Microsoft Says Speculation About Security and NSA Is “Inaccurate and Unfounded”

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 3, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. said today that speculation about Microsoft® Windows® security and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is
“inaccurate and unfounded.”

In response to speculation by a Canadian cryptography company that Microsoft had somehow allowed the NSA to hold a
key to the encryption framework in its Windows operating system, Microsoft issued the following statement:

This report is inaccurate and unfounded. The key in question is a Microsoft key. It is maintained and safeguarded by Microsoft, and we have not shared this key with the NSA or any other party.

Microsoft takes security very seriously. This speculation is ironic since Microsoft has consistently opposed the various key escrow proposals suggested by the government because we don’t believe they are good for consumers, the industry or national security.

“Contrary to this report, the key in question would not allow security services to be started or stopped without the user’s knowledge.”

Microsoft said the key is labeled
“NSA key”
because NSA is the technical review authority for U.S. export controls, and the key ensures compliance with U.S. export laws. The company reiterated that Microsoft has not shared this key with the NSA or any other company or agency.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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