The US government is considered an 'advanced persistent threat' by Microsoft

The US government is considered an 'advanced persistent threat' by Microsoft have started an initiative called “Hour of Code” in order to demonstrate that only one in ten schools in the US teach children how to code. I’m not sure I buy into the whole “coders are rockstars” thing because I work with coders and while this may skewed due to small sample size, my impression is that coders are more likely to throw their Aeropress into the sink and not wash it than a TV out a 15th-floor hotel room window.

While Joe Public is just catching on to this idea that anyone can learn to code, privacy scandals are now kind of unsurprising. We now know the breadth and depth of information that the NSA hold on us and that they have asked all major software manufacturers for backdoor access, so they can collect even more data. It will thus come as no surprise that a number of people now classify the US government as cyber criminals. Perhaps more surprising is that one of the biggest names in the world has thrown its name into this group: Microsoft.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Brad Smith stated that “government snooping potentially now constitutes an “advanced persistent threat,” alongside sophisticated malware and cyber attacks”. The blog post doesn’t specifically single out the US however the post leans towards the activities highlighted recently by Edward Snowden.

I never thought I’d be on Microsoft’s side of any argument. Then again, I also never thought that software giants and the government would be in a race to hire rockstars to work on encryption protocols, and that the private software firms would be winning.

Kieran McNairn

Kieran is a freelance writer and psychology graduate from Scotland who wishes BoDog Fights still put on outdoor MMA events in Costa Rica.

Twitter: @TheKieran

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


+1 # SystemOL 2013-12-09 20:22
This is why gun nuts always amuse me. Oh, you need to protect your right to conceal-carry a .22 because it's gonna "protect you from the government"? How? Where are you gonna go, dumbass? How are you gonna mount a counter-offense when they're already in your phones, know who you talk to most often, and know what kind of porn you're into? What, are you gonna use smoke signals, or some shit?

Where the fuck were you when they passed the Patriot Act?

0 # MewTwo 2013-12-10 05:55
well that was during Bush's term. he was republican so obviously that bill was created and passed with the benefit of the merican' people in mind.

besides we need our guns to protect us against the Iraqis directly responsible for 9/11 like Saddam, ok?!
-1 # SystemOL 2013-12-10 12:49
I see what you did there, lol. I'll up-thumb that just for the sarcasm.
0 # jt33 2013-12-11 11:40
i am by no means a "gun nut" although i do fully support and think the 2nd amendment is necessary... but to your point.. who cares if they know? if its to the point that im fighting ti out with then government i would rather go out fighting then surrendering and being thrown into some kinda jail..

i agree about the patriot act.. i was damn near yelling about that shit to everyone then but no one cared.. funny how a few years can change things..
0 # SystemOL 2013-12-16 07:17
Well it matters because it affects your ability to organize a resistance. If they know all your social contacts, where you hang out, the strength of your interpersonal relationships, etc., then they know who you're likely to turn to for help (they'll be waiting when you knock on Tim's front door). If it ever really comes down to you vs the government, the government's most likely tactic is going to be "divide and conquer". It's basic logic.

The 2nd amendment is indeed necessary, but the nuts who proudly talk about anti-government "militias" as a "solution to the problem" have a completely outdated sense of security. It's like they don't think they're already on watchlists just for registering on

If you're happy with just a sidearm in your hand, that's your prerogative, but I'd also want a place to hide, food to eat, and things like that.

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