American Corporate Software Can No Longer Be Trusted For Anything
The discussions around SOPA have shown a very unfortunate side of United States policy making — that its policymakers are not the slightest afraid of legislatively ordering American-run corporations to sabotage their customers in order to further United States foreign policy.
I have no idea if the article is from a reputable website or not. The issue it raises is valid even if it is a trash think tank for one of the political parties or someone with an axe to grind against Microsoft.
Let me run a few items by to set up the discussion.
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has setup inspection stations at all major airports. The inspections to be done under the idea of preventing terrorism on flights. A suspected result of these ‘grope to fly’ inspections is that in the first 6 months of 2009, the US saw a reduction of 15% in foreign tourism compared to the first 6 months of 2008.
This means a loss in trust in the US government methods and a choice to spend that money where such privacy issues are not problems. Another of the requirements is that all passengers receive a background check prior to flying.
The FTC has accused Facebook of engaging in unfair and deceptive practices…and subjects it to the privacy wishes of it’s users and subjects it to regular privacy audits for the next 20 years.
Invasive U.S. surveillance programs, either illegal like the NSA’s wiretapping of AT&T phone lines or legal as authorized by the PATRIOT Act, are causing foreign companies to think twice about putting their data in U.S. cloud systems.
I could do this demonstration of security issues with computing and the US anti-terrorism practices for sometime and what it raises in the minds of users/travelers/phone/computer related articles. This is enough to demonstrate the core problem.
The point raised is how can you be secure in your data over privacy issues? You must surely realize that in order to view data, privacy must of needs, be discarded in order to have that access. A reflection of privacy is almost automatically to raise the trust issue immediately following.
Working with closed proprietary software means you have no chance to look at the code and determine what if any backdoors exist. Antivirus programs are not going to pick it up. They have an official blind eye towards those types of programs and they are not going to tell you about it.
The US government has been active in requiring backdoors installed in encryption programs and other software. Microsoft has long been known to have such as part of it’s Operating Software. The only requirements to access it, is proof you are law enforcement and are working on a case requiring access.
For the now, the US users have no choice. Europe is considering their own duplicates of software in their own back yards, just to keep the US spy machine out. If you are in the US you don’t for now have that choice.
This is food for thought you should be considering as it is in your future computing dilemma. How much do you value privacy and security of your own systems?