Microsoft Corporation on Friday denied an incredible accusation that it had inserted a "backdoor" into its Windows operating systems so that the U.S. government could snoop on users and gain access to their private information and data. The charge--brought by a Canadian man who mistook an "NSA digital signing key" for some sort of collusion between Microsoft and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)--would surely not have been so highly publicized just a few short years ago. But it's easy to get press these days by accusing the software giant of anything related to security, and this is a wonderful example.

"These are just used to ensure that we're compliant with U.S. export regulations,'' explained Scott Culp, Microsoft's Windows NT Server security manager. "We have not shared the private keys. We do not share our keys.''

Culp described the claims, originally made by an Ontario man, as "completely false."