Clash of the Titans! Inside Microsoft’s battle to foil the NSA

After the NSA scandal broke this summer, revealing that the U.S. spy agency was eavesdropping wholesale on the most popular services on the web, Microsoft turned to five or six of its top engineers for help, reports. One of them was Mark Russinovich. Russinovich is a Microsoft Technical Fellow — a title reserved for the company’s most respected thinkers — and he now works as one of the lead architects of its new-age cloud service, Windows Azure. Before joining Microsoft in 2006, he made his name rooting out unseen flaws in popular computer software, including more than one security hole, and it’s no accident that when the NSA revelations trickled out this summer, Windows Azure was one of the Microsoft online services that was already encrypting data to protect against the sort of snooping the NSA was practicing on a massive scale. It was only natural that Russinovich ended up on the small team of engineers who would decide how Microsoft should respond to the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden…

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