Friday, January 20, 2006

Inside the WMF Backdoor

One of the things that distinguishes "us" from "them" is our emphasis on facts, logic and integrity. Dishonesty has many faces and I try hard to ensure that one of them is not my own. We try to present evidence which is composed of "true facts" -- an expression that should be redundant. We make some effort to check out their validity and then present them honestly and completely to better inform the debate. We don't lie, twist, trick nor obfuscate.

However, we don't always get it right and that, while understandable, does require some follow up because we're trying to get the record straight, not to win our argument. It is dishonest to make stuff up, but it's also dishonest to present facts in a such way as to deliberately confuse others. Finally, there is a certain amount of dishonesty in presenting only a select few facts. That's why we are admonished to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

In keeping with these principles, I want to follow up on a subject I mentioned earlier. For the record, I believe I originally presented it as an unproven theory with appropriate caveats. But, having since found more information I believe I have an obligation to share. Regardless of how much fun it is to bash Microsoft, I am constrained by my principles.

Mark Russinovich has a lot of "street cred" regarding Microsoft internals with the added credibility of not being a Microsoft employee. He concludes: "The bottom line is that I'm convinced that this behavior, while intentional, is not a secret backdoor".

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