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Microsoft rubbishes French security suspicions

Microsoft strongly denies French accusations of its connections with the NSA

Reports on a French newswire that accuses Microsoft of collaborating with US security agents to develop software for spying, have been rubbished by the company on the day it presents its final arguments in the legal battle with the US DoJ.

French news service Le Monde du Renseignement (Intelligence Online) reported Friday that a confidential paper produced by the intelligence arm of the French Defence Ministry, the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), accused Microsoft of developing software to enable the National Security Agency to carry out international surveillance.

The secret paper is reportedly written by a senior officer at DAS who remains anonymous.

Microsoft, however, says it has never been in cahoots with the NSA. "This story is simply not true, there is nothing to it," said a spokeswoman.

In September 1999, Microsoft faced allegations that it had put a backdoor into its operating system software so that the NSA could covertly monitor users' activity. It has never been proven that Microsoft took part in these activities.

The spokeswoman is also concerned to allay the fears of customers and adds: "We have a bulletin posted at http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/backdoor.asp about any supposed "backdoors" in our products if you need further background."

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