FC: McAfee sides with FBI against customers on "Magic Lantern"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 08:01:19 PST

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    Security software, including PGP and anti-virus ware, is either looking out 
    for your interests or those of the government. It can't do both, and now we 
    know where McAfee stands. I invite McAfee to reply; I will distribute any 
    response unedited.
        At least one antivirus software company, McAfee Corp., contacted the
        FBI on Wednesday to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect
        the bureau's snooping software and alert a criminal suspect.
    "FBI reportedly creating "Magic Lantern" anti-crypto virus"
    [Below posts forwarded from Dave Farber's IP list]
    >Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 14:06:47 -0700
    >To: David Farber <daveat_private>
    >From: Brett Glass <brettat_private>
    >Subject: Re: IP: Detecting Magic Lantern?
    >At 01:31 PM 11/24/2001, David Farber wrote:
    >>At 01:52 PM 11/23/2001, Henry E. Schaffer wrote:
    >> >"At least one antivirus software company, McAfee Corp., contaced the FBI
    >> >on Wednesday to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect the
    >> >bureau's snooping software and alert a criminal subject."
    >> >
    >> >http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1436-2001Nov22.html
    >I have just removed all Network Associates products from my workstations
    >and network servers, and will no longer recommend them to my clients
    >or readers.
    >I have taken this position because Network Associates, by rigging its
    >products not to detect tampering by specific parties of its choosing, has
    >betrayed users' trust and started a descent down a perilous, slippery
    >slope. Will the company next change its PGP ("Pretty Good Privacy")
    >software so that it contains back doors as well? Will its "Sniffer"
    >products be configured to ignore certain types of attacks and allow
    >selected parties onto customers' networks undetected, possibly hiding
    >illegal searches by freewheeling law enforcement personnel? Will its
    >"Magic Solutions" products, which allow remote control and maintenance
    >of user workstations, become a vector for the installation of spying
    >software by government snoops?
    >Just as disturbing as the company's breach of trust with its customers
    >is the prospect that others will exploit the back doors installed for
    >the benefit of government agencies.
    >Network Associates has shown that it is willing to compromise its
    >integrity by selling intentionally faulty products. For this reason,
    >it is no longer appropriate or wise for those concerned about the
    >security of their networks, systems, or confidential data to use them.
    >--Brett Glass
    >Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 12:47:23 -0800 (PST)
    >From: Lauren Weinstein <laurenat_private>
    >To: daveat_private
    >The latest very short "Fact Squad Radio" audio commentary deals with the
    >risks of the FBI's reported "Magic Lantern" project and similar systems.
    >The piece is called "The Spy in Your Computer?" and is available via:
    >    http://www.factsquad.org/radio
    >Thanks much.
    >Lauren Weinstein
    >laurenat_private or laurenat_private or laurenat_private
    >Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
    >Co-Founder, Fact Squad - http://www.factsquad.org
    >Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet
    >                      Cooperation and Analysis - http://www.uriica.org
    >Moderator, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
    >Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
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