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Microsoft allows customers to store data outside US

IntroMicrosoft said it will allow its foreign customers to move personal data stored on servers outside of the US following the NSA surveillance scandal.

According to a report by the Financial Times, Microsoft EVP and general counsel Brad Smith said moving data from the US had become necessary following leaks that showed the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been monitoring the data of foreign citizens.

Smith told the newspaper he believed people should know if their data is being accessed by different governments and should have an informed choice as to where data resides.

He said Microsoft customers could now choose where to store their data from a range of existing Microsoft datacenters.

The FT reports that since the surveillance has been exposed there have been calls for tighter privacy rules in Europe through to a draft law in Brazil that would require all data about its citizens to be held within the country.

Internet companies argue this would divide the Internet into multiple national or regional subgroups.

Other technology firms have said that relocating customer data globally could be too expensive but Smith said Microsoft felt compelled to react to its customer demand.

Microsoft already has datacenters around the world and cusotmers in 89 countries.

Since news of the NSA's surveillance activities broke colocation, cloud and other datacenter providers said they have seen increased demand outside of the US for services.

A survey by Canadian datacenter services company Peer1 found around 25% of UK and Canadian IT decision makers plan to move company data outside of the country.

The scandal came to attention after secret documents were leaked by the NSA’s former contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.
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