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SJ Mercury: Lessons from the latest Microsoft security flap

Sep 07, 1999, 16:04 (1 Talkback[s])

"The main lesson is, to coin an old aphorism: What goes around comes around. It's no wonder that people tend to believe the worst about a company with Microsoft's track record on security and honesty..."

"Those accustomed to Microsoft's ways take the company's statements, including its denials of misdeeds, with acres of salt. As Nicholas Petreley, columnist and editor at several International Data Group publications, put it so well a couple of years ago: "(H)ow do you give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when you know that if you throw it into a room with truth, you'd risk a matter/anti-matter explosion?"

"The final lesson in the NSA episode is a bit more ambiguous. Proponents of free software, also called ``open source,'' say that the alleged back door is proof of the superiority of software in which the source code, or programming instructions, is openly published for anyone to read, debug and improve. Microsoft practices ``security through obscurity,'' critics insist, with proprietary products that can't be thoroughly tested by outsiders."

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