Let’s face it. Last few months have changed the way we used to think about the internet. We used to think that our interaction and communication with the world was safe and could never be compromised. There was a feeling of privacy in anything and everything we did on the internet. We never thought the services we rely upon every day, be it Microsoft products or Google web services will ever let anyone sneak peek into the users data, at least without their consent anyway. PRISM and NSA changed everything.
We all have tons of questions we would like those services to answer. Bits of Freedom, an independent organization come in existence to protect our digital rights has started investigating and teaming up with companies who share same belief. Recently they presented the similar set of questionnaire in front of the popular Japanese software security firm Trend Micro. Let’s take a look at what things did Bits of Freedom ask and what Trend Micro had to say about them.
When asked if they (Trend Micro) have ever detected any government spying tool while scanning systems, Trend Micro confessed about discovering such tools. Bits of Freedom then asked if they had been approached or requested by any government regarding their surveillance tools, and if so, whether Trend Micro entertained those requests. Trend Micro denied such cases, and said even if they receive such requests they will never comply with it.
Raimund Genes, Chief Security Officer at Trend Micro utilized this opportunity to address the users and explain their policy and sophistication of their security suites. He said,
Trend Micro’s products have no backdoors, key escrows, or other mechanisms that would enable government agencies, or third-parties, to directly access data.
Trend Micro is truly a global company in terms of our people, locations, operations and most of all perspective. We work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. But, we do so for the sole purpose of protecting our customers from malicious and unwanted software. We would never comply with requests that could compromise customers’ trust in us. It runs contrary to our belief system and why we are in business in the first place.
You can find the entire conversation here, and have a look at the original request information from Bits of Freedom here [PDF].