Today, Microsoft announced an unpredecented response to concerns of NSA data access, offering customers in foreign countries the option of having their data stored outside US borders. According to a Financial Times report, the company decided to launch the program after discovering the NSA was using their networks to surveil citizens of Brazil and the European Union. So far, Microsoft is the only major company offering explicitly non-US data storage, despite evidence that the agency has broken into the private networks of both Google and Yahoo.
While there’s no guarantee the NSA won’t be able to reach servers outside US borders, the move would offer an additional layer of protection, as local law enforcement is likely to respond more aggressively to agents of a foreign country. It also continues recent moves to shift web traffic away from the US in response to the NSA scandal, in Brazil and elsewhere. If privacy-conscious users want to shift away from the American parts of web, this latest offer ensures they’ll be able to do so without shifting away from American companies like Microsoft.