Futures, Microsoft’s online technology policy portal, keeps you up-to-date with the latest developments in an evolving industry. With viewpoints from government leaders, industry practitioners and technology specialists.
Record software donations
Microsoft Australia reached new heights with the Software Donation Program last financial year donating more than $42 million dollars’ worth of software to over 2,700 community organisations. This amazing outcome is a 20 percent increase on last year’s already impressive figure.
As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Week, we wanted to highlight one of the lesser known features in your browser that is making a big difference to the safety of Australian consumers online. It’s called SmartScreen Application Reputation and it’s a free feature switched on by default in Internet Explorer 9.
Microsoft will be running two training sessions in Canberra on optimising the accessibility of Microsoft Office documents. These sessions will primarily focus on Word, however PowerPoint and Excel will also be covered. The sessions have been designed specifically for Australian Public Service (APS) personnel in partnership with AGIMO.
Every generation speaks in fear of the pace of change it confronts and the need for the ‘next’ generation to be given the skills and competencies to not only manage the pace but, more hopefully, the consequences of change.
Equally each generation through public officials and those with a beneficent interest recognise and advocate for the provision of quality education as a critical catalyst for social and economic development.
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), Microsoft, and UNESCO, will bring together education policy leaders and stakeholders, including Permanent Secretaries from across Commonwealth countries and territories in the Pacific region, at a Forum to be held over two days (1st & 2nd May) at the Sydney offices of Microsoft Australia in North Ryde.
The keynote address to the Forum will be delivered by the New South Wales Minister of Education, the Honourable Adrian Piccoli, MP.
Recently, on the 25th of April to be precise, Keith Rupert Murdoch appeared before the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. During the evidence he gave Mr Murdoch reflected briefly upon the ‘right’ to privacy of persons in public positions.
For many years Microsoft has been working in partnership with law enforcement agencies across the globe to help defeat one particularly hideous area of crime – the sexual abuse and exploitation of children online. When child pornography images are shared and viewed amongst predators online, it is not simply the distribution of objectionable content, it is an attack on the very basis of our community. These crimes turn one appalling moment of child sexual abuse into an unending chain of exploitation of that child.
Through a new partnership between Microsoft and NetClean, technology developed by Microsoft known as PhotoDNA will be made available to law enforcement at no charge. The technology will be incorporated in NetClean Analyze, the Child Exploitation Tracking System(already provided to and used by Australian authorities) and via direct licensing.
PhotoDNA will help law enforcement more quickly identify and rescue victims and hopefully lead to the arrest and conviction of those who perpetrate crimes against children.
PhotoDNA is a signature-based image-matching technology developed by Microsoft Research in partnership with Dartmouth College and is already used by Microsoft and Facebook to find child sexual abuse images uploaded to our services. The technology not only detects matches but enables reporting of suspect images to law enforcement agencies for investigation.
Yesterday in the US, President Obama unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect the individual privacy rights of US citizens and to give users more control over how their information is handled by government and commercial interests.
Microsoft’s commitment to the program outlined by the White House is encapsulated in a posting by Microsoft’s Vice President for US Government Affairs, Fred Humphries, on the company’s policy blog “Microsoft on the Issues”.
Earlier this week a series of media articles were published around the world (then linked to and repeated in blogs) that made claims about Microsoft and other major corporations funding the Heartland Institute – a US not-for-profit think tank that claims its mission as: “…to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.”
The media articles, including this one, claimed that Microsoft was giving money to the Heartland Institute and, by association, promoting the views of the Institute.
These claims and all claims about Microsoft’s financial contribution to the Heartland Institute are wrong.
Microsoft’s Senior Director Citizenship and Public Affairs, Akhtar Badshah, has today published a blog post to correct the stories and set out the facts.
When the Federal Government announced its decision in 2008 to build a National Broadband Network (NBN) it took (arguably) one of the biggest financial and political risks in the history of our Federation
This Wednesday 15 February 2012 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, before a sell-out audience, there will be an opportunity to hear how the NBN will enable one emerging technology to offer substantial benefits for Governments and citizens alike.
At the AIIA Cloud Strategy 2012 summit the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy and the former CIO in President Obama’s White House, Vivek Kundra, will deliver keynote presentations addressing the opportunities for Cloud Computing in Government.
These presentations will be webcast live on Wednesday morning from 8.30am. To view the webcast you should visit the AIIA website here.
Today is Safer Internet Day around the world, an initiative that has focused attention on the possibilities of the internet as well as it’s dangers over the past years. This year the theme of the day is around the connection that the internet can make across generations as both young and old can use technology to work, interact and learn online. We’ve recorded this short video to share some simple tips on how you can be safer.