson, vice president of security, announced a transparency center will be placed in Brussels, Belguim.
“The Brussels center will build upon on our long-standing program that provides government customers with the ability to review our source code, reassure themselves of its integrity and confirm there are no back doors. It is my hope to open the Brussels Transparency Center by the end of this year”, Tomlinson states.
He goes on to talk about the encryption efforts being made by the company to help better protect customer information. That includes both data stored by the company, as well as what is transmitted between it and other services.
We still await the announcements of other locations, and the question remains regarding how much customers will trust the company, given the current news cycle.