June, 2013

  • Virginia gubernatorial candidates discuss technology and business during Tech Town Hall

    Posted by Anne Gavin
    Director of State Government Affairs, Microsoft

    Last Thursday, Virginia gubernatorial candidates Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe participated in a Technology Town Hall Forum we hosted with the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) at our offices in Reston, Virginia.

    Fred Humphries, Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs at Microsoft, kicked-off the event, which was followed by opening remarks from Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of NVTC, who then served as moderator.

    Fred Humphries NVTC

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  • Initial revelations and results of the Citadel botnet operation

    Posted by Richard Domingues Boscovich
    Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

    Just over two weeks after Microsoft, financial services industry leaders, technology industry partners and the FBI took action against more than 1,400 Citadel botnets, I am pleased to share that at least 2 million computers have been freed from the cybercriminals.

    As Reuters reported, we believe this is a very conservative number. Our preliminary data shows that from June 9 to June 15, nearly 1.3 million unique Internet Protocol addresses have checked into our system (known as a sinkhole) from computers infected with Citadel. Currently, we are associating one IP address with one infected computer, but there could be multiple infected computers using one address. For example, preliminary results show that there were more than 1.9 million infected computers when we analyze unique IPs + User-Agents. A user agent is an application that connects to the Internet and includes things like browsers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll dig further into our data to determine exactly how many individual computers are associated with each IP we’ve identified.

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  • Why STEM education and blended learning matter

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On Thursday, at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C., a record number of attendees, including policy makers, educators, industry leaders and others, gathered to discuss how education innovators design responsive, engaging and academically rigorous programs to prepare students to meet the demands of the U.S. economy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

    Congressman Rokita 2

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  • Microsoft and partners advocate for expanding access to affordable wireless broadband worldwide

    Posted by Paul Garnett
    Director, Technology Policy Group, Microsoft

    At Microsoft, we have long worked in partnership with others in government, industry, academia and civil society to advance emerging technologies and create new opportunities for ICT access and innovation throughout the world. Today at the Global Summit on Dynamic Spectrum Access and TV White Spaces in Singapore, we announced our participation in the newly-formed Dynamic Spectrum Alliance. This will be a new global, cross-industry group focused on policy and regulatory advocacy with the aim of expanding dynamic and opportunistic access to unused radio spectrum – the frequencies we rely upon for wireless connectivity and bandwidth.

    The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is made up of 23 companies and organizations from across the world, each bringing different perspectives to the table. Though we may not agree on all topics, we have worked to find common ground and will use that shared purpose to accelerate the momentum this technology is already gaining globally. A core focus area for the group will be enabling unlicensed (Wi-Fi-like) access to the unused TV band frequencies, which are particularly well-suited for long-range connections at low power.

    [Read more...]

  • Microsoft’s U.S. law enforcement and national security requests for last half of 2012

    Posted by John Frank
    Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

    This afternoon we are publishing additional information about the volume of law enforcement and national security orders served on Microsoft. For the first time, we are permitted to include the total volume of national security orders, which may include FISA orders, in this reporting. We are still not permitted to confirm whether we have received any FISA orders, but if we were to have received any they would now be included in our aggregate volumes.

    Earlier this week, along with others in the industry, we called for greater transparency about the volume and scope of the national security orders, including FISA orders, which require the disclosure of some customer content. We believe this would help the community understand and debate these important issues. Since then, we have worked with the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to try and secure permission to do this.

    This afternoon, the FBI and DOJ have given us permission to publish some additional data, and we are publishing it straight away. However, we continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues.

    [Read more...]

  • New proposals by White House Task Force on Hi-Tech Patent Issues raise concerns

    Posted by Horacio Gutierrez
    Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    Today, the White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues issued a paper containing seven legislative recommendations for patent reform designed to curb litigation abuses by patent assertion entities (PAEs).

    As a defendant in roughly 70 patent lawsuits, most of which were filed by patent assertion entities, Microsoft supports efforts to curb patent litigation abuses. But we are concerned and surprised that in a critical respect today’s proposal goes beyond patent assertion entities and instead targets software innovations more broadly.

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