Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
More than 700 employees attended a town hall meeting today with Erskine Bowles, co-founder of The Campaign to Fix the Debt, to discuss the threats posed to our economy by the national debt.
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. The campaign is comprised of people and organizations with a variety of social, economic and political perspectives who share the belief that America's growing federal debt threatens our future and must be addressed. The effort is focused on mobilizing key communities – including leaders from business, government, and policy – as well as people across America who want to see elected officials work together to solve our nation's fiscal challenges.
Posted by David FinnAssociate General Counsel, Microsoft Cybercrime Center
On March 6, Microsoft anti-piracy teams around the world turn their attention to raising awareness of the issues surrounding software piracy. What started as a stand-alone day six years ago has evolved into a series of events and activities that bring together piracy experts, cyber-security analysts, IP advocates and law enforcement to educate consumers and businesses about the dangers of using pirated and counterfeit software.
Addressing software piracy is a critical issue for our shareholders, partners, employees and customers, because while counterfeit software may look like genuine software, it doesn’t work like genuine software.
In support of Microsoft’s Play It Safe campaign, Microsoft asked International Data Corporation (IDC) to investigate the consumer and enterprise experiences with software piracy. The results, compiled in a white paper sponsored by Microsoft,* were pretty eye-opening: IDC found that consumers and businesses who use pirated software will encounter dangerous malware more than one-third of the time. Some of that malware enables cybercriminals to gain remote access to a victim’s computer without the victim knowing about it. The malware can then record a person’s every keystroke – allowing cybercriminals to steal a victim’s personal and financial information – or remotely switch on an infected computer’s microphone and video camera, giving cybercriminals eyes and ears in board rooms and living rooms.
Beyond an in-depth examination of malware found on pirated software, IDC surveyed 2,077 consumers and 258 CIOs/IT across 10 countries, and found that a whopping 64 percent of those surveyed said they knew people who had used counterfeit software and experienced security problems with it.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
The national debt is one of the most serious fiscal issues facing the United States today. It threatens to undermine our nation’s economic growth and competitiveness. The challenge is real and immediate, and it is essential that we come together as a nation to address this issue in a bi-partisan manner.
At Microsoft, we’re committed to doing what we can to help foster this important dialogue. That’s why, along with hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of the country’s businesses, we are lending our voice and support to The Campaign to Fix the Debt.
Today, on our Redmond campus, we are hosting Erskine Bowles, the co-founder of the campaign. In addition to helping found and lead this campaign, Erskine was co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the “Simpson-Bowles Commission”). During his visit, Erskine will participate in a town hall discussion with several hundred employees about the threats posed to our economy by the national debt.
In this edition of The Week in Tech Policy, we have stories on the Apple v. Samsung case, Washington Monthly’s 2012 list of top universities, mobile phone text donations and more.
Federal Aviation Administration to consider overhaul of in-flight rules for electronic devices. Frustrated you can’t use your wireless device’s cellular connection to the Internet while on a long cross-country flight? Then you’ll be relieved to know that the FAA plans to “convene a working group that will reevaluate the current regulations concerning the use of personal electronic devices on airplanes,” according to this recent report in CIO, among others. However, if you were hoping to make voice calls while in flight, prepare the be disappointed. ZDNet reports the working group won’t be considering changing the rules regarding voice calls.
Posted by Richard BoscovichSr. Attorney, Digital Crimes Unit
Eighteen years ago, when I first joined the Department of Justice as an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Florida, the concept of cybercrime wasn’t on anyone’s radar. People might have heard the term “hacker,” but with the Internet still in its infancy, the idea that criminals might one day exploit digital technology to commit fraud and theft and to victimize people, including children, on a global scale was more science fiction than looming threat.
As I stated in a recent interview with the blog TechFlash, around 1995, the DOJ initiated a program to focus on computer and telecommunications crime and since that time, the need for law enforcement agencies, at every level and in every jurisdiction, to have the capacity to investigate and prosecute computer-enabled crime has only grown. That need is at the heart of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit and it’s the sole purpose behind DCU’s annual conference, the Digital Crimes Consortium, being held this week in Montreal, Canada.
The Digital Crimes Consortium is a unique gathering of more than 300 law enforcement officials and members of the technology security community from around the world; they convene each year for frank discussions about the evolving cybercrime threat landscape and to share the latest technologies, techniques and thinking on combating digital crime. The event also serves as an opportunity for technical experts to provide training and share information and available resources with law enforcement officers.