Posted by Anthony SalcitoVice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft
On Wednesday in Barcelona, more than 1,100 educators, school leaders and government officials from nearly 100 countries are gathering to re-imagine and redesign the world of education for the 21st century.
As the education world’s best and brightest kick off the 2014 Microsoft in Education Global Forum, they are bringing with them a diverse range of teaching innovations and school transformation, all the result of hard work, out-of-the box thinking and a deep commitment to creating a better future for today’s students. But they’re also bringing with them a common concern: How to ensure the technology that is transforming education is also safe and secure.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Stephen Balkam, chief executive officer of the Family Online Safety Institute.
Some years ago, I wrote a piece proposing that every tech company (and the White House) needed a Chief Online Safety Officer. Microsoft heeded the call. I sat down recently with Jacqueline Beauchere, Chief Online Safety Officer for Microsoft, to talk with her about her one-year work anniversary of being the COSO for Microsoft.
Posted by John FrankDeputy General Counsel & Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
On Thursday, we published our most recent Law Enforcement Requests Report, which details the number of legal demands for customer data we received from law enforcement agencies around the world and how Microsoft responded to those requests. This is our third report and covers the period from July to December 2013.
(Note: As with prior editions, this report focuses on demands from criminal law enforcement agencies and does not include legal demands under U.S. national security laws. However, following legal action against the U.S. government, we’ve recently been able to separately publish data about the number of these requests we receive. Our first and most recent report of this data can be found here.)
Posted by Mark WilliamsChief Security Officer, Microsoft Federal
Organizations of all types today face a daily and growing assault from nation states, lone actors and organized crime. The effects of a cyber-attack can be as far-reaching, troublesome and significant as physical attacks, and can make or break organizations that are not sufficiently prepared. The question is, how can an organization embed cyber security into its suite of core business functions?
Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and one of the world’s most prominent security experts, shared his assessment of the current cyber security landscape at this week’s 2014 Microsoft Federal Executive Forum, an annual event hosted by Microsoft for its federal government community customers.
Posted by Peter CullenGeneral Manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
This week is particularly exciting for the many people at Microsoft who focus on data privacy. Several of us will attend the annual Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). It is a week for privacy professionals from around the world to convene and discuss the big topics that industry, civil society and governments work on collectively to advance the state of privacy protections in today’s data-rich world.
Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, will deliver a keynote address on Thursday that explores both the trust dynamics resulting from ongoing disclosures regarding government data access and the challenges facing commercial data privacy models in a world of increasingly ubiquitous computing.
Posted by Horacio GutierrezDeputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
On Friday, Microsoft filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of affirmance in the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank case. Our interest in this case is to ensure the Supreme Court understands the difference between true technological innovations and the types of business method patents at issue in this case. Adobe and HP joined Microsoft on the brief.
Simply put, Alice Corp’s patents have nothing to do with software or computer technology. They relate to a method for reducing “settlement risk” in business transactions. They do not advance the state of technology, nor do they allow computers to execute the steps of a business transaction faster, more efficiently or more reliably than they could before.
Posted by Scott CharneyCorporate Vice President, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
At Microsoft, establishing and sustaining trust with our customers is essential. If our customers can’t rely on us to protect their data—whether from crooks, mismanagement or excessive government intrusion—they will look elsewhere for a technology provider.
Government access to data is a hot topic. But it’s not new. In fact, our General Counsel, Brad Smith, has addressed the issue in a series of blog posts covering, among other topics, our efforts to protect customers and our support for reforming government surveillance.
On Tuesday at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, I gave a speech on the changing cybersecurity landscape and the respective roles of governments, users and the IT industry. I’d like to share some of my thoughts here.
In less than a month, European leaders will come together to finalize the draft rules of procedure for the Unitary Patent Court. On Tuesday, a diverse cross-industry coalition of nearly 20 companies and associations urged the European Union to make further amendments to the rules to support innovation, while deterring patent trolls from entering the EU patent space.
The rules of procedure are the blueprint for the Unitary Patent Court, which will govern patent disputes for most of the EU. If these rules are sound, companies doing business in Europe will be able to innovate more efficiently.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
On Feb. 21, four governors and approximately 150 policy thought-leaders joined us at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center for the fourth annual State Solutions Conference with Politico, previewing the National Governors Association’s annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
The two-part event featured one-on-one conversations with governors from across the country and senior Politico reporters on the innovative approaches that states have taken to address complex problems.
