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Microsoft is scrambling to encrypt its data centers' interlinks – after a fresh Snowden leak suggested the NSA and GCHQ tapped into the cables and intercepted sensitive network traffic.
Documents obtained by the Washington Post from the whistleblower show that Microsoft's Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger services and Passport communications were scanned by software called Monkey Puzzle, which was developed at the British snooping nerve-center GCHQ.
Reaching into the private unencrypted interlinks allows both intelligence agencies to effectively spy on Microsoft customers, and copy their messages and address books, it is claimed.
"These allegations are very disturbing. If they are true these actions amount to hacking and seizure of private data and in our view are a breach of the protection guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution." Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in an email to The Register.
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