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 $50 million dollars’ worth of software to over 3,300 community organisations.
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.
MICROSOFT PRODUCT NEWS:
The ability to store vast amounts of data in an always available place, accessible via an internect connection, is one of the truly remarkable benefits of cloud based computing services.
Microsoft has just released a SkyDrive app for Windows Phone and the iPhone.
Over the next two days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Microsoft is sponsoring the Accelerating Asia Pacific 2011 conference. With over 150 delegates from across Asia and the Pacific, the conference is looking at how innovation in information technologies, occurring across Asia and the Pacific, is driving not only economic growth but also societal opportunity. In a region populated by billions of people, the prospects for the creation of new ideas, the opportunities for commercial ventures and the resolution of what have been to date intractable social problems is immense and very real.
On the evening of the 5th of December in Sydney, despite unseasonably cold weather and tropical downpours, the NSW Chapter of the Institute for Metadata Management (IMM) was launched.
The Institute of Metadata Management (IMM) is a community of practice around the creation, management, use, promotion, capability development, innovation and articulation of information about information for better governance.
Microsoft will host its inaugural The Big Picture Experience Event at the Melbourne and Sydney Convention Centre’s at which all technology enthusiasts, from large to small businesses, can explore what is possible with technology today. This large-scale event allows partners and customers to experience first-hand six powerful scenarios in the business and the home.