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ZDNet UK: Ex-spook believes that software backdoors are out there, fuelling conspiracy theories

Sep 26, 2000, 00:44 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Will Knight)

"Former NSA (National Security Agency) analyst and representative of Internet rights watchdog EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Centre) Wayne Madison warned privacy groups Friday that a growing number of proprietary commercial software applications may have backdoors allowing the security services to carry out surveillance activities."

"Speaking to privacy groups as well as cryptography and security experts at the International Forum on Surveillance by Design at the London School of Economics, Madison warned that this is an area of growing interest for security services such as the NSA. "A lot of manufacturers play ball with the NSA," said Madison. "This is an area that the NSA is moving into a lot and we have to be really careful about it...."

"Open source software, which publishes the underlying source code with a finished application, is by contrast entirely transparent. This has caused some foreign governments including the French administration to take an interest in open source solutions."

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