Friday, September 26, 2003

Antitrust News: Reliance on Microsoft Called 'Risk' to U.S. Security

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, the same people who have built careers out of hating Microsoft, now claim that Microsoft software is a national security risk

“As fast as the world's computing infrastructure is growing, vulnerability to attack is growing faster still,” said Dan Geer [the principal author of CCIA’s paper]. “Microsoft’s attempts to tightly integrate myriad applications with its operating system have significantly contributed to excessive complexity and vulnerability. This deterioration of security compounds when nearly all computers rely on a single operating system subject to the same vulnerabilities the world over.”

* * *

“This report underscores and explains many of the dangers that we have warned of for some time,” said Ed Black, President and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association. “Microsoft’s monopoly threatens consumers in a number of ways, but it is clear that it is now also a threat to our security, our safety, and even our national security.”
Black forgot to add that his members will be happy to sell you an alternative product.

And in case you thought that this was useful information presented by people who wanted you to think it over and act on your own good judgment, note Black’s use of the words “threaten” and “monopoly.” Fee, fi, fo, fum, do I smell a legal remedy?

Of course, none of this is a problem, since Microsoft has put antitrust behind them—the same way a thief in the night is behind you when you turn your back to him.

UPDATE: Jonathan Krim of the Washington Post reports that Dan Geer was fired by his employer AtStakeInc., a computer security firm that does business with Microsoft, for his contribution to the CCCCIA report. It seems Microsoft is not completely asleep to the implications of CCIA's paper.

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