“Wanna Cry” was just the latest wake-up call: the cyber attack with the blackmail Trojan hit hundreds of thousands of computers in over 100 countries in May 2017. But how can only one malware program paralyze companies, hospitals and even intelligence services all over the world at the same time? The answer has a name: Microsoft.
A film by Harald Schumann and Árpád Bondy
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Many state and public administrations from Helsinki to Lisbon operate with the software of the US corporation. It makes them vulnerable for hackers and spies, violates European public procurement law, blocks technical progress and costs Europe dearly.
Harald Schumann and his Investigate Europe research team have spoken to insiders and managers throughout Europe about this. Martin Schallbruch, the former head of IT at the German Government, reports how the states are becoming increasingly dependent on Microsoft. A top Dutch lawyer describes how the EU Commission and governments are violating European procurement law. In France, the Ministry of Defence has bypassed parliament in concluding secret contracts with Microsoft, so Senator Joelie Garriaud-Maylam now wants to set up a committee of inquiry. The Hamburg data protection officer Johannes Caspar warns that the Microsoft systems could expose private data of citizens to investigation by the US secret services. Internal documents prove that the Federal Office for Information Security shares this mistrust.
Both the European Parliament and the German Bundestag have therefore repeatedly called for state IT systems to be converted to open source software that can be tested by Europe’s own security authorities. Italy’s army has also begun this change, tells Italian general Camillo Sileo. The same is true for police authorities in France and Lithuania or the cities of Rome and Barcelona. But why do most governments oppose against the alternatives, or even – as in the case of the city of Munich – return into the arms of the monopolist Microsoft? Andrup Ansip, EU Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and other stakeholders face the questions.