The man Microsoft turned to for security

Caspar's friendly post...

Caspar's friendly post...

If you don't already know the name Caspar Bowden, we bet you soon won't be able to forget it. In 2000, as chair of the Foundation for Information Policy Research, he made the silicon.com Agenda Setter top 50 list as a prime mover and shaker in Europe, and over the years he has campaigned tirelessly for privacy and individual freedoms to be protected online. Only now his career has taken its most interesting twist. Caspar Bowden has accepted a paid job at Microsoft. We're not sure about the exact terms of said position but today Microsoft confirmed to a silicon.com reporter that it is a full-time post, under a contract and part of a European initiative by the software giant to be taken seriously when it says it cares about security. We applaud Bowden and Microsoft for this gutsy move, clearly something of a gamble on both sides. We haven't always seen eye-to-eye with Bowden - and of course we've had run-ins with Microsoft - but we know both of them well enough to say there are plenty of good intentions there. For Bowden's part, he risks losing credibility. At the same time, if Microsoft's record on security and privacy improves - a big 'if' - then he will gain tremendously and be something of a hero. Let's just hope that an improvement in people's perception isn't the only thing the parties here are hoping for, even if perception is a big part of being considered trustworthy. Microsoft must be serious about this move, and we can only assume it is. It is likely any contract will contain a clause that will let Bowden walk if he isn't happy with progress. Microsoft knows improving its record on security is crucial to the success of .Net, the far-reaching platform and environment at the centre of much of its future. Despite a widespread security review - which cost $100m just within its Windows server group earlier this year - Microsoft continues to be plagued by controversy over its approach to the issue. Good luck to both Bowden and Microsoft. Or should we just say Microsoft? We don't want to be writing about security and related issues every other day.