The Plot Thickens: China Continues to Ban Stuff, But Now the U.S. Gives Them Reason, Courtesy N.S.A

Windows 8 interface, the face of many problems. (Jobin RV /
Windows 8 interface, the face of many problems. (Jobin RV /

Up to 95% of of computers in Chinese governmental organizations use Windows XP. Yet now that servicing for XP has ended, those computers won’t be running the new Windows 8. China has banned the system from use in government agencies.

Fundamentally, the reason may be that the Chinese government wants its own operating system (OS) instead of relying on Microsoft. Strengthening its cyber-security has become a national security issue for China. By relying on Microsoft’s software, the government fears that Windows 8 could be exploited to spy on computers that run it. In fact, the German government advised its agencies against using Windows 8 due to a feature that allows Microsoft to remotely control computers running the program. The Snowden documents showed that Microsoft worked with the N.S.A. to allow it to monitor communications on their platforms.

Developing its own OS would give the Chinese complete control and independence over their cyber-security in this realm. As of now, there are several linux-based alternatives that are in the works in China, though none has yet to see wide implementation.

Furthermore, if the N.S.A. is capable of spying on computers through an operating system, do you think the Chinese may want to get the same access? Time will tell.  What do you think?

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