A CARELESS mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency have been secretly built into Windows. The NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA “help information” [local] trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.
This seems to be a repost. Google returns articles on the topic dating as far back at 1999, so presumably this was discovered in 1997, and Wikipedia claims the Lotus thing happened in 1997, which would put the first discovery of this thing in 1995, so it’s entirely possible this problem was both short-lived and mostly contained to versions of Windows so old nobody uses them anymore at this point, if it was a problem at all.
The bit about Windows 2000 makes it seem like an update to the older article, but Windows 2000 came out seven years ago as well.
Reposting it now, especially without context or date, mostly seems intended to dissuade people from switching to Vista. There are plenty of valid reasons not to “upgrade”, so bringing up a decade-old possibly-moot argument seems lazy.
Either way, it’s intriguing. Does anyone have more information on this?