Microsoft today denied that it has built a backdoor into Windows 7, a concern that surfaced yesterday after a senior National Security Agency (NSA) official testified before Congress that the agency had worked on the operating system.
"Microsoft has not and will not put 'backdoors' into Windows," a company spokeswoman said, reacting to a Computerworld story Wednesday.
On Monday, Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director, told the Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security that the agency had partnered with the developer during the creation of Windows 7 "to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide."
Echoing earlier concerns, Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), questioned the wisdom of letting the NSA participate in OS development. "The key problem is that NSA has a dual mission, COMPUSEC, computer security, now called cyber security, and SIGINT, signals intelligence, in other words surveillance," Rotenberg said in an e-mail.