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Microsoft names director for US govt security arm

Microsoft has chosen Thomas Richey to become the director of homeland security for Microsoft Federal, a business unit focused on...

Microsoft has chosen Thomas Richey to become the director of homeland security for Microsoft Federal, a business unit focused on the federal government. Richey will work out of Microsoft's Washington DC office, ensuring that Microsoft's voice is heard in debates about the development of an information technology framework used by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Richey's main responsibility will be to foster collaboration between governments departments and US Congress as well as Microsoft partners and systems integrators. In many cases, that may mean pushing the use of Microsoft technology to knit together the disparate systems used by the various agencies that will make up the new department.

However, Microsoft spokesman Keith Hodson rejected reports that Richey would be working as a lobbyist for the company. " He works for the Microsoft Government division, which is a sales and marketing organisation," he insisted.

In the meantime, the White House appeared to be solidifying plans for some of the information technology infrastructure of the new federal entity. Lee Holcomb, a spokesman for the White House Office of Homeland Security, said the administration is already in negotiations with companies over department-wide licensing agreements, talhough no companies were named.

Hodson would not comment on whether or not Microsoft is involved in conversations with the administration, saying only that the company is involved in high-level discussions with a number of federal agencies.

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