Ramifications of Microsoft Revealing Code to Governments

news alert (excerpt)

London, UK - 15 January 2003, 13:30 GMT - Post the US anti-trust case, high profile security breaches of the Windows operating system at several governments and their agencies across the globe and successive announcements of critical vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, it comes as no surprise that Governments worldwide are losing faith in closed proprietary software solutions and turning towards Open Source.

In this environment, Microsoft's Government Security Program (GSP) is a timely initiative. GSP is a political decision designed not just to appease the US Government and Agencies but also other government customers across the globe; most notably those of China, Japan, Germany and Brazil who have made clear declarations of intent, and in some cases changes either to public policy or law to embrace Open Source solutions preferentially. Open Source is widely deemed to be more secure and also assists in cutting budget deficits in a recession because the software is free.

The most attacked Governments in the last 12 trailing months according to the mi2g SIPS database were those of China, USA, Brazil, Turkey and Taiwan. The most attacked operating system for Government online sites was Microsoft Windows, followed by Linux, Solaris and BSD. [Precise SIPS breakdowns available in the full version of this article circulated to inner sanctum members.]

With the US led "War on Terrorism" there is a heightened concern amongst many countries that Microsoft is a US Company and it may not be entirely in the interest of powers such as China, Japan and Germany to have a closed source product that may or may not be communicating with US Government Agencies through back doors. Microsoft's GSP will help to allay such fears.

The initial top 10 ramifications of the GSP development according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit are as follows:


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