Jan. 21, 2015 was an interesting day.
It was the day Microsoft invited a small group of tech journalists to its Redmond, Washington, headquarters for a big announcement. In the past, news this momentous might have been accompanied by a famous rock band or fireworks, but when Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 and HoloLens, they were in an intimate, coffeehouse-style room sipping coffee with house music playing in the background.
Elsewhere the world, Jan. 21 was an altogether different kind of day. As the sun rose over Sao Paolo, it promised to be a beautiful day – a day like any other. And then the police arrived at the apartment of a Microsoft executive in Brazil, bursting past the gates to his door, demanding he be produced so he could appear before a court.
But Jan. 21 wasn’t the weightiest day that month – not by far. Two weeks earlier, on Jan. 7, the world was transfixed as a series of horrifying events unfolded in Paris. That is the day a pair of brothers launched an attack on Charlie Hebdo, a weekly French satirical magazine, that left 11 of its employees dead and as many others injured – all solely because they had expressed their views.
These two extraordinary days in January are connected by an increasingly crucial issue in our world: information security.