Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
This has been an important week for immigration reform efforts in Congress. Reflecting the rising recognition that our country wins when we invite the world's best minds into the American community, two important new bills were introduced in the Senate. These bills would put into action the words that have become a growing chorus in the immigration policy debate: It makes no sense to educate top students from around the globe in our universities, only to send them – and their brainpower and U.S. training – off to compete with us from abroad.
This week, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Securing the Talent America Requires for the 21st Century, or "STAR" Act. This bill would reallocate 55,000 immigrant visas per year to those who have earned a master's degree or a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (the STEM fields) from a U.S. university. Also this week, we saw the bipartisan introduction of the Sustaining our Most Advanced Researchers and Technology (SMART) Jobs Act of 2012, by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.)
Posted by Brendon LynchChief Privacy Officer, Microsoft
Privacy is a top priority for many users of cloud computing, so Microsoft today is releasing a white paper that details many of the specific data protection policies, procedures and tools that have been integrated into Office 365, our newest cloud productivity service.
I recently returned from a two-week trip to discuss a range of privacy topics with customers and regulators in Australia and New Zealand. In virtually every conversation, I was asked about Microsoft’s approach to data protection in our cloud services. Microsoft representatives around the world report hearing similar questions regularly in each of their regions.
Posted by Dave HeinerVice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Patent and Trademark Office issued an important policy statement on standard essential patents. We welcome the statement as a significant step forward in ensuring the sound operation of the international standards system. Open standards can thrive only if firms can implement any standard free of the threat that other firms who contributed to the standard will later turn around and try to block them from shipping their products. That is why we strongly support the conclusion of the DOJ and the PTO that holders of standard essential patents should not be permitted to seek product injunctions against firms that are willing to take a reasonable license. Simply stated, firms that have promised to make their standard essential patents available on reasonable terms should do so. (Microsoft committed to this approach a year ago.)
The FTC determined last week that Google violated U.S. competition law by suing to block shipments of products such as Xboxes, iPhones and iPads. As the FTC explained, these products implement common industry standards, like those used for video playback and Wi-Fi connectivity, and Google had promised to make its standard essential patents available to all on reasonable terms.
Posted by Fred HumphriesVice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
Consumer trust is vital to the growth of a vibrant Internet, and respect for privacy – putting people first – is essential to earning and maintaining that trust. Today’s release by the White House of their framework signifies an important milestone in the evolution of privacy interests of Americans and individuals around the world.
The Administration’s policy promotes an environment of transparency and meaningful privacy choices. Further, we are hopeful that the policy’s establishment of a robust stakeholder dialogue will lead to more specific solutions and help overcome challenges faster. We support the Administration in this effort.
Microsoft views today’s announcement as essential to a comprehensive approach to privacy that includes federal privacy legislation, technology tools for consumers, effective self-regulation, and all stakeholders working together on initiatives to improve privacy practices.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
Dan Bross, Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft, sat down recently with Marcel Bucsescu, Manager of Corporate Leadership at The Conference Board, to talk about the goals of the newly-formed Committee on Corporate Political Spending, of which Microsoft is a member.
During the interview, Dan covered Microsoft’s political reporting principles, commitment to stakeholder dialogue, open disclosure on trade association engagement and the importance of corporate governance and transparency in political giving by corporations. On May 15, Dan will speak at the Conference Board Corporate Political Spending Conference in Washington, D.C. as part of Microsoft’s ongoing engagement in this important dialogue.