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

06.07.13

It’s Official: New Leaks Show US Government Using Fog Computing and Proprietary Computing Culture to Illegally Eavesdrop on Everyone Around the World

Posted in Microsoft at 3:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Keith B. Alexander
The NSA Mafia Don, Keith B. Alexander

Summary: What the newest NSA leaks teach us and why Microsoft is the most dangerous company in the food chain of this secret establishment of international surveillance

THE surveillance industrial complex is expanding very fast, with new datacentres and recruits being added to a secretive legion of almost 50,000 staff, plus the staff of data-hoarding technology corporations, notably in the United States (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and beyond). Microsoft is a big component of it, especially with recent acquisitions like Skype and privacy-violating, living room-intruding spatial camera technology. This is not a theory but an established fact, although the corporate media often turns a blind eye (journalists are under war by the administration), which means that so-called ‘reporters’ omit details upon request, avoid covering some topics due to “national security”, and even plant disinformation, as we recently saw Murdoch’s press (Fox) doing for the NSA (more on that later).

“It is worth noting that the NSA is outsourcing the development of illegal spying software”It is worth noting that the NSA is outsourcing the development of illegal spying software. It should also be noted upfront that Microsoft is not alone in this, but Microsoft is worst when it comes to violations because on many computers Microsoft has its system running, and routinely (more often than not) the machine is left open to remote intrusion while connected to the Internet. We covered some examples before (see CIPAV for instance). People’s rights when put in the hands of companies like Microsoft are always bound to erode. Recently we explained how Xbox One removes people's control over games that they purchase (the computer will phone mother ship Microsoft routinely for no practical purpose as far as the user is concerned) and Tim Cushing speaks of this sacrifice of rights as follows: “As Microsoft stumbles towards the eventual release of the Xbox One (an all-in-one console apparently aimed at replacing all of your entertainment devices with a sleek black box equipped with eyes, ears and a frustrating inability to fire up a secondhand game without tossing some cash Points into the tollbooth), gamers (for the most part) have expressed their irritation and disbelief, even going so far as to call on Sony to not eff up the next Playstation with the same sort of purposefully limited feature set.”

This whole experiment known as Xbox has been a failed attempt to reposition Microsoft as an appliances company. Microsoft just lost billions of dollars and took a toll to its name when many people suffered from technical problems in the Xbox 360 (not just Red Rings of Death).

“That is why Microsoft feels like it needs to feed some patent trolls, extort numerous companies using patent terrorism, and bribe those among them which complain, notably B & N.”Based on a CBS article which cites another, things are not working for Microsoft at present, with Google and Android taking the lion’s share of the market. That is why Microsoft feels like it needs to feed some patent trolls, extort numerous companies using patent terrorism, and bribe those among them which complain, notably B & N.

The Microsoft-affiliated press engages in revisionism that misportrays computing history and helps boost software patents, showing a rather embarrassing disregard for facts. What Microsoft became better known for in recent years is censorship and surveillance, demonstrating the importance of software freedom. Here is some new example of Windows leaving the users open for intrusion by anyone:

  • Google researcher discloses zero-day exploit for Windows

    Google security expert Tavis Ormandy has discovered a security vulnerability in Windows which can be exploited by any user on the system to obtain administrator privileges. Rather than reporting the vulnerability to Microsoft, he posted details to the Full Disclosure security mailing list in mid-May and has now published an exploit to the same mailing list.

    Ormandy is a familiar figure in the security world. In recent years, the security expert has discovered many different vulnerabilities. He has also been known to take the shortest route when it comes to sharing information on vulnerabilities he has discovered: full disclosure, meaning rapid publication without informing the organisation behind the vulnerable software beforehand.

  • Breaking Windows

    Sigh. Here we go again, a billion PCs with little or no security simply because they run M$’s OS. Even if you love M$’s software for other reason, no sane person should let all their IT rest on M$. They are an unreliable “partner”. With all the money they have they are not able to secure their OS because it is defective by design.

The NSA can now intrude any Windows-running PC, with impunity.

There are two types of controversy right now, both linked to the NSA and some new leaks. One is about Verizon phone records and another is about Fog Computing surveillance.

