I must confess I find this concept of a backdoor of this nature to be nonsense. Just like cryptographic export restrictions in the late 90's, there will always be a way to get the software you need to protect yourself. The export restrictions were lifted not because the US government suddenly had a change of heart and discovered protecting personal data was a good thing, but because they figured out the hard way that the rest of the world was going to create and use whatever encryption they needed with or without the US' involvement: either the US government could maintain some limited influence, or they could have none. Plenty of companies already make software to encrypt the data on hard drives (utimaco and others come to mind). Some of these companies are European, few are based in the US or the UK. With regard to intel gathering, any surveillance or early discovery will be as invisible as possible. The best way to do this is to find flaws and notify Microsoft about some of them but not all. Rather conveniently, both the UK and US government already have access to the source code for Windows. The retained exploits would be retained for intelligence use until such time as they become a liability (ie when the exploit is publicly discovered and exploited, putting their own systems at risk). The advantage of this approach is that even with a warrant for the search/discovery, they don't even need to damage the lock on your door and you'll never know they were there.