Security Experts:

Microsoft Opens Transparency Center in Europe to Allow Governments to Examine Source Code

Microsoft has built a new Transparency Center in Brussels to allow foreign governments a chance to review the source code of its company's products in the name of security.

The facility is open to participants in the company's Government Security Program (GSP) initiative, which grants government agencies the ability to review Microsoft source code, access information on cyber-security threats and vulnerabilities and work with Microsoft security professionals.

"Governments around the world are under increased and increasing pressure to protect their citizens and critical assets from cyber-attack," blogged Matt Thomlinson, vice president of Microsoft Security. "Ensuring the defense of national infrastructure from online threats calls for a high level of openness and cooperation between public and private sectors. Throughout our history, Microsoft has helped governments build and deploy more secure IT infrastructure and services to protect their citizens and national economies."

Microsoft opened its first Transparency Center in Redmond, WA, last year. The center gives governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa a convenient location to participate in GSP, Thomlinson noted. The European commission just recently became the latest participant in the GSP program, which was started in 2003.

Overall, 42 agencies from 23 governments across the world are involved in GSP.

"Only by increasing confidence in the digital solutions which have the potential to catalyze whole economies can Europe ensure that every citizen, business and government feels the benefits of the digital revolution – and we hope today’s announcement can help bring us one step further towards achieving this goal," Thomlinson blogged June 3.

According to Microsoft, the GSP offers access to source code for a number of products, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008. Source code for Office 2013, Office 2010 and Office 2007 as well as Lync 2013 SharePoint 2010, Windows Embedded CE 6.0, CE 5.0 and CE 4.0 is accessible through the program as well.

In addition to the centers in Redmond and Brussels, Microsoft also plans to open other centers in Europe, the Americas and Asia, and to expand the range of products included in these programs.


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