Summary: Through partnerships and entryism, Microsoft becomes a major risk to people’s privacy
In the latest daily links we summarised some research from Groklaw, essentially showing that Microsoft had pulled a trick to buy Skype cheaply and rob its owners. This was also mentioned last night in IRC, following some key articles that are currently making waves. Skype is another example of a company (like Danger, TellMe,and many more) whose founders are fleeing Microsoft following a takeover. They are unhappy and sometimes betrayed to the extreme. We gave a lot of examples over the years.
“Microsoft May Add Eavesdropping To Skype,” says Slashdot (corresponding article can raise national concerns), noting that the “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Microsoft patent application that reaches back to December 2009 and describes ‘recording agents’ to legally intercept VoIP phone calls. The ‘Legal Intercept’ patent application is one of Microsoft’s more elaborate and detailed patent papers, which is comprehensive enough to make you think twice about the use of VoIP audio and video communications. The
document provides Microsoft’s idea about the nature, positioning and feature set of recording agents that silently record the communication between two or more parties.”
When Microsoft virtually took over Nokia a lot of key people left. Who can possibly blame them? Their company got stolen by an abuser, whose new CEO (a Microsoft mole who is still Microsoft’s eighth largest shareholder!) “reportedly said that the Nokia N9 will be the last MeeGo phone, EVEN IF IT’S SUCCESSFUL,” (emphases with all caps are ours), according to IDG. It is titled “Backlash Against Nokia CEO Overshadows ‘Sea Ray’ Excitement”. Nokia got itself another Belluzzo and a reader from Finland wrote to us just to say that “Nokia won’t be able to undo the damage caused on behalf of Microsoft by Elop.” The article above “really lays it on the table that his moved are about ideology and not about business.”
There is another problem here which almost nobody speaks about. With Nokia, Microsoft will be able to track many people, just as Apple did with iPhone. This privacy invasion, in addition to the Skype takeover Elop referred to about a month ago (he had probably coordinated it with his company, Microsoft), is a nightmare scenario. Add the fact that Microsoft owns part of Facebook and gets special access to Facebook data now that the site gets more traffic than Microsoft’s sites in the UK. And speaking of which, watch this latest scandal:
KDE users have gotten a rather unpleasant surprise from Facebook: Not only is the site blocking KDE apps like Gwenview from uploading, the social media giant has also taken down photos uploaded with the KDE plugins. Yet another reason that users might think twice before depending on Facebook for photo storage.
I stumbled on this via, of course, Facebook. A friend of mine had posted that the “kipi” (KDE Plug-Ins) that handles uploading to Facebook had been banned. That’s annoying, but not a major issue — but the real issue is that the site has also apparently zapped photos already uploaded using KDE applications that depend on the plugin. I would point you to the bug, but apparently bugs.kde.org is unaccustomed to the amount of interest that the bug is receiving. (Maybe it’s up by the time you read this, though.)
Facebook has banned KDE applications from uploading pictures to users profiles – with no clear reason as to why.
But if you think that’s a #fail in itself, the social-networking site has reportedly removed all photos and albums that were uploaded using the now-banned applications and plugins.
With Skype, Nokia and Facebook (all partly, entirely, and by association controlled by Microsoft) the company is becoming a real menace for new reasons. Little by little Microsoft uses moles and ‘special’ deals to harm society through other companies, ranging from patent trolls like Nathan Myhrvold’s IV to privacy invaders like Facebook. Don’t trust sociopaths. █
“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”