Microsoft welcomes US State Department Global Connect initiative

We’d like to congratulate the U.S. State Department on its demonstration of leadership with the Global Connect initiative. The Internet and the Web have transformed our lives – the way we find information, the way we communicate, how we run our businesses, how we entertain ourselves, how efficiently we use resources – the list is endless. But the sad fact is that nearly two-thirds of the global population has no Read more »

Microsoft’s comments on the FCC proposal for affordable broadband

Affordable broadband connectivity is often essential to harnessing the power, productivity, and delight that technology enables, and the importance of it will only increase as more and more of our daily actions move to a cloud-based model. It’s important that we as a society adopt measures to make sure everyone is empowered to contribute, and to be their best and most productive selves. That’s why today, Microsoft submitted comments in Read more »

Every Child Achieves Act will improve access to K-12 STEM learning nationwide

The U.S. Senate this week completed work on a major education overhaul that will increase access to STEM learning nationwide. We applaud the leadership of HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) for ushering through legislation on a strong, bipartisan basis that advances some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy. Specifically, the Every Child Achieves Act includes: A provision offered by Sen. Al Read more »

Microsoft applauds bipartisan passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation

The following statement was issued by Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel for Microsoft, after today’s passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation: “While the issues are challenging, the bottom line is that today’s vote will grow 21st century jobs and investment in the United States. This is true not only for new sectors such as information technology, but for manufacturing as well, given its growing reliance on Read more »

Defining data privacy in a globally connected world

By 2020, researchers estimate that 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, taking advantage of technologies that bring us closer together and big data insights that could change the way we solve societal problems. At the same time, governments, companies and advocates are struggling to understand this new environment and establish the right regulations and laws to protect people’s privacy online. It’s a critical question – how do Read more »

USA Freedom Act: An important step forward

Earlier this afternoon, the U.S. Congress passed by a 2-to-1 margin the USA Freedom Act, which will bring about significant reforms to the nation’s surveillance programs once it is signed into law as expected by President Obama. The USA Freedom Act strikes an important balance between protecting public safety and preserving civil liberties. In addition to protecting personal privacy, it provides for greater transparency and increased accountability about the government’s Read more »

Panel discusses partnerships and policies to fight cybercrime

Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Cybercrime is an issue that affects every American. There are nearly 400 million victims of cybercrime each year and cyberattacks cost our global economy $3 trillion in productivity and growth, with the average data breach costing companies an average of $3.5 million. These staggering statistics make it clear that cybersecurity has become a CEO-level issue – an issue that’s costing our country valuable resources and intellectual property while simultaneously threatening Read more »

When transparency alone isn’t enough

Today, we are publishing our bi-annual Law Enforcement Requests Report and U.S National Security Order Report. These reports detail the long-held policies Microsoft follows for responding to requests, the number of requests Microsoft has received for customer information from law enforcement agencies around the world, how Microsoft responded to those requests, and aggregated data on national security related data requests Microsoft received from the U.S. government. The Law Enforcement Requests Read more »

Microsoft joins with others in call to reform government surveillance

Today, Microsoft and members of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, along with civil liberties advocates, sent a letter to the White House and Congressional leaders supporting essential reforms to the USA Patriot Act. As we’ve said before, these reforms must include an end to bulk collection and allow for companies to be transparent about the requests they receive for information. We understand that governments play a vital role in helping protect Read more »

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 »