The FSF links to this report from The Guardian (I spoke to Richard Stallman about it last year), whereas the EFF focuses on another aspect of it. The good news is that the public all around the world is starting to catch up with the illegalities of the NSA (this is not news for many, but probably for most), which just like the CIA should be de-funded for engaging in criminal activities against whatever it perceives to be threat to “national interest”. Before he got assassinated President John Kennedy was quoted as saying he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” Here is the latest news:

  • ‘Outrageous’: Verizon reportedly forced to turn over customers’ phone records

    The U.S. government has obtained a top secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on an “ongoing daily basis,” the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported.

    The four-page order, which The Guardian published on its website Wednesday, requires the communications giant to turn over “originating and terminating” telephone numbers as well as the location, time and duration of the calls — and demands that the order be kept secret.

  • NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

    Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama

  • Obama Defends Phone-Record Tracking as ‘Critical Tool’

    The Obama administration called government review of complete phone records of U.S. customers a “critical tool” in protecting the public from terrorists.

  • New leak shows feds can access user accounts for Google, Facebook and more

    It’s worse than we thought.

    Just one day after disclosing the existence of a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing the existence of a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”)

    The newspapers describe the system as one giving the National Security Agency and the FBI direct access to a huge number of online commercial services, capable of “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.”

To quote a key paragraph: “The Post describes the source who sent the slides as a “career intelligence officer” who had firsthand experience with PRISM and expressed “horror” at what it could do. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.”

This is still being covered by very large publications at this very moment, finally making a major public debate over issues we have covered here for a long time (in daily links I have included nearly one thousand news links about the NSA). When people realise they’re under constant surveillance they’re rather outraged. It’s no longer just those “terrorists”, it’s everyone. Everyone is treated like a terrorist.

“It’s no longer just those “terrorists”, it’s everyone. Everyone is treated like a terrorist.”As shown above, even CNN and Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) covered the Verizon news, so it is no longer as secretive as it used to be. They have no point hiding it, as it would damage their credibility now that it’s major worldwide news (one of our readers says it may all be a non-news distraction to move attention away from imminent US intervention in Syria). Funnily enough, it was Murdoch’s other press, Fox ‘news’, which helped the NSA deny the allegations that it was spying on Americans. Fox ran a story back in April, receiving many links from hundreds of resultant articles that helped whitewash the NSA. What does it feel like to have lied to the public at such a large scale, at great expense to civil liberties and dignity? The mistake of Binney and Drake is that they didn’t leak enough hard documents to support their claims, leaving Murdoch et al. (plutocrats-run press) to exploit the benefit of the doubt and resort to plausible deniability (“a term coined by the CIA”). The latest NSA leaks change that.

“But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.”

Christian Einfeldt

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

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  2. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  3. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  4. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  5. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  6. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  7. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  8. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  9. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  10. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  11. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  12. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  13. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  14. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  15. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  16. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  17. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  18. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  19. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  20. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  21. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  22. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  23. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  24. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week



  25. The EPO's Departure From Truth and Entrance Into the Realms of Chinese Industrial-Grade Propaganda

    The entrapping delusion of patent maximalism, wherein artificially or superficially increasing the number of granted patents is assumed to be a desirable outcome



  26. [ES] La Fundación de Frontera Electrónica (EFF) Continua su Batalla por la Sanidad de Patentes en los Estados Unidos

    Una mirada a las últimas actividades de la EFF en el área de patentes, donde probablemente habrá mayor énfasis en los daños de las patentes de software y la necesidad de eliminarlas completamente



  27. [ES] La Sociedad Regional de Economía Comprehensiva (RCEP) Amenaza Traer las Patentes de Software a la India

    La amenaza que arrastra otro acuerdo denominado de "comercio" cuyo impacto a favor de los MONOPOLIOS contra los intereses del pueblo de la India y por lo tanto debe ser rechazadas por ellos



  28. [ES] Toma Menos de 10 Votos para 'Ganar' una Elección en la Mini Unión (Minion) de Battistelli

    Una mirada al minúsculo tamaño de la Unión apadrinada por Battistelli, la que parece tener una docena de miembros activos



  29. [ES] Di la Verdad Acerca del Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU., Conseguiras Ser Atacado por la Máquina Propagandistica de Patentes (Disfrazada de Prensa)

    El Sr. Darrell Issa (fotografiado arriba) cae bajo ataque de los proponentes de patentes de software patents, los apologistas de los trolles de patentes (quiénes los financian frecuéntemente), y los máximalistas de patentes porque correctamente insinuó que la (mayoría) de demandantes son como/casi trolles de patentes en los Estados Unidos



  30. Links 24/4/2016: Google Summer of Code 2016, Year of the OpenBSD Desktop

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts