EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.27.10

Microsoft to Spy on Indians, Bank Accounts, Health Records (and Conduct Profiling of Customers)

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search, Windows at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.”

Bruce Schneier

Summary: Microsoft is gaining access to systems it must not be allowed into due to misuse of power and a criminal background

Microsoft loves to accuse Google of privacy issues and other perceived issues (Bill Gates is apparently doing a special media tour about it) while praying that people will not realise that Microsoft is far, far worse. Microsoft even tracks people on their own desktops and it gets worse and worse in every new version of Windows (soon to be in Ubuntu too, unless they walk away from that tactless Yahoo! deal which has new GNU/Linux installations ‘phone home’ to Microsoft). We explained the dangers of this last month.

Last year we shed light on how Microsoft was trying to take control of Indian people through corruptible bodies such as NASSCOM [1, 2, 3, 4]. Will they let a convicted monopolist from abroad manage the population? Well, they just have.

India to roll out Microsoft ID system in August

The Indian government is set to roll out the first phase of its ambitious ID scheme as early as this year, it has emerged. And it will be helped by Microsoft.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project will see more involvement from private IT giants. Ex-Infosys boss, Nandan Nilekani, is heading this huge project of providing unique identification to more than a billion people. Microsoft Research will take an active part in executing the project.

Ah! Infosys again. Microsoft’s biggest shill in India [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15].

This is a disastrous decision that comes amid other current attempts by Microsoft to derail India’s policy in order to illegalise/marginalise Free software [1, 2, 3]. The many aggressive moves from Microsoft in India (especially recently) indicate that India has a bright future, but Microsoft is trying to control this future and thus make it grimmer. Microsoft is just trying to possess the nation’s ICT for lock-in — not technical merit — that secures some future revenue. Red Hat should vigourously protest against this decision and explain to the government how lock-in works (Red Hat is probably in the best position to do so). It sometimes pays off to dump or to even bribe to acquire lock-in and that might be Microsoft’s strategy here. Microsoft has ‘pulled an EDGI’ several times in India.

Microsoft also wants to control people’s medical profiles, which are very private and sensitive. Microsoft is now creating events that resemble AstroTurf (as opposes to grassroots) to advance this agenda. From a new press release:

Steve Aylward, GM of Microsoft Health and Life Sciences, Announced as ShareFEST Keynote Speaker

ShareFEST announced today that Steve Aylward, general manager, U.S. Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft Corporation will be the keynote speaker at ShareFEST 2010, the conference focused exclusively on the use of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server in the life sciences industry.

Steve Ballmer is already going on a tour to promote this agenda as well. From the news:

Nashville health leaders to meet with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer this week

[...]

Ballmer’s trip — part of a multi-city tour — comes as Microsoft tries to focus more on crafting tech solutions for specific industries such as health care, financial services and retail, said Katherine R. Egbert, a Jefferies & Co. stock analyst in San Francisco.

Yes, it says “financial services and retail”. The investment vehicle called “Gates Foundation” is also investing in massive chains of retailers (JJB is just one example). It’s all about profit and control.

“More control means more leverage.”The British health services at the NHS are already a victim of Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], but patient data from the NHS is not stored on Microsoft’s own servers. Microsoft would love to change that. More control means more leverage.

We previously wrote about bankers and Microsoft’s relationship with them (examples from recent months can be found in [1, 2, 3, 4]). We also wrote about Microsoft and Citigroup, later to mention them again in a separate context. Microsoft is still collaborating with big banks (including those responsible for robbing the US and global economy) and a new bundle is coming from Citigroup and Microsoft. But what’s more curious is this new dangerous step where Microsoft is trying to store records of people’s bank accounts too (and having access to people’s bank details). It’s getting together with its competition.

Sometime-rivals Intuit and Microsoft are now partners in an effort to encourage software developers to use technology from the two companies to create Web-based applications for small businesses that run QuickBooks.

Web-based QuickBooks would means that financial data is stored on the server. Hello, Microsoft? We already know that Microsoft engages in McCarthyism.

The scariest part through is not mere access that Microsoft is gaining to all sorts of personal details; Microsoft and Intel are now joining forces and profiling users. This is a privacy hazard:

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) have created technology that will allow signs in stores to detect a customer’s gender and which products a shopper looks at.

It gets worse. They are learning people’s habits and together with ID information, bank accounts, and even health records, what can’t Microsoft do? This abuse of power is done with the company that helped Microsoft fight against OLPC (because it used GNU/Linux and AMD chips).

“Gates looks at everything as something that should be his. He acts in any way he can to make it his. It can be an idea, market share, or a contract. There is not an ounce of conscientiousness or compassion in him. The notion of fairness means nothing to him. The only thing he understands is leverage.”

Philippe Kahn, Founder and former CEO of Borland

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Chips B. Malroy said,

    January 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Gravatar

    I have to agree that MS is by far the worse multinational corporation as far as spying on people (customers). It is also a company that clearly values money more than freedom for people, looking at the Google vs China debate where MS clearly comes down without a problem with censorship. But Bing is another example of censorship of data in general with its skewed results, which really are not a bug. What is more distressing, is the motive behind the clear distortion of the Bing search results.

    Google does not do everything right, but the community needs to understand just how far worse MS is than Google. There is really very little comparison. M$ is the enemy, those that fail to understand that, will be doomed by it. As far as Google goes, the saying: “The enemy of my enemy, is also my friend,” should apply. Not that Google is bad, mostly they do good as a company.

    So Gates is out there on a “screw Google” campaign? Maybe he wants publicity as he wants to come back and run MS, as Ballmer is clearly not popular with stockholders these days?

    The money report on the quarter should come out soon. The figure I seen was an 7% increase over last years same quarter which was really bad, and an increase over same quarter of 24% in general of new computer sales with windows on them. It was the Xmas season, and the small increase of profits, compared to the total increase in sales, relates to Netbooks (cheaper computer sold) with low cost XP home or Seven Starter be dumped on them.

  2. RimZi said,

    January 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Roy,

    I’ve always wondered and wanted to ask you, why is your site named “boycott novell”, but not “boycott microsoft”. IMHO, it would make much more sense.

    Novell is just a pawn in this game. Nothing more. If it’s gone, a new pawn will be found – just as it was with SCO.

    I am eager to read your answer :)

    Thanks, RimZi

    P.S. I think a little less harsh tone on some of your articles will surely increase the credibility of your, well, opinion :)

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Gravatar

    I didn’t choose the site’s name and I mostly agree with what you say.

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  2. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  3. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  5. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  6. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  7. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  8. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  9. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  10. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  11. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  12. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  14. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  16. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  17. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  18. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  19. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  20. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  21. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  22. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  23. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  25. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  27. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  28. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  29. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  30. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts