Have Always Whored For the Feds

Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist and a founder Microsoft, has injected his voice into the fierce debate over how far Silicon Valley should go in assisting the government on criminal investigations.

There’s no easy answer, he said in an interview with Bloomberg News, but the discussion is welcome.

In an interview published Tuesday morning with The Financial Times, the newspaper portrayed Mr. Gates as siding with the government in its attempt to force Apple to help investigators extract data from an iPhone that belonged to an attacker in the December mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Mr. Gates told the newspaper. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”

Later, speaking with Bloomberg News, he said the newspaper had gone too far in characterizing his allegiances. “I do believe there are cases where the government, on our behalf, like stopping terrorism which could get worse in the future, that that is valuable,” he said. “But striking that balance — clearly the government’s taken information historically and used it in ways that we didn’t expect going all the way back, say, to the F.B.I. under J. Edgar Hoover.”

Since Apple challenged a court ruling on extracting data from the phone last week, most technology industry leaders have either lined up behind Apple or stayed silent. Several prominent Silicon Valley leaders — including Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive; Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive of Twitter; and Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive — have cautiously indicated support for Apple’s position that the order posed an unacceptable threat to user privacy.

For those of us who fought the then-coming homogenous server environment from Windows NT onward, this comes as no surprise: Microsoft compromised the security of Windows from the jump – it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

UNC has long been considered the super highway for all hackers; it’s the reason hackers favored attacking Microsoft products over *NIX for so long.

The relatively recent deprecation of their use (135, 137, 138 & 139\\tcp) in favor of 445\\tcp was just so much slight of hand; the gaping whole remained. Moreover, since any enterprise-sized installation needs must enable NetShare of (at least) the root drive for forest-wide administration, the entirety of the OS is riddled with security vulnerabilities.

If you don’t believe me, ask the NSA: they worked for years to harden Windows OS’s for their own use. No way would they ever stand up a Windows OS out of the box.

So when Gates says he’d drop trou and bend over for the FBI, it’s akin to Mayor James being asked to support a TIF for an unnecessary project proposed by well-heeled millionaires – it’s what he does.

Talk about your typical ‘dog bites man’ story…

Have Always Whored For the Feds

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