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.