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Microsoft General Counsel calls for new rules to handle government data requests

If Microsoft’s General Counsel has his method, 2015 can be a “yr for options” when it comes to the intersection of the web and worldwide regulation.

Brad Smith told an audience at a an occasion organized by the Heart for European Coverage Research in Brussels, Belgium that the laws governing how web firms handle consumer privateness and government requests for data are woefully outdated and prepared for a refresh.

“Right here in Europe the data safety directive was written largely within the early Nineteen Nineties, once I spent seven years dwelling and dealing right here and utilizing a PC that didn’t have a mouse and a cellphone that couldn’t be indifferent from my automobile,” Smith mentioned. “In the US the Digital Communications Privateness Act is even older, having been adopted in 1986. And whereas these are usually not the one two essential legal guidelines on the books, many of the legal guidelines which might be related to know-how all share one widespread characteristic – in the event that they have been know-how merchandise, they’d be in a museum.”

Of their place, Smith mentioned that governments want to arrange a new framework for dealing with safety and data requests. Specifically, he referred to as for larger transparency, and safety of “elementary freedoms,” together with freedom of speech and a proper to privateness. He additionally referred to as for a new framework for managing data requests throughout nationwide boundaries that might respect the sovereignty of the international locations through which these data reside.

In his view, governments that need to entry data throughout nationwide boundaries ought to request it via the native government the place that data is saved. That final piece is hardly stunning coming from Smith, since Microsoft has been busy combating a U.S. Magistrate Judge’s ruling requiring it to flip over data saved in an Irish data middle.

There’s going to be lots on the tech business’s plate this yr when it comes to governmental oversight. President Obama’s new price range calls for $14 billion in spending on cybersecurity, and European governments are mulling new safety legal guidelines following the assault on Charlie Hebdo in France final month.

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