China Adopts Microsoft Security Program

Program gives Chinese government access to Windows source code and prescriptive guidance on security assurance.

The Chinese government on Thursday signed up for Microsofts recently announced Government Security Program, which gives it access to Windows source code and prescriptive guidance on security assurance.

Last month, Microsoft announced a new global initiative to provide governments around the world with access to Windows source code under the GSP security program, which was designed to "address the unique security requirements of governments and international organizations throughout the world.

"We view governments that utilize our software as trusted partners. The GSP will provide governments with the opportunity to assess the security and integrity of the Microsoft products they deploy…We are also providing technical documentation, methods for troubleshooting, access to cryptographic tools subject to export controls, and access to Microsoft expert support technicians who can collaborate with governments on how they use this source code access," Microsofts chief technology officer Craig Mundie said at that time.

China joins the U.K., Russia and NATO as the first participants in the program, while Microsoft is talking to more than 30 other countries about their interest in the program.

On Thursday, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates briefed Chinese President Jiang Zemin on the GSP agreement signed between the two parties during his visit to China. "As a government customer and trusted partner, we are committed to providing the Chinese government with information that will help them deploy and maintain secure computing infrastructures. We see this agreement as a significant step forward in Microsofts relations with the Chinese government," he said in a statement released on Friday.

Dr. Wu ShiZhong, director of the China Information Technology Security Certification Center, said in a statement that information technology security is a key issue for the Chinese government as part of the process of information transfer. "Microsofts GSP provides us with the controlled access to source code and technical information in an appropriate way," he said.