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Microsoft Outlines Blog Content Policy
Posted on 1-Feb-2006 09:42. | Tags Filed under: News.

You are a blogger, and using one of the various free blog tools available. Do you know what policies govern the blog content availability?

Microsoft moved to outline a new policy framework for content access to its popular blogging and personal publishing service, MSN Spaces. The company also called for broad dialogue to produce a set of principles to guide practices in this area.

Speaking before a conference of government officials and community leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith reaffirmed the companyís commitment to blogging as an important vehicle for sharing of information and ideas, and outlined the policy framework that would guide Microsoft in dealing with government orders related to blog content:

  • Explicit standards for protecting content access: Microsoft will remove access to blog content only when it receives a legally binding notice from the government indicating that the material violates local laws, or if the content violates MSNís terms of use.

  • Maintaining global access: Microsoft will remove access to content only in the country issuing the order. When blog content is blocked due to restrictions based on local laws, the rest of the world will continue to have access. This is a new capability Microsoft is implementing in the MSN Spaces infrastructure.

  • Transparent user notification: When local laws require the company to block access to certain content, Microsoft will ensure that users know why that content was blocked, by notifying them that access has been limited due to a government restriction.

    Smith spoke about the challenges that global companies face in doing business in different markets, with different local laws around the world. He called for a dialogue involving industry, governments and other stakeholders and advocacy groups to produce a set of principles that should guide policies and practices of global internet companies providing services around the world.

    Microsoft's blogging tool counts more than 35 million MSN Spaces and over 90 million unique users every month.

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