The spooky side of Microsoft…
Summary: Microsoft surveillance may be going much further than Skype, Windows, etc.
A fairly new press release from April says that Microsoft may be putting back doors in its software, as part of a collusion (we wrote about this subject more than half a decade ago):
On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, the Canard Enchaîné (a French satirical weekly 1) published new revelations about the “Open Bar” contract currently being negotiated between Microsoft and the French Ministry of Defense. Originally revealed by PCInpact, on February 5th, 2013, these decisions, made in secret and criticized by the rapporteur of the State Public Procurement Commission, seem to have been driven by NATO. April renews its calls for the French Prime Minister to send the Ministry of Defense to rehab. The association is worried about the threats, detailed in the satirical weekly, that such a contract could represent to national security, and about the risks that other ministries might follow suite. Finally, it asks for transparency on this contract’s negotiations.
The initial “Open Bar” contract was about the rental of Microsoft Office software and was entered into in 2009, for a period of four years; yet, the Public Procurement Commission’s rapporteur had pointed out that the contract presented many exceptions to the principles of public procurement. Since the agreement made the Ministry of Defense unacceptably dependent on Microsoft, April called for the Prime Minister to suspend the contract renegotiations, so that all the facts surrounding the issue might be brought to light and so that we might start afresh on healthy foundations. April has moreover written to the Prime Minister, to the Defense Minister, and to parliamentarians to inform them about these requests.
This week, the Canard Enchainé shines new light on the file and gives new information about the reasons leading the army to “capitulate to Microsoft”, without the government services being able to do anything about it. The weekly newspaper quotes Patrick Bazin, the central director of the Department of Interministerial Information Systems and Communication (DISIC, Direction interministérielle des systèmes d’information et de communication), who campaigns for the renewal of this contract because of interoperability obligations between allies, to the extent that “NATO chose Microsoft solutions for its work stations.” However, this argument is untruthful: interoperability entails being able to run on all systems, and not only on those within an editor’s hegemony.
The Canard Enchainé article ends with “the contract’s ultimate joke”: by signing the “Open Bar” contract with Microsoft Ireland, instead of with Microsoft France, the Ministry of Defense would be engaging in tax evasion.
That last point is noteworthy, but it is not the main point, which we covered here before.
So what is it that Microsoft does to facilitate spying? It is not as though Microsoft ever respected privacy. The man behind Microsoft, using his new front group, is lobbying to privatise schools now, seeking to make some contractors spy on children. He has been occupying and privatising the indoctrination system for the young, as noted here and elsewhere many times before. Here is his latest act:
Actors do it. Professional athletes do it. Now Bill Gates wants the country to spend $5 billion for every teacher in every classroom in every district to be filmed in action so they can be evaluated and, maybe, improve.
Pamela Jones writes: “Nobody in the classroom has a camera on a phone already? And I don’t want any child of mine being filmed in school for any purpose at all, ever, thanks, and if it were to happen, I don’t want Bill Gates to receive it.”
The privatised surveillance complex has always been having a fun time with Microsoft. Now that Microsoft lets spooks listen to Skype communications the bond is ever more strong. But let Microsoft chastise Google over privacy… █