If you do, you must have muttered untold numbers of *!@#$%ß words in utter exasperation at your computer screen, hopefully not within your kids’ earshot. LOL
Have you wondered why Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , the world’s largest software company, has not fixed the bugs in those software?
Michael Riley reports for Bloomberg, June 14, 2013, that the delay in fixing the bugs is deliberate. “According to two people familiar with the process,” Microsoft provides U.S. intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix so that information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes— or ordinary Americans like you and me.
Two U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified because the information they’re disclosing is “confidential,” said that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and other software or Internet security companies know that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs.
Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, said those releases occur in cooperation with multiple agencies and are designed to give government “an early start” on risk assessment and mitigation. He said in an e-mailed statement that there are “several programs” through which such information is passed to the government, and named two which are public, run by Microsoft and for defensive purposes.
The four unnamed individuals who provided this information to Bloomberg also revealed that:
- It is not just Microsoft. Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence.
- The companies’ voluntary cooperation extends far beyond what was revealed by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who disclosed that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. residents’ telephone records and the computer communications of foreigners from Google and other Internet companies under court order. The extensive cooperation reaches deeply into many aspects of everyday life, though little of it is scrutinized by more than a small number of lawyers, company leaders and spies.
- Furthermore, some U.S. telecommunications companies willingly provide intelligence agencies with access to facilities and data offshore that would require a judge’s order if it were done in the U.S. In these cases, no oversight is necessary under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and companies are providing the information voluntarily.
- Why do the companies do this? Company executives are motivated by a desire to help the national defense as well as to help their own companies. Most of the arrangements are so sensitive that only a handful of people in a company know of them, and they are sometimes brokered directly between chief executive officers and the heads of the U.S.’s major spy agencies.
Rebecca Greenfield of The Atlantic Wire calls this a “buddy-buddy” relationship between private technology companies and the U.S. government, and wryly notes that the upshot of this is that “Not only do you have to give up your right to privacy; turns out, we don’t even have the right to quick bug fixes.”
Instead of “buddy-buddy,” I think it’s more apt to call the “cooperation” between private technology companies and the Obama regime a pact with the Devil.
H/t FOTM’s Anon