Microsoft has announced its plans of automatically encrypting emails on its Office 365 service by early 2014 through its new feature which it calls Office 365 Message Encryption.
Under this new feature emails sent to recipients outside of their own company will be automatically encrypted regardless of the destination. Shobhit Sahay, product marketing manager on the Microsoft Exchange team, noted in a blog post that the messages will be automatically encrypted no matter what the destination of the email is – “Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail, Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Squirrel Mail, or name it-you can.”
Further, automatic encryption will also be enforced to all replies and forwards of the original messages says Microsoft.
Microsoft is expected roll out this feature in early 2014 and will be made available for free of cost to Office 365 E3 and E4 users. Office 365 Message Encryption will also be provided with the standalone version of Windows Azure Rights Management for free.
Redmond’s seems to be the direct result of Snowden revelations about NSA’s involvement in mass collection of email meta-data, data centre snooping and other internet communications. Yahoo has revealed its plans of encrypting data on all its services through the use of SSL and will start with email encryption on January 8. Google already provides SSL based email encryption since 2010.