Bill Gates: Microsoft would backdoor its products in a heartbeat

In other news, water is still wet.

Bill Gates has joined Donald Trump in condemning Apple for refusing to backdoor its products at the behest of the FBI, promising that the company that he founded, a waning firm called Microsoft, would happily compromise its security on demand for the US government.

Though Microsoft's Bitlocker full-disk encryption was considered very secure at its launch, questions have since been raised about its integrity. The company was an early participant in the NSA's Prism program.

Update: Gates has issued a non-denial nonpology insisting that he stands behind his words, but he's still a good guy, so cut him some slack.


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9 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    Microsoft compromised the security of their products long before the FBI would have ever asked them to.

    This is like Mario Andretti saying he'd be happy to race a car around a track if the FBI asked him to. It's what you do, man. It's what you do.

  2. 205guy says:

    In the iPlanet days, if those still count, I heard the NSS guys were flying to Washington pretty regular. Now who could they be meeting with there?

    In other non-news, I just found a bugsplat quip file in my archive folder. I imagine some of those were written by our host jwz. The fun part is guessing which ones. BTW, I wasn't ever at Netscape, they were the bad guys who killed Mosaic.

  3. nooj says:

    Might this have something to do with the Department of Justice more or less dropping their antitrust case against Micros~1?

    DoJ had a pretty solid antitrust case steamrolling along, with some serious demolition planned, and then suddenly let them off with a stern warning not to do illegal things. Being settled shortly after Airplane Day, at the time I attributed it to "We can't harm American companies now! Our economy might suffer!" Perhaps secret deals were made.

  4. Cat Mara says:

    The thing with Microsoft is that no-one would ever be sure if the backdoors were intentional or not

    Microsoft: Keeping Hanlon's Razor sharp since 1975

  5. Anonymous says:

    Since we're (not really) talking about Cory Doctorow, have you read "For the Win"? Dumb title, but it's good stuff. I picked it out of the Young Adult section for my little brother a couple years ago, flipped through the first few pages when I got home, and ended up reading the whole thing.

    There's a plot point somewhere in there involving hijabs that lends itself to the argument over TPMs for secure computing.

    • you mentioned "little brother".

      that subliminal advertising isn't even subtle.

      this is not boingboing.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you think that's good, get this: when you look really hard, you can see where I make a subtle reference to another book by mentioning the title and author by name.

        You are not a smart person. You did not crack the code.

        (I never read Little Brother. It seemed heavy handed.)

  6. k3ninho says:

    I'm stumped that the encryption-as-munition and vuln-as-armament crossed with second-amendment bullshit* isn't in play -- I've not even seen mention of it from gun-toting ultra-libertarian white bro's in ESR territory -- but a well-regulated militia would be having none of the security of their free state troubled by this. Jesus, they've even licensed "Apple Corps".

    *: The underlying tragedy in San Bernardino is people losing lives to guns bought lawfully but held and used by co-workers with a grievance. From here-onward, I'll be knocking the interpretations of the second amendment to the USA constitution, so assume I'm saying 'Herp Derp derp herpetic derpery'.

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