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Win-XP as terrorist tool story contradicted

Vulture victim bites back in the best way

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Computer forensics specialist Michael Anderson, who we suspected of exaggerating the threat of Win-XP's secure file-wipe feature for personal gain, contacted us to contradict our reading of his position.

Briefly, the forensics outfit (New Technologies) president had gone on record denouncing the secure file-wipe feature in Win-XP Pro as a feature that will "make it impossible for federal agents and law enforcement to find and reconstruct digital evidence buried on computers, particularly those seized from terrorists."

He recommends that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) force a delay of the 'XP launch until law enforcement can figure out a dodge against it.

In that we smelled a conflict of interest. The man sells forensics tools, after all, and their effectiveness is sorely threatened by an OS featuring a default wipe of deleted files.

We said he'd have to be "a damnable bastard for trading on the WTC outrage to muscle the DoJ into accommodating his rickety cash cow."

Which he would.

Only Anderson insists that his sole motive here is the law-enforcement angle. He can't prove it and we can't verify it, but he's taken pains to assert it.

What I like here is that Anderson has not whined; has not accused us of calumny; has not defensively retreated to communication by means of some babbling, well-scrubbed flack.

He handled it instead in a most manly fashion -- which gains points with me any day. He e-mailed and simply said that I'd read him wrong. I replied with my phone number, and we talked.

OK, I like the guy. I can't say he's right -- only he and God know his true beliefs and motives; but I am a sucker for a man who can take a hard shot and keep his cool.

Whether I pegged him or not, it's been a delightful experience. I look forward to attacking him again at the earliest opportunity. ®

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