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Gates Pushes For Coordinated Security Measures

The Microsoft chairman says technology that keeps hackers out and lets the government share information could help protect individual privacy.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Technology that keeps hackers out and lets government investigators share sensitive terrorism information can also protect the privacy of citizens, Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates said Wednesday.

Gates said technology can "prevent the nightmare vision of George Orwell." He spoke at a technology conference in Washington on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the author who imagined a repressive society dominated by Big Brother.

"Orwell's vision didn't come true, and I don't believe it will," Gates said. "This technology can make our country more secure and prevent the nightmare vision of George Orwell at the same time."

Gates described efforts to improve the security and reliability of Microsoft software under its Trustworthy Computing campaign.

Gates said Microsoft was committed "to working with the government and the entire industry to build a more secure computing system around the world.

"At a time of increased uncertainty about homeland security, computers must be available wherever and whenever we need them," Gates said.

Earlier Wednesday, Gates met with Vice President Dick Cheney and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss technology and security.

Gates said Internet crime is a "global threat and it requires a global response."

"Not so long ago, most people paid little attention to cybercrime, but today there's a broader recognition that IT security is vital to homeland security," he said. "We must build higher walls and stronger vaults, and government must continue to step up the priority given to this kind of crime while protecting the privacy of consumers."

Gates cited anti-spam efforts as an example of coordinated industry and government security measures.

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