While some of us are likely to associate the US National Security Agency (NSA) with daydreams of espionage, the organisation is also highly involved in improving security standards in software. They've even consulted with Microsoft during the development of Windows 7.
According to the NSA's Information Assurance Director, Richard Schaeffer, it's important for the agency to work with Microsoft and other software makers because otherwise the increasing reliance on "private-sector computing products" could put national security at risk. By creating and maintaining high security standards, the agency hopes to reduce the danger of the "rising threat of cyberattacks". Whew. That actually sounds quite reasonable and like a good thing, rather than cause to panic after seeing "NSA" and "Microsoft" in the same sentence. [NPR via Crunch Gear]