Friday, February 17, 2006

Soon coming to a PC near you: Her Majesty's Secret Rootkit

A visit to the Windows Vista homepage reveals the Vista payoff: 'Bringing clarity to your world.'

Not only clarity: security too, it seems. Microsoft claims that Vista is engineered to be the most secure version of Windows yet. Although I can already hear chuckling, apparently this is giving the British Government itches, even to the extent that, according to a Home Office spokesbot, "The Home Office has already been in touch with Microsoft concerning this matter and is working closely with them."

Corpus delicti is a Vista feature called BitLocker Drive Encryption which, if used competently, will make it fiendishly difficult for intruders, including nosy government agents, to dig up information from your PC. The 'solution', according to British security experts, would be a 'back door key', a secret code in possession of the authorities only, never to be leaked to outsiders, that bypasses the user's encryption.

Yeah, right. Sounds like it would be a good idea if the House Committee on International Relations would widen the scope of its enquiries into US internet companies' cooperation with foreign governments' human rights violations to America's allies as well.

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