German army denies report on Microsoft ban

"This report is wrong," said the ministry spokesman. "We have a general licence contract with Microsoft, and that is remaining in force." He added that various security measures, including firewalls, are being implemented in consultation with the German federal IT security agency BSI (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik), but declined to give further details.

Der Spiegel reported in its March 17 online edition that the Defence Ministry is concerned that US intelligence services could gain access to secret information. German security officials are aware that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has access to "all relevant source codes" to Microsoft software, Der Spiegel said. Authorities plan to rely on encryption technology from the German companies Siemens and Deutsche Telekom instead.

"There are no back doors in any Microsoft products," said spokeswoman Louise Conroy of Microsoft's Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters. "We're committed to providing secure products that can be used to protect the integrity of all our customers worldwide." Asked about reports that NSA had been given access to source codes, she would only say, "Over the years, Microsoft has had its products evaluated by independent third parties to confirm that they meet US, Canadian, and European security standards."

"In France we had such a comment in late February about NSA and software and source code," said Guillaume Tourres, a spokesman in Microsoft's Paris office. "The NSA rumour is coming back every two or three months. We are used to answering these questions."

He added that the company is in negotiations with the French government to grant access to source code. "We have a worldwide program where authorities will be able to have the source code of Windows and other Microsoft software," he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Perera

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on PC World

Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?