Did Microsoft Pay for Open-Source Scare?

The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (ADTI), a libertarian think tank that gets part of its funding from Microsoft, has issued a new white paper that seems calculated to tell computer buyers, "If you are not with Microsoft, you are with the terrorists." Some government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, are considering moving away from Microsoft's proprietary products toward open source operating software such as Linux. In a news release, the ADTI says, "Terrorists trying to hack or disrupt U.S. computer networks might find it easier if the federal government attempts to switch to 'open source' as some groups propose." This argument has drawn contempt from computer geek Thomas Greene, who points out that "the most significant holes, worms and viruses affect only Microsoft products." (Ironically, the ADTI website itself uses open-source Apache software.)