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Microsoft has head-hunted a senior legal officer from the FBI to become its chief security advisor in the UK. Ed Gibson joins Microsoft in July from the FBI, where he has held senior positions as a special agent for 20 years. Since 2000, he has served as the FBI’s assistant legal attaché in the UK, where he has been responsible for establishing intelligence alliances between UK police agencies, security services, the FBI and private sector companies.

Gibson spent 15 years as an investigating agent specialising in asset tracing and confiscation, money laundering, intellectual property theft and financial crime. Since taking on his diplomatic role in the UK, he has lectured widely on cyber crime. He was well known for wearing his trademark dark glasses at the beginning of each presentation, however inclement the weather outside might be, during his frequent appearances at information security conferences. Before joining the FBI, Gibson served for five years as an in-house lawyer for a multi-national company based in Michigan.

Gibson fills a role vacated as Microsoft since the departure of Stuart Okin to consultants Accenture in October 2004. Okin has a more technical background than Gibson but a spokeswoman for Microsoft pointed out that Scott Charney, Microsoft's chief security strategist, and VP of the software giant's Trustworthy Computing initiative, is also a former lawyer with wide experience in fighting cybercrime (biog here).

Once he joins Microsoft in July, Gibson will report to Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy, Microsoft UK. McGrath welcomed the appointment: "Ed brings to Microsoft a wealth of international experience in fighting crime and fraud, both within the public and financial sectors. As a specialist in tracking and prosecuting criminals, Ed will help ensure that enterprises and public sector bodies more effectively integrate their security procedures getting the most out of their investments in security technologies," he added. ®

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