Posted by David TennenhouseCorporate Vice President, Microsoft Technology Policy
The Internet is critical to our economy and our future. Today, it enables anyone, anywhere, to connect, access content and share ideas. These attributes have been at the center of the Internet’s ability to catalyze innovation in numerous industries, create new employment opportunities and positive economic growth.
For this to carry on, consumers must continue to have access to any legal content and services they choose, and their traffic should not be subject to unreasonable discrimination by their broadband provider.
Posted by Carla HurdMicrosoft Local Language Program
On Friday, Microsoft announced the expansion of Microsoft Translator with the addition of Welsh and the launch of Language Toolbox, both in celebration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day.
Language Toolbox is a collection of free tools and resources related to Microsoft language technologies. Also on Friday, Microsoft recognized the important role American Sign Language (ASL) plays in the lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
On Thursday, the Administration issued a call to America’s innovation community to help strengthen the patent system by providing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the information, tools and resources it needs to perform its vital function.
Microsoft applauds and supports these efforts. The U.S. patent system is the engine for our economy, incentivizing the creation of new technologies that are essential to America’s ability to compete in markets around the world. All stakeholders, including those of us in the private sector, have a key role to play in keeping this system healthy.
Posted by David FinnExecutive Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Cybercrime Center
Last week, Microsoft hosted our first Cybercrime Enforcement Summit. More than 60 global law enforcement leaders and cybercrime experts met in Redmond for two days of closed-door sessions, discussing best practices and concrete steps to protect people online.
As I reflect upon the event, I think there are three key takeaways that will guide the efforts of all of those that attended:
1. Actions speak louder than words
We are entering a new era of collaboration where there is a shared recognition that only through strong partnerships can we not only keep pace with cybercriminals, but get ahead of them.
Posted by Simmone MisraDirector, Corp. IP Licensing, Microsoft
On Thursday, Microsoft announced a worldwide patent licensing agreement with Voxx Electronics, a leading provider of mobile and consumer devices. The agreement provides broad coverage for devices running the Android OS, including rear seat devices and tablets. This represents Microsoft’s first Android licensing deal in the automotive sector.
How can the private sector best help our nation’s veterans successfully transition from the military to civilian employment? On Tuesday, leading experts and veterans gathered at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. to focus on answering these questions and to explore best practices. The engaging and interactive discussion examined how government and industry can work together to help our returning soldiers transition to civilian careers.
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) delivered opening remarks and provided an overview of the challenges facing veterans as they enter the workforce and the importance of bipartisan collaboration with industry to help our nation’s heroes find post-military employment.
Last February, both the United States and the European Union announced major cybersecurity policy initiatives. In the U.S., the Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity put forward an industry-driven approach to developing a Cybersecurity Framework, and emphasized the role of incentives to encourage use of the Framework. In the EU, the European Commission proposed a draft Network and Information and Security (NIS) Directive that suggested a broader scope and a more regulatory approach than that in the Executive Order, including the mandatory disclosure of cybersecurity incidents. One year later, I wanted to offer observations about these initiatives, as both have advanced on their respective tracks.
Posted by Frederick S. Humphries Jr.Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
People from around the world are increasingly coming together to call for increased reform of government surveillance, and Microsoft sees Tuesday’s effort as a broad demonstration of that growing momentum. At Microsoft, we believe further reform is essential for our customers, our company and society at large – not only to help ensure the right balance between privacy and security, but to demonstrate our understanding that without liberty, we do not have security.
Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereChief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft
To mark Safer Internet Day (SID) 2014, Microsoft asks people to “Do 1 Thing” to stay safer online and to make that one thing part of their daily digital routines.
As part of this campaign, on Monday we’re launching a new interactive website Safer Online, where individuals can share their “Do1Thing” promise; learn what others are doing to help protect themselves online, and get instant tips to enhance and better protect their digital lifestyles.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Larry Magid, Co-director of ConnectSafely.org.
Safer Internet Day (SID) has been celebrated in Europe and around the world since 2004. While Microsoft and other companies and organizations have sponsored Safer Internet Day programs in the U.S. over the years, there has yet to be an officially sanctioned U.S. event supported by a wide coalition of companies, non-profit organizations and government entities, until now.
This year ConnectSafely.org was appointed as the first U.S. Node, an ambassador organization, if you will, for Safer Internet Day. On Feb. 11, it will host the official U.S. Safer Internet Day 2014 event in Washington, D.C.
