Posted by Brad Smith Senior Vice President and General
Over the past few months, starting with my January
speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., I’ve
talked a lot about the great potential for cloud computing to increase
the efficiency and productivity of governments, businesses and
individual consumers. To realize those benefits, we need to establish
regulatory and industry protections that give computer users confidence
in the privacy and security of cloud data.
Today, I returned to Washington to continue the discussion as one of
speakers at the Gov 2.0 Expo 2010.
As I shared during my presentation, we are constantly seeing powerful
new evidence of the value of cloud computing.
Today, for example, we announced that the University of Arizona chose
Microsoft’s cloud platform to facilitate communications and
collaboration among the school’s 18,000 faculty and staff. After
initially looking at various supposedly “free” online services, the
institution selected Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite to
update its aging e-mail system and to provide new calendaring and
collaboration tools. U. of A. officials concluded that, as a research
university that conducts $530 million in research annually, it needed
the enterprise-level security and privacy protections that BPOS could
provide, but which the alternative services could not match.
Posted by Teresa
Carlson Vice President, Microsoft Federal
(Cross-posted from the Microsoft FutureFed blog)
The National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) held an event last week that brought
stakeholders in the federal IT community together to discuss cloud
standards for data portability, interoperability, and security. It was
called the Cloud Computing Forum &
Workshop, and members of the Microsoft Federal team attended to
brainstorm ideas on how we can best facilitate cloud adoption in the
Below is a great recap from Susie Adams, Microsoft’s Federal Civilian
and IGO Chief Technology Officer.
Last week I attended the National Institute for Standards &
Technology (NIST) Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop, and it was clearly
a serious effort to kick off collaboration between government and
industry to accelerate the use of cloud technology. Dr. Pat Gallagher,
Director of NIST, believes that cloud computing can make the U.S.
government “more effective, more efficient, and we believe more secure.”
However, Dr. Gallagher indicated that the government is falling behind
the private sector in adopting cloud services, and that he shares the
concern of Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer, that
government does not offer citizens and employees online services as
robust as the commercial services of Facebook, for example.
Posted by Anthony Salcito Vice President, Worldwide
Six years ago in the Western Heights School District near Oklahoma
City, nearly half of all students were dropping out before they could
graduate. This was unacceptable, Superintendent Joe Kitchens decided,
and began looking for a solution. He thought that by collecting data --
such as grades, attendance, socio-economic factors and other variables
-- his teachers and counselors could better understand what was
happening with students, why they would suddenly disengage and lose
interest in class, and then proactively intervene with specialized
programs to keep more students in school. The district deployed a new
data system for tracking student progress, and today, Western Heights
has reduced its dropout rate from 45 percent to 21 percent -- an amazing
I’m lucky enough to have traveled to hundreds of schools around the
United States over the years. Nearly everywhere I’ve been, reducing
high-school drop-out rates has been one of the leading educational
challenges. About 26 percent of incoming high school freshman will not
graduate high school on time, according to the National Center for
Education Statistics. And the overall graduation rate has changed little
over the last three decades, despite advances in curriculum and
Posted by Peter Cullen Chief Privacy Strategist
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce is holding a symposium
in Washington, D.C. to examine the important nexus between privacy and
innovation in the online world. The meeting, hosted by Commerce
Secretary Gary Locke, is part of the department’s recently announced
comprehensive review of Information
Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy.
I have been invited to participate on a panel at today’s event that
will look at how U.S. and international privacy protections and
enforcement are working in practice, and explore how the U.S. legal
system can influence privacy protection in the private sector and
This review is coming at a critical juncture. Social media and
mobile computing are pushing societal boundaries and expectations around
privacy. At the same time, increasing flows and aggregation of data
brought about by cloud computing, ambiguities in domestic privacy laws
and fissures in the global regulatory framework are accelerating the
need for updated online privacy protections. Each of these trends
present challenges for organizations seeking to responsibly manage data
across geographical boundaries while minimizing risk. Microsoft and our
industry partners called on Congress to enact comprehensive federal
privacy legislation four years ago, and the rapid pace of change in the
Internet environment is making our call for baseline privacy protections
even more urgent.
My comments today will focus on Microsoft’s fundamental belief that
the right balance between innovation and privacy protection can indeed
be achieved. To accomplish this goal, baseline privacy legislation needs
to be flexible, applicable across sectors and technology neutral. It
can build upon the current regulatory framework and should operate in
tandem with elements of existing self-regulation, enforcement,
privacy-enhancing technologies and sound business practices. Getting the
balance right will also require close cooperation between industry,
government, advocates and consumers. Today’s event is an important step
in fostering that dialogue.
Posted by Pamela Passman Corporate Vice President, Global
Earlier today I attended the 2010 Voices of Courage Awards luncheon in New York
hosted by the Women's
Refugee Commission, an organization that advocates for laws,
policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of
refugee and displaced women and young people.
The Women’s Refugee Commission emerged a decade ago as a leading
advocate for protection of women and unaccompanied children in the
United States. The Commission identified the need for legal
representation for the thousands of children who were appearing in U.S.
immigration court without a lawyer, despite the formal proceedings and
the sometimes life-and-death consequences of the judge’s ruling. The
Commission has also undertaken incredible work developing and
identifying economic opportunities for refugee women and children. We
share a common belief that providing sustained social and economic
opportunities for underserved populations, especially young people, is
key to building thriving communities and a better world.
During the event a number of incredible stories of how people and
organizations are working to address the refugee issue were showcased.
Among those recognized was Amalia Guzmán Molina, who is originally
from El Salvador and founded Families of the Incarcerated, which works
with the families of those who have been detained by immigration
services in the United States. Also honored was Deogratias Niyizonkiza,
who was born in Burundi and spent time in the United States before
setting up Village Health Works, a non-profit organization providing
free health care in Burundi to more than 28,000 patients, many of them
refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.