WinInfo Daily UPDATE, February 3, 2005

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In the News

- Distant Early Warning: Microsoft, Governments Ally on Security Initiative

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Distant Early Warning: Microsoft, Governments Ally on Security Initiative

Late yesterday, Microsoft announced an information-sharing initiative, the Security Cooperation Program, through which it will provide world governments advance warning of global security threats. In return, participating governments will work cooperatively with the software giant and exchange information that will help mitigate those threats. Canada, Chile, Norway, and the US state of Delaware have signed up for the initiative.
"This innovative alliance demonstrates the government of Canada's commitment to cybersecurity," Anne McLellan, the deputy prime minister and minister of public safety and emergency preparedness for the Canadian government, said. "Prevention of cyberdisruptions and improving our capacity to respond to incidents are critical to securing both our economy and public safety."
The Security Cooperation Program is a free, opt-in program open to world and local governments. Microsoft believes the program will help these institutions better secure themselves against cyberattacks. However, representatives of governments that join the Security Cooperation Program must sign a confidentiality agreement. Participating governments can also cooperate with Microsoft on security-oriented programs such as community outreach and education activities and the development of emergency-incident-response processes.
Microsoft says it instituted the program after getting feedback from government officials that they wanted more information than they were getting from Microsoft's then-existing programs, including the Government Shared Source license, which provides access to the source code for Microsoft products such as Windows and Microsoft Office. "Government customers have unique needs that we need to address and they've told us very specifically what those needs are," Giorgio Vanzini, the director of Microsoft's government engagement team, said. Yesterday's announcement came during Microsoft's Government Leaders' Forum, which the company is hosting this week in Prague, Czech Republic.

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