Summary: The incestuous relationship between Microsoft Corporation and the US government rears its ugly head again
Microsoft’s proximity to the government’s security bureaucrats is an issue we explored before, with obvious evidence such as Microsoft managers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [1, 2]. In general, Microsoft’s impact on current American politics is too easy to see (Obama and Silverlight, anyone?) and the back doors in Microsoft’s software [1, 2] may as well be token of that.
The following new press release is very funny. Microsoft is granted — wait for it — a “Freedom Award”.
The “Freedom” company.
Who was this award given by? It’s the Office of Secretary of Defense. From the press release.
Microsoft Recognized by the Office of Secretary of Defense With Freedom Award
Joining 14 other companies from around the country, Microsoft Corp. is being honored in Washington this week by President Barack Obama and Secretary Robert Gates as a top supporter of the National Guard and Reserve. Today, the diverse set of companies, chosen from among a record 3,200 National Guard and Reserve member nominations of employers, will each receive a 2009 Employer Support Freedom Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Robert Youngjohns, president of Microsoft North America, will accept the award for Microsoft during an award ceremony to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington.
Let us remember that Bill Gates and Obama are no strangers. In fact, Gates paid Obama and that’s just how politics work. The above “award” is something for Microsoft to brag about to clients, pretending it can deliver security. It’s like a publicity stunt that ignores reality.
To make matters worse, Microsoft now intervenes with government finances. It wants to manage the bailout money (public looting by banks), which is not particularly surprising [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is the press release from Monday.
BNY Mellon and Microsoft Corp. Launch New Solution to State and Local Governments for Managing Stimulus Funds
BNY Mellon today announced it has executed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to bring to market a solution for project fund administration, tracking and reporting to aid state and local governments with their requirements related to the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
There is some more coverage of this, but it all neglects to mention the irony of putting a convicted monopoly in such a position where it gets to converge with the government. Microsoft has already abused taxpayers’ money to build a bridge for itself, leading to great controversy. █