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02.25.10

Microsoft Unleashes the Hounds on Google While Abusing the Law With Warrantless Spying

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Google, Law, Microsoft at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’m going to f—ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f—ing kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Steve Ballmer
He loves wiretapping!

Summary: Microsoft is intruding people’s private communications, reveal new policy leaks; the antitrust investigation against Google is blamed on the Microsoft lobby

MICROSOFT’S hate campaigns against Google have been aided by particular publications [1, 2] and it’s proving to be effective. Microsoft is scared of Google because it’s a direct threat to Microsoft on pretty much all fronts (E-mail, search, browser, mobile, operating systems, office suites, collaboration and so on).

The latest examples presented in this post would not be the first of their kind, nor will it be the first time that Microsoft targets Google in malicious and probably illegal ways. That’s just Microsoft’s nature.

“Microsoft is scared of Google because it’s a direct threat to Microsoft on pretty much all fronts (E-mail, search, browser, mobile, operating systems, office suites, collaboration and so on).”To give some previous examples, an ex-Microsoft manager produced an anti-Google study, Microsoft has had whisper campaigns against Google, it has had AstroTurf campaigns against Google, and it recently sued Google too (not just urged other companies to sue Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). Even the mainstream media covers this stuff.

In addition to all this, we know that Microsoft has been manufacturing abuse against competitors and critics, sometimes by spying on reporters. Microsoft is watching everything (with the help of peripheral agencies) even if it’s not obvious to see on the surface.

With the kind help of Bill Gates’ new friend lady Huffington [1, 2, 3, 4] (see the photos and remember that Murdoch is also a friend of Microsoft and their ally against Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]), Microsoft has pushed to make eavesdropping in datacentres a lot easier, but with or without the changes, Microsoft is intruding people’s private data to shut down an important Web site.

Microsoft Kills Watchdog Website Due to Leaked Documents

[...]

For example, in cases involving libel or trade secrets, said Cohn, “You go to court, you make a case and you get an injunction. You don’t just file a form. DMCA makes censorship easy.”

Cohn also noted she feels the reason Microsoft actually wants the document removed from the Web is because, for a large corporation with millions of users and an aggressive PR agenda, the document raises concerns and sparks conversations the company would rather not confront.

“It’s part of a very intense political debate about the role of intermediary companies like Microsoft aiding surveillance for law enforcement. It’s embarrassing for Microsoft for their users to see how much the people who carry their email have arrangements with law enforcement.

“All of the people who carry our communications are an easy conduit for our government to spy on us, and a lot of people are unhappy about that. It’s a legitimate public debate, and Microsoft doesn’t want to be part of that debate.”

We hope that Microsoft does, in fact, release their stranglehold on Young and his site and take part in a conversation with their users about how their data can be accessed by others, including law enforcement. We’ve reached out to them for comment and will update this post if and when we hear back.

Let us remember that Microsoft will always try to hide the evidence just as it tried burying Comes vs Microsoft exhibits. A former Microsoft lawyer decided to blow his whistle recently; he claims that Microsoft “routinely produces and/or condones deficient investigations, covers up alleged misconduct, mischaracterizes evidence, refuses to preserve or provide pertinent facts and data, protects the perpetrators and retaliates against victims.”

Well, a new document that can be seen here shows that despite Microsoft wanting to posses public data, including patient records [1, 2], Microsoft can only talk about “privacy” while at the same time violating privacy as a matter of policy. Here is Microsoft’s “spy guide” which got leaked just as Microsoft moved in to kill another leakers’ Web site.

We recently reported that a watchdog site, Cryptome, was removed from the Web for refusing to take down a copy of a Microsoft document.

This document, called the Microsoft Online Services Global Criminal Compliance Handbook, or “spy guide,” gives details on how law enforcement can grab user data from a wide range of Microsoft services, from Windows Live ID to Xbox Live to Hotmail. Microsoft holds and can reveal a huge amount of data on individuals through their social networking and file-sharing services, too. These data include IP addresses, credit cards, chat logs and much more.

How is that for a reminder that Microsoft — not Google — is a privacy/security offender? There is already “damage control” and a retreat by Microsoft (due to bad publicity).

Microsoft is said to be the cause for the antitrust challenge against Google in Europe. Here are some reports on the subject:

1. Is Microsoft behind Google legal challenge?

Internet search giant Google says complaints to the European Commission that it is using its dominanent position to reduce rivals’ visibility are funded indirectly by Microsoft.

Google claims the complaints against them in part derive from a lobbying body whose largest funder is Microsoft.

[...]

Foundem is a member of Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP), a Brussels-based lobbying group primarily funded by Microsoft, who have been historically critical of Google’s power.

2. EU Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google. Microsoft’s Fingerprints Are Everywhere.

Ciao (which is now called Ciao Bing) is the Microsoft-owned German shopping site making one of the complaints. Microsoft purchased them in 2008 for nearly $500 million. The others are Foundem, a UK-based shopping site, and EJustice.fr, a French site that does legal search inquiries. All three are claiming that Google’s search dominance is hurting their businesses. And Foundem is claiming that Google has placed a “search penalty” on its site, which has crippled it.

[...]

Update: Here’s a post on Google’s Public Policy Blog. Not surprisingly, Google makes quick note of both Ciao and Foundem’s ties to Microsoft.

