Global conversations about principles and privacy

Last week, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith participated in two public events in Europe that focused on how best to strike the right balance between personal privacy and public safety, issues that were front and center given the recent tragic events in Paris. Brad emphasized that 2015 needs to be the year of solutions. He outlined a set of principles on which we can build and Read more »

Government of Ireland, European MEP file amicus briefs in New York privacy case

This year one of our priorities has been to advocate for policies that ensure people around the world can trust technology. Keeping this trust is not only important for global technology companies, but vital for ensuring people everywhere can use technology with confidence. One important aspect of ensuring this trust is for likeminded governments to agree on basic principles for sharing data across borders while respecting local privacy laws. The Read more »

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center offers practical guidance for state and local governments to manage cyber risks

Jennifer Byrne, cyber risks

The Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. continued the @Microsoft series in October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, with a discussion on practical guidance for state and local governments to manage cyber risks. The event brought together decision-makers from state and local governments, the administration, and industry experts who confront cyber threats every day, to address the unique challenges they face, as well to provide information on resources and Read more »

One step on the path to challenging search warrant jurisdiction


The U.S. government doesn’t have the power to search a home in another country, nor should it have the power to search the content of email stored overseas. To protect this principle, we filed a formal legal challenge months ago to a U.S. search warrant seeking customer email content that is located exclusively outside the United States. Today we received an initial decision that maintains the status quo but is Read more »

Microsoft applauds US NTIA’s transition of key Internet domain name functions

The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s recent announcement of its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community is a significant and welcome development.  Unlike the other major international communications networks (e.g., the telephone system and postal systems), there has been no single government-led organization that has guided the evolution and growth of the Internet. Instead, “Internet governance” has been the Read more »

Microsoft releases 2013 Law Enforcement Requests Report

On Thursday, we published our most recent Law Enforcement Requests Report, which details the number of legal demands for customer data we received from law enforcement agencies around the world and how Microsoft responded to those requests. This is our third report and covers the period from July to December 2013. (Note: As with prior editions, this report focuses on demands from criminal law enforcement agencies and does not include Read more »

The key to a secure cyberspace: Speed and resilience

Organizations of all types today face a daily and growing assault from nation states, lone actors and organized crime. The effects of a cyber-attack can be as far-reaching, troublesome and significant as physical attacks, and can make or break organizations that are not sufficiently prepared. The question is, how can an organization embed cyber security into its suite of core business functions? Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the U.S. Read more »

Microsoft and Politico present Fourth Annual State Solutions Conference in Washington, D.C.

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. Gov. Peter Shumlin Read more »

Continuing our support for government surveillance reform


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 Read more »

Providing additional transparency on US government requests for customer data

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 Read more »