Box aims for NSA-resistant cloud security with customers holding the keys

After eight years of existence, file sharing service Box has built a huge user base—claiming 180,000 businesses, including 97 percent of the Fortune 500—by offering cloud storage and collaboration tools with top-notch security and regulatory compliance.

But while Box may be resistant to most criminal hackers, like most cloud storage companies, it must provide the government with customer data when it is forced to. For the vast majority of Box customers, that isn't likely to change. However, the company is developing a system for the most security-conscious customers in which even Box management would not be able to decrypt user data—making it resistant to requests from the National Security Agency.

Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie spoke with Ars last week to promote the launch of a new collaboration tool called Box Notes and answered our questions about Box's encryption model.

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