A ROW HAS BROKEN out in the Middle East over whether Microsoft has special software designed for the Israeli government which tracks Arabian users of the Interweb. Earlier this month, we reported on a deal Microsoft and the Israel defence establishment signed. See Israel defence establishment signs up to Microsoft.
That deal – worth around $21.25 million was largely financed by US aid, our report said at the time. Saudi Arabian English daily, the Arab News, today quotes the Microsoft Arabia marketing manager, Fahd Al-Sudaihri, as claiming that his firm does not develop "software programs especially for military purposes".
But he left the door open to that possibility, saying it has no restrictions against using its software in this way.
The Microsoft battle systems used by some top end US Navy warships are probably tweaked by military software engineers – who presumably have access to the source code, no problem.The allegation is that Israel has tracked Arabian Web sites using "special software" from Microsoft – a report which Al-Sudairi described as "fabricated and entirely baseless".
News source: The Inq