Microsoft Announces Government Security Program

Since National governments and their agencies face more serious security threats than other technology consumers Microsoft Corp. announced the Government Security Program (GSP), a global initiative that provides national governments with controlled access to Microsoft Windows source code and other technical information they need to be confident in the enhanced security features of the Windows platform.

The GSP is one integral element in Microsoft’s efforts to address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world. Russia and NATO have already signed GSP agreements with Microsoft, and the company is in discussions with more than 20 countries about their interest in the program.

Participation in the GSP will be disclosed at the discretion of each government signatory, and Microsoft is committed to honoring confidentiality where necessary.

While some Microsoft source-licensing programs are available to everyone, the Government Security Program is tailored to the specialized security requirements of governments. The GSP is a no-fee initiative that enables program participants to review Windows source code using a code review tool (subject to certain license restrictions). In addition to source access, the GSP provides for the disclosure of technical information about the Windows platform, enhancing governments’ ability to build and deploy computing infrastructures with strong security technologies in place. The program also promotes increased communication and collaboration between Microsoft security professionals and program participants, providing opportunities to visit Microsoft development facilities in Redmond and review various aspects of Windows source-code development, testing and deployment processes; discuss existing and potential projects with Microsoft security experts; and generally interact with and provide feedback directly to Microsoft staff.

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