Tag Archives: Government

U.S. government seeks end to Supreme Court privacy fight with Microsoft
April 1, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

The U.S. government’s Supreme Court battle with Microsoft Corp over whether technology companies can be forced to hand over data stored overseas could be nearing its end, after federal prosecutors asked that the case be dismissed.

FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft logo is shown on the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

President Donald Trump on March 22 signed a provision into law making it clear that U.S. judges can issue warrants for such data, while giving companies an avenue to object if the request conflicts with foreign law.

“This case is now moot,” the U.S. Department of Justice said, citing the newly passed legislation, in a 16-page court filing on Friday that requested the dismissal.

The Supreme Court on Feb. 27 heard arguments in the case, which had been one of the most closely watched of the high court’s current term. Some justices urged Congress to pass a law to resolve the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith (R) makes a statement to the news media with his lawyer Josh Rosenkranz outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Microsoft and the Justice Department had been locked in a dispute over how U.S. prosecutors seek access to data held on overseas computer servers owned by American companies. The case involved Microsoft’s challenge to a domestic warrant issued by a U.S. judge for emails stored on a Microsoft server in Dublin relating to a drug-trafficking investigation.

The bipartisan new law, known as the Cloud Act, was supported by Microsoft, other major technology companies and the Trump administration. But civil liberties groups opposed it, saying it lacked sufficient privacy protections.

Microsoft, which has 100 data centers in 40 countries, was the first American company to challenge a domestic search warrant seeking data held outside the United States. The Microsoft customer whose emails were sought told the company he was based in Ireland when he signed up for his account.

A representative for Microsoft did not immediately return requests for comment on the Justice Department’s filing.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Alex Dobuzinskis; Additional reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis

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Check Out These 6 Handy Apps That Wouldn’t Exist Without Government Open Data
April 30, 2017 10:25 pm|Comments (0)

We might imagine apps are created by some clever geek building a startup out of a garage, and that might even be true. But those shoestring operations would not have resources needed to create these useful applications without data provided by government agencies.

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Microsoft, IBM, among others, to provide cloud services to government departments
September 5, 2016 5:45 am|Comments (0)

GI Cloud will be a set of discrete cloud computing environments spread across multiple locations, another official from the ministry said, also …

Cloud Computing


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Court: US Government Can't Make Microsoft Reveal Cloud Data
July 14, 2016 8:20 pm|Comments (0)

The appeals ruling acknowledged that so-called cloud computing had changed the landscape for storage, letting companies hold customer data in …


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Gartner’s 10 Strategic Technologies For Government, 2016 Include Internet of Things, Smart Machines
July 3, 2016 7:40 pm|Comments (0)

Gartner forecasts 25B IoT-based installed devices by 2020, with 6.8B alone in smart cities. Smart machines will become a catalyst of Industrie 4.0 adoption across global governments. Spending by national, federal and local governments worldwide on technology products and services is forecast to grow from $ 430.1B in 2016 to $ 476.1B by 2020.


Cloud Computing

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Microsoft’s CEO explains why his company sued the U.S. government
May 3, 2016 1:15 am|Comments (0)

Microsoft surprised the world last month when it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging that the frequent practice of attaching gag orders to search warrants for customer data violates the U.S. Constitution.

On Monday, CEO Satya Nadella told a group of tech luminaries why the company did so: Microsoft has a strong view on its privacy promises to users, and the company will fight to prevent government overreach that, in its view, compromises the principles of privacy. 

Governments have a compelling need to help preserve public safety, but Microsoft wants to make sure that users’ privacy is also preserved, Nadella said. 

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Microsoft cuts deals in China with government organizations and companies
January 31, 2016 9:35 am|Comments (0)

Microsoft announced three new tie-ups in China on the same day that the country’s President Xi Jinping and a delegation visited its campus at Redmond, Washington.

The seven deals with Chinese companies and government institutions will likely give Microsoft greater access to the country’s large market. Other companies like Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard have also announced ties with Chinese companies, a market that has been proving complex for U.S. companies because of the strong backing of the government for local players.

Microsoft, for example, announced an agreement with its cloud partner in Beijing, 21Vianet, and IT company Unisplendour to provide custom hybrid cloud solutions and services to Chinese customers, particularly state-owned enterprises.

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Microsoft cuts deals in China with government organizations and companies
January 28, 2016 3:25 pm|Comments (0)

Microsoft announced three new tie-ups in China on the same day that the country’s President Xi Jinping and a delegation visited its campus at Redmond, Washington.

The seven deals with Chinese companies and government institutions will likely give Microsoft greater access to the country’s large market. Other companies like Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard have also announced ties with Chinese companies, a market that has been proving complex for U.S. companies because of the strong backing of the government for local players.

Microsoft, for example, announced an agreement with its cloud partner in Beijing, 21Vianet, and IT company Unisplendour to provide custom hybrid cloud solutions and services to Chinese customers, particularly state-owned enterprises.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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Microsoft cuts deals in China with government organizations and companies
January 25, 2016 8:00 am|Comments (0)

… with Xi’xian New Area, a special development zone, on a variety of projects including big data, cloud computing and “smart” urbanization.


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NSA director just admitted that government copies of encryption keys are a big security risk
October 23, 2015 12:40 am|Comments (0)

NSA chief Michael S. Rogers speaks at Fort Meade.

The director of the NSA, Admiral Michael Rogers, just admitted at a Senate hearing that when Internet companies provide copies of encryption keys to law enforcement, the risk of hacks and data theft goes way up.

The government has been pressuring technology companies to provide the encryption keys that it can use to access data from suspected bad actors. The keys allow the government “front door access,” as Rogers has termed it, to secure data on any device, including cell phones and tablets.

Rogers made the statement in answer to a question from Senator Ron Wyden at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.06.46 PMWyden:  “As a general matter, is it correct that anytime there are copies of an encryption key — and they exist in multiple places — that also creates more opportunities for malicious actors or foreign hackers to get access to the keys?

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.07.12 PMRogers: Again, it depends on the circumstances, but if you want to paint it very broadly like that for a yes and no, then i would probably say yes.”

View the exchange in this video.

Security researchers have been saying for some time that the existence of multiple copies of encryption keys creates huge security vulnerabilities. But instead of heeding the advice and abandoning the idea, Rogers has suggested that tech companies deliver the encryption key copies in multiple pieces that must be reassembled.

From VentureBeat

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“The NSA chief Admiral Rogers today confirmed what encryption experts and data scientists have been saying all along: if the government requires companies to provide copies of encryption keys, that will only weaken data protection and open the door for malicious actors and hackers,” said Morgan Reed of the App Association in a note to VentureBeat.

Cybersecurity has taken center stage in the halls of power this week, as Chinese president Xi Jinping is in the U.S. meeting with tech leaders and President Obama.

The Chinese government itself has been linked with various large data hacks on U.S. corporations and on U.S. government agencies. By some estimates, U.S. businesses lose $ 300 billion a year from Chinese intellectual property theft.

One June 2nd, the Senate approved a bill called the USA Freedom Act, meant to reform the government surveillance authorizations in the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act expired at midnight on June 1st.

But the NSA has continued to push for increased latitude to access the data of private citizens, both foreign and domestic.



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