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Backdoor worries with NSA's help on Windows 7

CWmike (1292728) writes | more than 4 years ago

Government 2

CWmike (1292728) writes "The National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Microsoft on the development of Windows 7, an agency official acknowledged yesterday before Congress. Alarmed? Same story with Vista. Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), says the NSA's involvement with OS development goes back even farther. "This battle goes back to at least the crypto wars of the early '90s," said Rotenberg, who remembered testifying about the agency's role in private sector computer security standards in 1989. But the NSA's hands on Windows raises a red flag for Rotenberg, who heads the public interest research center. "When NSA offers to help the private sector on computer security, the obvious concern is that it will also build in backdoors that enables tracking users and intercepting user communications," Rotenberg said. "And private sector firms are reluctant to oppose these 'suggestions' since the US government is also their biggest customer and opposition to the NSA could mean to loss of sales." But Andrew Storms, the director of security operations at nCircle Security, didn't put much credence in the idea that Microsoft would allow the NSA to build a hidden entrance to Windows 7. "Would it be surprising to most people that there was a backdoor? No, not with the political agenda of prior administrations," said Storms. "My gut, though, tells me that Microsoft, as a business, would not want to do that, at least not in a secretive way.""
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What about selinux (1)

zarthon (614232) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151704)

Our economy is near being cashless. Idenity theft is rampant. Information security is anything but obvious. Getting the some of the best minds to work on these issues which are increasingly central to the economy is truly critical. SELinux was first developed as a research project by the NSA [nsa.gov] . They are charged with securing our infrastructure and had better be giving everyone advise. I am left scratching my head. Giving Microsoft computer security advise seems well... necessary . Microsoft should create a panel of independent experts under NDA and have them review their Windows 7 code base for 'back doors'. Microsoft should involve some prominent civil rights activists as individuals ... not as representative of the organizations they work for to help select the computer professionals serving on the review panel. It is well known that cryptography is a restricted technology. This is a separate issue! It would be redundant and more of a drain on the private, and academic sector to have a separate body from the NSA offering this advise. On the other hand I believe we need a strong independent agency like the Fed or MITRE authorized and charged with government, financial, and corporate over-site that could be watching the watchers as well as analyzing trends and measuring the effectiveness of policy and administration then informing congress and the judicial branches.

The NSA helped with crypto AG (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30153782)

now its helping with Windows.
BYO linux time people. Get a real OS, not Uncle Sam's honey pot.
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