How Much Are Tech Firms Cooperating With The Government?

by Categorized: Government, Microsoft Date:

Microsoft gives the United States government the it’s bug fixes before releasing them publicly according to a report from Bloomberg.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Internet carriers were also worried that allowing government access to their networks for security reasons might open them up to liability and according to sources, asked for and received letters of exemption from the Justice Department. Those letters were not confirmed by spokespeople for the companies.

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