Microsoft Corp. applauds the U.S. Department of Justice for Operation WebSnare, the initiative announced today by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft at a press conference in Washington, D.C. The comprehensive operation involved investigations in cities across the country. In praising the initiative, Microsoft reconfirms its commitment to supporting the efforts of government and law enforcement in identifying, targeting and stopping cybercriminals who jeopardize the utility and efficiency of e-mail and the Internet by preying on consumers through sophisticated and destructive online fraud schemes.

“As today’s action shows, collaboration between the Department of Justice, law enforcement representatives and private industry can help stop cybercriminals who are employing increasingly sophisticated and destructive tactics,” said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel for Microsoft. “We are committed to supporting these efforts and to teaming with our industry partners to identify, target and take legal action against those who abuse the Internet to defraud and prey on consumers.”

Microsoft will continue to participate as a member of its industry associations in support of government enforcement efforts, providing technical expertise and investigative information to help stop the perpetrators of these online threats.