This prevents jclouds from deserializing some XML documents, specifially Azure Queue Storage list queues responses. Some background from Svetoslav Neykov:
After digging deeper I found (1) which points to two JDK bugs (2) and (3). Turns out they fixed it at some point to consume the BOM but then reverted because it breaks backwards compatibility. Also of interest, the UTF character 0xFEFF is serialized as EF BB BF in the UTF-8 byte sequence (4).