Microsoft lets EU governments inspect source code for security issues

At transparency center, Microsoft lets governments verify its products are safe to use

Microsoft's Transparency Center in Brussels

Microsoft's Transparency Center in Brussels

European governments will be able to review the source code of Microsoft products to confirm they don't contain security backdoors, at a transparency center the company opened in Brussels on Wednesday.

The center will give governments the chance to review and assess the source code of Microsoft enterprise products and to access important security information about threats and vulnerabilities in a secure environment, said Matt Thomlinson, Vice President of Microsoft Security in a blog post. By opening the center, Microsoft wants to continue building trust with governments around the world, he added.

"Today's opening in Brussels will give governments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa a convenient location to experience our commitment to transparency and delivering products and services that are secure by principle and by design," said Thomlinson.

It is the second of its kind. Last June, the company opened a center in Redmond, Washington. The centers are part of Microsoft's Government Security Program (GSP), launched in 2003 to help create trust with governments that want to use Microsoft products.

National governments and international organizations that are part of the program can in principle inspect the source code of a list of 10 core products including Windows 8.1, 7 and Vista. They also get access to the source code of various versions of Windows Server and Office, as well as instant messaging client Lync, SharePoint 2010 and versions of Windows Embedded, according to Microsoft.

Depending on specific needs though, source code of other products such as Windows 10 may be accessed, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. Participants are able to run analysis tools against the source code in a controlled and secure environment, she said.

Currently there are 42 different agencies from 23 different national governments and international organizations who take part in GSP. In Europe, participants include the governments of the U.K., Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Sweden as well as organizations including the European Commission, the spokeswoman said.

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

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftsecuritygovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?