With all the NSA controversy of late, it might be relevant to dig up a little tidbit from the previous millennium. This article from www.heise.de dates back to 1999:
Careless mistake reveals subversion of Windows by NSA.
Duncan Campbell 04.09.1999
A CARELESS mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA “help information” trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.
Again, keep in mind that this article is almost fourteen years old. I haven’t been able to ascertain whether this security and privacy problem still exists in current versions of Windows, but it does make one think that perhaps an open source alternative like Linux might in fact be the better option. Then again, I’ve no idea whether NSA or anyone else have managed to sneak a finger into the system there as well. You never know until someone finds out.
I note the sentence “the primary purpose of the NSA key inside Windows may be for legitimate US government use” in the article. My position is that the US government has no legitimate business granting themselves access to my private, personal computer, any more than it has legitimate business granting themselves access to my private home, regardless whether I am or (as the case is) am not a citizen of the United States.
Yes, guys. I know you are probably tapping my Facebook account, my email and my blog, along with just about everything else, and that you couldn’t care less what I think 😉