Diversity Paper Author Speaks To eWeek About His Firing

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Dan Geer coauthored a paper on computing diversity published by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Many in the IT industry considered it to be an industry shaking paper because it declared that computing environments of a single type, as are those consisting only of Microsoft Windows machines, are far more vulnerable to viral attacks than those environment that feature diversified platforms and operating systems.

Mr. Geer was the CTO of @stake Inc., a digital security company. iWasi is the operative word because Mr. Geer was fired from his position at @stake immediately after the paper was published, presumably because of that published position on Microsoft, one of @stakeis prime customers. Recently, Mr. Geer talked to eWeek about his dismissal. From the article iSecurity Expert Geer Sounds Off on Dismissal:

Software diversity in the name of security is by no means a new idea, but Geer and the other authors are all very visible in the high-tech industry, especially within the security community, and their opinions carry a certain weight. However, Geer said Monday that the opinions in the paper were no more controversial or edgy than many of the things heis said in speeches, interviews and other papers during his time with @stake.

"People say that if he was surprised [by being fired], heis an idiot. Well, I was surprised in this sense: I do this kind of thing all the time," Geer said in an interview from his home. "My job was to be out in front far enough that a company the size of @stake could be at the front of an industry like this."

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has used @stakeis services for several years. Officials at @stake, in Cambridge, Mass., flatly deny any connection between this fact and Geeris firing and say that no one from Microsoft influenced their decision whatsoever.

But Geer isnit convinced. The company said Geeris last day as an employee was Tuesday, but the announcement wasnit made until Thursday, the day after the paper was published. Geer went on a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning and identified himself as an @stake employee and added that the opinions in the paper were his own and not the companyis.

"The Venn diagram of facts doesnit intersect. The intersection of all of those statements is the null set," Geer said.

Mr. Geer talks more about the controversial paper he coauthored and his time at @stake Inc in the full article at eWeek.

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