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

12.02.10

Wikileaks Reveals Microsoft Involvement in US Security Policy

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Wikileaks and Microsoft discussed, especially in the context of security

OUR daily links this week have been filled with reports about Wikileaks. That site’s fate is important to us because we too host material from close to 10,000 confidential Microsoft documents. It’s not about whether Wikileaks is “irresponsible” or not; it is about freedom of information and freedom of speech.

One new Wikileaks leak caught our attention because it speaks about the Iraq war (invasion in some people’s eyes) and it says that “Karim Ramadan (Microsoft) praised the historic role of USAID in Egypt” (we have mentioned USAID in relation to the Gates Foundation as USAID is accommodated by former Gates Foundation staff [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]).

“Those leaks just provide some more evidence to back the obvious.”This post is not about foreign policy or about USAID, but the point to be made is that Microsoft is involved in politics, even quite directly. Those leaks just provide some more evidence to back the obvious. Wikileaks is merely a messenger/host as the material is raw. And speaking of which, Julian Assange is the author/co-author of surfraw (Free software and Debian/GNU assist transparency and affect politics).

How far will the world go with so much sensitive information available to everyone (bar censorship, e.g. in China)? Amazon has been pressured by US politicians to kick Wikileaks out, Google is slowly indexing the latest leaks (that’s how we found the Microsoft mention), and as for Microsoft… well, based on search at this moment it only indexed 46 pages from cablegate.wikileaks.org whereas Google did well over a thousand. Does anyone take Bong [sic] seriously at all? Microsoft only gets users by paying for them and it comes at a cost of like $3 billions in losses online per year. Having indirectly ensured that even fast boot Linux software like Express Gate depends on Windows, the company is now signing a deal with SplashTop to put Bong [sic] search/toolbar in it, as Phoronix helps reveal:

It was precisely one month ago I was wondering what happened to SplashTop and found the company that we jump-started by our first-in-the-world coverage was still pushing out their instant-on Linux OS to various OEM vendors but they have lost their roots of using the Linux environment embedded on a motherboard’s flash chip to instead being nestled away on the user’s hard drive, which defeats much of its uniqueness and benefits (not to mention it was hacked by Phoronix readers). SplashTop, which was formerly named DeviceVM before the company took up the same name as their premiere product, also started pushing out Apple iPad applications in recent months. Today the company is announcing another set of peculiar changes to their instant-on Linux OS.

[...]

Today’s SplashTop announcements can be read on their blog. There’s also the SplashTop beta page for installing the beta version of their Bing+Chromium-ified SplashTop OS, but it must be installed via Microsoft Windows.

Fortunately the world is heading towards Linux on a large proportion of newly-sold PCs (even if just in the form of fast-booting OS). Schneier believes that software monoculture (monopoly) contributes to the reality where one in two Windows PCs is estimated to be a zombie PC. As Schneier explains right now:

The basic problem with a monoculture is that it’s all vulnerable to the same attack. The Irish Potato Famine of 1845–9 is perhaps the most famous monoculture-related disaster. The Irish planted only one variety of potato, and the genetically identical potatoes succumbed to a rot caused by Phytophthora infestans. Compare that with the diversity of potatoes traditionally grown in South America, each one adapted to the particular soil and climate of its home, and you can see the security value in heterogeneity.

Similar risks exist in networked computer systems. If everyone is using the same operating system or the same applications software or the same networking protocol, and a security vulnerability is discovered in that OS or software or protocol, a single exploit can affect everyone. This is the problem of large-scale Internet worms: many have affected millions of computers on the Internet.

Can Schneier name that “same operating system” or would that have him risk the label “Microsoft hater” [1, 2, 3]? In any event, now that Microsoft’s Charney lobbies to change security legislation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12], the above leak is worth remembering.

Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier photo by sfllaw

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

A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    December 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Gravatar

    “Can Schneier name that “same operating system” or would that have him risk the label “Microsoft hater” [1, 2, 3]?”

    But that is his point precisely. It doesn’t matter which operating system it is – although right now it is microsoft windows – it is that mono-cultures are weak and vulnerable, and diversity is strong.

What Else is New


  1. 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



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  3. 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.



  4. 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?



  5. 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



  6. 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



  7. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  8. Is Linux Foundation a Microsoft Branch Now?

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF) nowadays helps Microsoft cement its monopoly — the very opposite of what ages ago it said the LF would do



  9. Are Songs Property? And Maths Also Property? Artificial Monopolies Are Not Property...

    Patent maximalists continue to face stronger arguments from their sceptics, who rightly allege that words are being intentionally misused and numbers fabricated so as to distort underlying facts



  10. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  12. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  14. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  16. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  17. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  18. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  20. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  21. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend



  22. Today's EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

    Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 14, 2020



  24. One Need Only Look at ZDNet's 'Linux' Section to Understand It's a Microsoft Propaganda Operation

    A timely new snapshot (or screenshot) that demonstrates what ZDNet became after hiring Microsoft employees as ‘journalists’ and censoring on behalf of Microsoft, defaming Free software figures and so on



  25. Links 14/2/2020: New Release of KStars, OpenSSH 8.2, Rhythmbox 3.4.4, Flatpak 1.6.2

    Links for the day



  26. The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

    Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking



  27. Another New 'Clown' for the UPC 'Circus'

    A former writer of IPPro Magazine (which seems to be defunct now) reports another shuffle -- perhaps the fifth in a few years -- of "IP" [sic] Minister for the UK; it doesn't bode well for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 13, 2020



  29. Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

    Links for the day



  30. The Microsoft Propaganda Model

    Classic new examples (real screenshots) of how Microsoft-funded media entraps people looking for information about "Linux" to actually push Microsoft talking points and marketing, cover-up, face-saving lies etc.


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