Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is advocating for an international collaboration on government access to data following the incident last year where the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program was unearthed.Microsoft

Obama’s steps ‘positive progress’, says Microsoft

Brad Smith, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s general counsel and executive vice president for Legal and Corporate Affairs mentioned in a blog post that US President Barack Obama announced some modifications to the government surveillance last week, which augured “positive progress on key issues” along with privacy protections for non-US citizens.

“I maintained a healthy scepticism toward our surveillance programs after I became president,” Obama said in a speech at the Justice Department last Friday. “What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale.”

Five major changes that the Obama administration has adopted in the NSA program are: Intelligence agencies will not save the phone call records of the US citizens, phone records will be accessible when needed, there will be no surveillance on the heads of the state who are close friends and allies of America, a panel will be constituted to monitor the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court, and privacy protection will be given to non-US citizens except for the presence of some “compelling national security purpose.”

WEF’s meet a good opportunity

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said that there is an increasing need of safeguarding human rights and individual policy along with “timely access to data” to prevent terrorism related activity. The company views the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting to be held in Switzerland later this week as a good opportunity for an international agreement on data privacy and government surveillance. Microsoft is ready to cooperate with the U.S. government and Congress to bring better modifications.

Smith mentioned in his blog that now is the right time for international discussion, and an international legal framework is needed to create surveillance and data access rules across the border. He said that everyone is aware that surveillance is done by the government all over the world, and a framework would bring greater transparency and bring down the legal uncertainty that at present is a threat to the new cloud based technology service globally.

update: a quote wrongly attributed to Microsoft has been removed.