China goes on the offensive, says Windows 8 could be used to monitor users

China goes on the offensive, says Windows 8 could be used to monitor users

China has made no secret of the fact it does not like Windows 8, having previously banned the operating system from governmental computers. Now things have been taken to the next level with academics deriding the OS on national television, claiming it is a security risk.

The country’s concern center around the security of Windows 8, with Ni Guangnam saying “Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis. The US has a law that requires anyone that has this data to report to the government. The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries.”

Yang Min from Fudan University explained things a little more. “Microsoft would no longer open its Windows 8 source code to the Chinese government, however the security scheme of the Windows 8 operating system is designed to provide better access for Microsoft to users’ database. For China it’s a big challenge for our cybersecurity.”

China is a huge market with millions and millions of potential customers, and Microsoft will be keen to allay any fears that citizens might have about Windows 8. At the same time, the company will want to avoid any heated exchanges of word with the Chinese government for fear of souring future operations.

It is not clear whether this is scaremongering on the half of the government in a big effort to push users towards homegrown alternatives to Windows 8, or whether China has serious misgivings about the security of the operating system.

You can check out the TV footage at the CCTV link below.

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