Security unease as government buys software

Wednesday, 9 July 2003, 2:44 PM EST

The security agency, one of many federal supercomputer users that rely on Platform's software, typically keeps the identities of its employees under tight wraps. Gabrenya, who had just joined Platform as a salesman, found the names on a list of potential customer contacts for Platform's sales team. The discovery crystallized his growing concern that the company was perhaps too lax about the national security needs of its United States government customers, in the military, intelligence and research.

"Anyone who had an account on the system could see this list," Gabrenya recalled in a recent interview. "They shouldn't be seeing this information and I shouldn't be seeing it."

What really worried him, Gabrenya said, was that Platform, although based in Markham, Ontario, maintains a software maintenance and testing operation in Beijing--which he was not sure the company had made clear enough to its American government customers.

He repeatedly raised the concerns with Platform executives, who say his fears were unfounded. In March, Gabrenya, who had previously worked for nearly 10 years as a salesman for the supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics, was let go by Platform. The company said he had not met sales goals. Gabrenya said his whistle-blowing led to his dismissal.

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