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Microsoft could be teaching police to hack Windows Vista

February 19th, 2006 by Patrick S

Microsoft may begin training the police in ways to break the encryption built into its forthcoming client PC operating system Vista.The news was revealed in a parliamentary committee session, where Professor Ross Anderson of Cambridge University warned MPs that if such a move was being considered then the police should start learning sooner rather than later.

The need to decrypt hard drives was a prominent reason given for extending the length of time that the police could hold terrorism suspects.

“It is our goal to give PC users the control and confidence they need so they can continue to get the most out of their PCs,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman.

“At the same time, we are working with law enforcement to help them understand its security features and will continue to partner with governments, law enforcement and industry to help make the Internet a safer place to learn and communicate.”

This is not the first time such links between Microsoft and the security services have received attention. In 1999 journalist Duncan Campbell alleged that Microsoft had reached a secret deal with the National Security Agency in the US to allow them backdoor access to Microsoft systems.


Posted in MS News, Security | 2 Comments »

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 19th, 2006 at 12:53 am and is filed under MS News, Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses

  1. Patrick E Says:

    I don’t believe this, and until I hear it from the source I’m not going to. Perhaps this was taken out of context and only means that law enforcement will be provided with simple computer forensics training, file recovery, etc.. but handing over encryption algorithms and “backdoors” .. I just don’t buy it.

  2. Zack Says:

    It’s true Patrick 🙂 Have a look here – – it’s a difficult one because as Patrick said, it’s about Vista being so secure that Police (UK) may find it difficult to break open criminal’s computers, so they may well be inserting some very very tough backdoors to help the Police out.