Australian Government Enters Security Agreement with Microsoft

Canberra, Australia, August 15, 2003 — Microsoft Corporation’s Chief Security Strategist, Scott Charney, announced this week the Australian Federal Government’s participation in the Microsoft Government Security Program (GSP) to further assist the Australian Government in providing greater technological security. Charney made the announcement as part of his keynote address at the Microsoft-sponsored Australian Defence Symposium held at Parliament House in Canberra, the Australian capital.

The GSP was launched globally by Microsoft in January 2003, and gives governments 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.

Speaking at the symposium, Charney said the GSP builds on Microsoft’s efforts to continue to provide the best value products and services to meet the needs of the Australian Government.

“Microsoft recognizes that in the current global environment, matters ranging from national defense to protection of citizen’s personal data are top-of-mind,” said Charney. “Governments have a unique and special role and they must place security at the forefront of their information-technology requirements.

“The GSP enables stronger partnerships on IT security matters between Microsoft and our government customers, and we are pleased that they have chosen to take up the benefits of the GSP,” he said.

The Australian GSP agreement was signed in conjunction with the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) which is responsible for providing Information Security (Infosec) products and services to the Australian Government and its Defence Force.

“Security is of utmost concern for government departments and the GSP provides a very useful mechanism to have controlled access to Microsoft source code, technical documentation, cryptographic tools and expert support. This agreement represents an important step forward in addressing our IT security requirements,” said Tim Burmeister, Acting Assistant Secretary Information Security, DSD.

The Government Security Program supports and builds on the Common Criteria (CC) certification awarded to Windows 2000 in October 2002. Whereas the CC certification provides a common set of requirements that enables customers worldwide to objectively evaluate the security functions of IT products and systems, the GSP takes this a step further by providing national governments with the information they need to conduct robust security analyses and audits of Microsoft’s Windows products.

Australia joins 12 other participants in the GSP, including Russia, NATO, China, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, with over 35 other countries currently evaluating the program worldwide.

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