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.  One of them was Mark Russinovich.  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. “It gave Microsoft a wake-up call, especially the revelation of tapping inter-data-center connections,” Russinovich says, referring to an October Washington Post story that exposed an NSA sketch, or “slide,” showing that the agency is grabbing data from lines that run between the massive computer centers operated by the likes of Google and Yahoo. “The tapping of public wires going into a data center? That slide was shocking to me, because it’s just so flagrant.” And, yes, he ...

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