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Tech Exec fired for criticizing Microsoft

Well it looks like the MS gestapo is at it again:

"A technology executive whose company does business with Microsoft Corp. has been forced out of his job after he helped write a cybersecurity report critical of the software giant, according to sources with knowledge of the situation."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1804&e=17&u=/washpost/a2328_2003sep25

Wow!

Dennis Atkins
Friday, September 26, 2003

It makes a nice conspiracy story, but the reality looks like there was one guy who was a bit of a loose cannon, and had certain agendas which his employers disagreed with on intellectual - not corporate - grounds.

There's a lot more to security than saying it's all Microsoft's fault. I would sack him too.


Friday, September 26, 2003

I wouldn't sack him because he criticised Microsoft, but because his analysis was superficial.


Friday, September 26, 2003

He got fired because he criticized his company's main client.  The fact that he criticized his company's main client indicates he had morals.  Maybe not a lot of tact, but morals nonetheless.


Friday, September 26, 2003

I was going to say the only thing he was guilty of was bad business sense.  Then I realized that I thought doing the right thing meant bad business.

risk taker
Friday, September 26, 2003

> He got fired because he criticized his company's main client. 

This is the superficial interpretation and the one that makes a great story. Howevever there are other interpretations. It doesn't seem a very solid report.

I would expect this guy probalby had regular arguments or differences with his colleagues there, and his participation in, and leadership of, this weak report was like a final act of not just poor analysis, but also subordination.

Who cares
Friday, September 26, 2003

"It doesn't seem a very solid report"

Another head in the sand Microsoft bigot.

When will you learn
Friday, September 26, 2003

BTW he was the founder and CEO.

Mike
Friday, September 26, 2003

News reports call him the CTO ( chief technology officer. ) Given that there is also an R&D director, and the firm is not a big corporate user, I suspect the CTO may be a relatively unimportant role.

Who cares
Friday, September 26, 2003

I don't think Microsoft overtly asked them to fire the guy (for stating the obvious and getting lobbyists to distribute it), but some MS employee had to state their displeasure, and whatshisname's company clearly saw the short-term threat to revenues.

There is a freedom of speech, but that's only a promise from the federal government, not corporations.

name withheld out of self-preservation
Friday, September 26, 2003

This is what my sales buddies mean when they say geeks don't understand business.

People, you just don't publicly criticize your biggest client.  It doesn't help the bottom line.


Saturday, September 27, 2003

Ok, take of your Microsoft blinders and consider the situation if Coke's CEO stated he truly preferred Pepsi, but frankly thought that soda was evil and bad for kids.  Or how about a lawyer publically stating that his client was guilty...

It may be the truth, but publicizing it is hardly the right thing to do.  If you dont believe in what your organization is doing, you shouldnt be working there. 

In this case the problem has fixed itself.

I like Coke AND Pepsi equally
Saturday, September 27, 2003

Well, martyring the whistle-blower is bad for Microsoft and good for him, since he'll likely find a job elsewhere... and has free publicity.  Many won't want to hire a whistle-blower, but he'll probably land ok.

name withheld out of self-preservation
Saturday, September 27, 2003

For those interested, the report is here:

http://www.ccianet.org/papers/cyberinsecurity.pdf

Frederic Faure
Saturday, September 27, 2003

If anyone wants to talk about conspiracy and bias, have a look at the crowd that published the report. Microsoft this, Microsoft that, Microsoft are nasty, ....

http://www.ccianet.org/index.php3

Who cares
Saturday, September 27, 2003

Also have a look at http://www.ccianet.org/membership.php3

and who do we see there? Well known "friends" of Microsoft like Sun, Oracle and AOL.

I think think this CCIA one of these bodies that's just cranck out reports that contain whatever their sponsors/members want to made public by a seemingly independent organization. (Microsoft has a few of them as well). Those reports have no value at all, it's just rewriting the (political) arguments of the sponsors into something that sounds objective (and CCIA didn't even do a good job at sounding objective).

Jacco
Sunday, September 28, 2003

They're lobbyists.  The authors (Schneier, et al) don't have the resources of their own, so they used the Washington machinery of companies like Sun and Oracle.

Obviously the CCIA did this of their own interest, but are people claiming they paid off the well-known authors to possibly dirty their names?  That sounds like a big charge.

name withheld out of self-preservation
Sunday, September 28, 2003

If I had a company, and an employee of mine criticized like that one of my customers, I would have done exactly the same thing!

G
Sunday, September 28, 2003

> are people claiming they paid off the well-known authors to possibly dirty their names?  That sounds like a big charge.

First, if you commission a report on the security problems of a software monopoly, do you think the outcome or the target is in any doubt.

Second, there are heaps of authorities with interests aligned with CCIA who can be enlisted to write such a report.

Third, the fact that Geers - the guy sacked by At Stake - even participated in such a loaded exercise reveals a strong anti-Microsoft attitude that probably caused numerous issues while he was at AtStake.

Who cares
Sunday, September 28, 2003

"Those reports have no value at all"

Yeah, when they said there are security risks inherent in using MS software, it was all a despicable lie without any basis. Just a bunch of politics. MS operating systems and software are THE most secure and reliable products available. The so-called "Reports" of problems so far are just lies and propaganda. The few cases where there was a 'security' issue is really where the user was so stupid they never should have been allowed to have a computer in the first place.

Michael K. Bryor
Sunday, September 28, 2003

Yeah, that's right. Barn, aim at, fire.

Who cares
Sunday, September 28, 2003

I was amazed someone like Bruce Schneier, who seems otherwise generally levelheaded, lend his name to such drivel. While I grnerally agree with some of the points made in the report, its selective targetting turns this into an impossible to rescue farce.
If the authors main concern is vulnerability through uniformity, I guess their primary systemic target of critisism should be the rise of Open Source Software, since this system is the only one truly building a monoculture by design (100 brands, 1 codebase) as opposed to side-effect of success.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, September 29, 2003

Well, if I had to choose between taking security advice from someone at this forum, or from Dan Greer (the person who was fired), I would choose the latter any time.

BC
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

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