The event will be a celebration of the positive ways in which we all use the Internet. Young people, educators, representatives from technology companies, youth-serving organizations and government officials, including U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Schumer (D-N.Y.), will speak along with a panel discussion featuring students from around the country and another panel with leaders from Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Xbox Live and YouTube. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes will participate via video. In addition, the event will be streamed live on Facebook Live and at SaferInternetDay.us
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
Today we are updating our transparency reporting to provide new information relating to governmental demands for customer data. Beginning last summer, Microsoft, Google, and other companies filed lawsuits against the U.S. government arguing that we have a legal and constitutional right to disclose more detailed information about these demands. We contended that we should be able to disclose information about legal orders issued pursuant to U.S. national security laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which we had previously been barred from disclosing.
As a result of that litigation and after lengthy discussions, the Government recently agreed for the first time to permit technology companies to publish data about FISA orders. While there remain some constraints on what we can publish (more details on that below), we are now able to present a comprehensive picture of the types of requests that we receive from the U.S. Government pursuant to national security authorities.
Posted by Matt ThomlinsonVice President, Microsoft Security
On Friday, I participated in a panel entitled “Rebooting Trust? Freedom vs. Security in Cyberspace” at the 50th Munich Security Conference. During my presentation, I discussed Microsoft’s initiatives to protect customer data from government snooping, which Microsoft General Counsel & Executive Vice President Brad Smith recently announced. Brad outlined three areas where Microsoft would be taking action: expanding encryption across our services; reinforcing legal protections for our customers’ data; and enhancing the transparency of our software code. On Friday, we announced another step we are taking in implementing those commitments.
We will open an international Transparency Center in Brussels, which will offer government customers an increased ability to review our source code. The Brussels center will build upon on our long-standing program that provides government customers with the ability to review our source code, reassure themselves of its integrity and confirm there are no back doors. It is my hope to open the Brussels Transparency Center by the end of this year.
Posted by Bill KamelaPolicy Counsel, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
On Tuesday, Microsoft will present testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives committee highlighting best practices in hiring and retaining veterans in private sector jobs.
Sean Kelley, senior staffing director, Cloud and Enterprise Group & Military Recruiting at Microsoft, will join representatives from Walmart, JP Morgan Chase & Co., the International Franchise Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation at the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing entitled “What can the Federal Government Learn from the Private Sector’s Successful Approach to Hiring Veterans?”
Posted by Brendon LynchChief Privacy Officer, Microsoft
We at Microsoft focus on privacy protections for our customers every day of the year. On Jan. 28, we join others across private and public sectors around the world to mark Data Privacy Day (DPD) – which is also known as Data Protection Day in Europe where it began in 2006. In support of the day’s focus on educating and empowering people, I’ll be participating in a DPD panel discussion hosted by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 28, and will share the results of a new Microsoft commissioned survey that measured online privacy perceptions among technology savvy individuals in the U.S. and four European countries (Belgium, France, Germany and the UK).
Our panel discussion will focus on “Notice and Consent: Innovating a New Path Forward,” where we’ll explore the complex opportunities and challenges that businesses, civil society and government must overcome to adapt traditional privacy models for the era of big data and the Internet of Things.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
Last week, President Obama spoke about the role of the National Security Agency and announced some important changes to the surveillance practices of the U.S. government. We appreciate the steps the President announced, which represent positive progress on key issues including privacy protections for non-U.S. citizens. There is more work to do to define some of the details and additional steps that are needed, so we’ll continue to work with both the administration and Congress to advocate for reforms consistent with the principles our industry outlined in December.
This week, the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland where these same issues of data privacy and reform of government surveillance will be on the agenda. We hope that these discussions will spur a focus on the international steps that governments can take together. While there is no substitute for American leadership and action on these issues, the time has come for a broader international discussion. We need an international legal framework – an international convention – to create surveillance and data-access rules across borders.
Posted by Paul NicholasSenior Director, Global Security Strategy & Diplomacy, Microsoft
On Thursday, Microsoft released a new study entitled The Cybersecurity Risk Paradox. The new report focuses on specific ways that social and economic factors affect cybersecurity outcomes worldwide. It is a follow-up study that builds on the earlier learnings of a study released last year entitled Linking Cybersecurity Outcomes and Policies.
In Linking Cybersecurity Outcomes and Policies, we took malware infection data from our Microsoft Security Intelligence Report and compared it to international socioeconomic statistics in three categories – digital access, institutional stability and regime stability. We were then able to identify the key social, economic and technological factors critical to enhancing cybersecurity.