3. European Commission Turns Magnifying Glass On Google

Holtz also hinted that a certain rival of Google’s might be behind much of this. Ciao! from Bing is owned by Microsoft, after all, and Foundem belongs to an organization (the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace) that’s sponsored by Microsoft.

Even Microsoft boosters link to Google’s explanation of this:

Regarding Ciao!, they were a long-time AdSense partner of Google’s, with whom we always had a good relationship. However, after Microsoft acquired Ciao! in 2008 (renaming it Ciao! from Bing) we started receiving complaints about our standard terms and conditions. They initially took their case to the German competition authority, but it now has been transferred to Brussels.

Now that Microsoft also attacks the Freedom of GNU/Linux through Amazon [1, 2, 3], Canonical’s COO Matt Asay says that Microsoft should try the same tricks against Google:

This week, Microsoft made its boldest move to date, signing yet another patent cross-licensing agreement with Amazon, calling out that this agreement allows Amazon to use Linux. Yes, Amazon sells its Linux-based Kindle device, but the agreement also covers Amazon’s use of Linux (presumably for the Amazon.com service, EC2, etc.), representing, as ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes, “the clearest indication so far from Microsoft that if you use Linux-based servers…you ow[e] them money.”

Oh, really?

If Microsoft has such an ironclad case in this matter, there’s just one thing to do:

Sue Google.

Google, after all, is the killer bee in Microsoft’s bonnet, one that Microsoft has been at pains to repel, and one that depends heavily on Linux. Google Search, Apps, Chrome OS, Android, etc. make heavy use of Linux, and threaten to topple the Redmond giant.

It would not work of course. But anyway, Microsoft is desperate as its business keeps declining [1, 2, 3, 4]. Windows is just trouble (cartoon) and even some of Microsoft’s former chiefs don’t believe in the company anymore:

The recent commentary by former Microsoft Executive Dick Brass regarding Microsoft’s loss of any innovative edge and the rebuttal by Frank Shaw, corporate vice president for corporate communications [“Microsoft’s creative destruction” and “Microsoft: A good idea isn’t enough,” Business, Feb. 8], was eerily reminiscent of Dilbert — a regular feature I read in the comics section of the paper.

[..]

On the one hand, we have a logical reconstruction of Microsoft’s miscues, articulated by a company insider with a credible perspective on the issues under discussion. On the other hand, we have a corporate executive striving to characterize the color black as actually only a misrepresentation of a slightly shaded color white.

Microsoft is neither black nor white. It’s neither “Good” nor “Evil”. It’s just truly criminal; it has always been like that. That’s just an objective statement.

“No other large companies as far as I know use their employees as attack dogs to silen[ce] dissent. It’s time for Microsoft to stop this nonsense.”

The Prickly Prince From Microsoft Strikes Again

George Walker Bush
Guess who else likes wiretapping?

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7 Comments

  1. Robotron 2084 said,

    February 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Gravatar

    ‘Microsoft is neither black nor white. It’s neither “Good” nor “Evil”.’

    Has Roy had a change of heart? A quick Google search using “Microsoft Evil” shows he not only calls Microsoft evil but also uses quotes from people who do.

  2. your_friend said,

    February 25, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft hates Google most because Google is a free software success story and the antithesis of Microsoft. Microsoft’s business model depends on censorship and control. Google’s mission is universal access to information. It is no surprise then, that Microsoft has now declared war on the internet itself.

    Microsoft has just been granted the ability to shut down web sites at will, using their own insecurity as an excuse. “Operation b49″ sought the take down of 300 web domains in a secret US Federal filing and it was granted. The excuse is that the domains were used as “command and control points” but anyone familiar with botnet control knows that they simply use IRC channels. The US federal government seems to think the only cure for the mess Windows makes of the internet is to grant Microsoft defacto censorship power. This power should be challenged immediately because it will be abused. Microsoft hates your freedom.

  3. Agent_Smith said,

    February 26, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Gravatar

    Micro$oft is truly a giant, but its feet are made of mud. And even if M$ is influent in US politics, so must be Google, as the old saying “Money Talks”. And, with the increasing numbers of Google, i believe their incomes are equal, if not greater than M$’s…
    So, even with M$ putting roadblocks in the path of Google, i doubt they will “F…ing bury Google…”.
    Goliath was also a giant, and was defeated by the humble David…
    But these unresting situations really raise concern among the users of the good and reliable services of Google, things M$ could not be even in it’s wildest dreams (to have good and reliable services, that is…)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    For several years now, Microsoft has attempted to daemonise Google. To quote a major journal from memory (2006/2007), “Microsoft has been trying to portray Google as an evil empire as nothing else worked.”

  4. your_friend said,

    February 26, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Gravatar

    Bruce Scheiner claims Google created a back door for the US Governement He does not give details or links for this highly controversial claim but it will be widely repeated. BN’s research showing that the Chinese breakins were a result of Windows problems is not entirely contradictory. Google may have made their backdoor on Windows rather than their own systems. The issue is worth watching.

    People should have the freedom to run their own services. That would cut the problems drastically. There’s a limit to how much anyone should trust in the hands of third parties. Software freedom is the necessary precondition for real user privacy.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Bruce Schneier publicly retracted that claim which he made in CNN.

  5. uberVU - social comments said,

    February 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #Microsoft Unleashes the Hounds on #Google While Abusing the Law with Warrantless Spying http://ur1.ca/nkuk

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