By Gregg Keizer
November 19, 2009
Microsoft today denied that it has built a backdoor into Windows 7, a
concern that surfaced yesterday after a senior National Security Agency
(NSA) official testified before Congress that the agency had worked on
the operating system.
"Microsoft has not and will not put 'backdoors' into Windows," a company
spokeswoman said, reacting to a Computerworld story Wednesday.
On Monday, Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director,
told the Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security that
the agency had partnered with the developer during the creation of
Windows 7 "to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide."
Echoing earlier concerns, Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the
Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), questioned the wisdom of
letting the NSA participate in OS development. "The key problem is that
NSA has a dual mission, COMPUSEC, computer security, now called cyber
security, and SIGINT, signals intelligence, in other words
surveillance," Rotenberg said in an e-mail.
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