Posted by Richard Domingues BoscovichAssistant General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being able to serve as a panelist at an @Microsoft Breakfast Conversation held at Microsoft’s Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C., an event which focused on how public-private partnerships can be a useful tool in fighting cybercrime, and more specifically, battling botnets. The panel featured keynote remarks from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who contextualized the scope and impact that botnets have had in recent years and opened a discussion exploring how the public and private sectors can work together to disrupt and undermine the cybercriminal ecosystem.
Posted by Irene PlenefischGovernment Affairs Manager, Microsoft
Eight candidates in the Seattle mayoral race met in Redmond yesterday at a forum sponsored by the Microsoft Political Action Committee (MSPAC). The forum was moderated by KIRO Television’s evening news co-anchor Angela Russell and attended by a packed room of Microsoft employees.
Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereChief Online Safety Officer, Microsoft
Parents, educators, policymakers and young people worry that online bullying may increase in their communities. In speaking with these groups, however, concerns seem to stem mostly from fear that something might happen. This is due largely to a lack of awareness about many of the truths surrounding this critical issue. Thankfully, online bullying (also referred to as cyberbullying) is an actual concern for far fewer individuals, families and communities. Still, it is these highly publicized and often tragic cases that help to perpetuate growing fears.
According to a new report from the European Commission (EC), awareness-raising, coupled with involvement from all interested groups, is the “best policy” to help combat online bullying: “The educational effort goes beyond families and educators. The effort needs to involve all relevant actors, providing them with skills and means to act, as well as psychological and expert support when needed.”
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
Today we have asked the Attorney General of the United States to personally take action to permit Microsoft and other companies to share publicly more complete information about how we handle national security requests for customer information. We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us. For example, Government lawyers have yet to respond to the petition we filed in court on June 19, seeking permission to publish the volume of national security requests we have received. We hope the Attorney General can step in to change this situation.
Until that happens, we want to share as much information as we currently can. There are significant inaccuracies in the interpretations of leaked government documents reported in the media last week. We have asked the Government again for permission to discuss the issues raised by these new documents, and our request was denied by government lawyers. In the meantime, we have summarized below the information that we are in a position to share, in response to the allegations in the reporting:
Not surprisingly, we remain subject to these types of legal obligations when we update our products and even when we strengthen encryption and security measures to better protect content as it travels across the web. Recent leaked government documents have focused on the addition of HTTPS encryption to Outlook.com instant messaging, which is designed to make this content more secure as it travels across the internet. To be clear, we do not provide any government with the ability to break the encryption, nor do we provide the government with the encryption keys. When we are legally obligated to comply with demands, we pull the specified content from our servers where it sits in an unencrypted state, and then we provide it to the government agency.
Posted by Fred HumphriesVice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
Today, we released Best Practice Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting. The Best Practices represent an important step in addressing the problem of display advertisements that appear on websites dedicated to copyright piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods. Microsoft – along with other leading technology companies – participated in the multi-year effort with the White House to develop these best practices, which will be implemented in the coming months.
As both a creator of copyrighted works and a provider of online services, including advertising services, Microsoft understands the problems faced by copyright owners subject to massive infringement and the need to ensure that innovation can flourish online. It’s been our experience that a notice-and-takedown mechanism like the one envisioned by these Best Practices can be an effective means to address online infringement.