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

06.13.13

Glenn Greenwald Should Copy Snowden’s Leak for Wikileaks to Publish in Full in Order to Counter Denials of Microsoft et al. (Updated)

Posted in Microsoft at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Glenn Greenwald

Summary: There should be more to come from the whole PRISM/NSA-gate, but the ball is in the court of one activist/lawyer/blogger, Glenn Greenwald

Daily links are still flooded with stories about PRISM, which was also related to our regular scope of coverage [1, 2, 3]. PRISM is not exactly news to those who watched the NSA closely (as I did for several years). What’s new, for the most part, is concrete proof finally existing and being accessible to the public. Cablegate has been the bloodline of some valuable posts of ours, showing the importance of secret policy being made public. The Guardian did decent work, but it didn’t publish all the documents as the leaker had hoped based on some reports. This permits some companies to deny what they are doing. This means that people will carry on with their addiction to Web search and proprietary chat facilities from Microsoft and Google. It is already clear that Microsoft gives governments easy access to Skype (we wrote about it months ago, citing Microsoft's own admission) and the ‘guardian’ reminds us of that:

UK intelligence agencies made thousands of requests for information on private communications via Microsoft products last year, with demands for Skype call information outnumbering those made by US agencies.

In 2012, the UK made 1,268 requests to Skype for information such as the names of callers, their address, email account details and telephone numbers dialled. This was a quarter of all requests received by the Microsoft-owned internet call service from governments around the world. The requests could have come from British police and intelligence agencies, such as GCHQ.

As Satipera put it in identi.ca the other day, “Microsoft for security, like fencing with a baguette.” There is more to the numbers above, which is why Glenn Greenwald should pass the leaked documents to Wikileaks, making a copy of the whole lot of documents, thus permitting full publication of public policy (the ‘guardian’ won’t do it). Unless this happens, many companies will carry on evading/lying to restore public acceptance of a mass surveillance state where dissidents are the real target.

Update: The following article has just been published: NSA Leaks Suggest Microsoft May Have Misled Public Over Skype Eavesdropping

There were many striking details in the Washington Post’s scoop about PRISM and its capabilities, but one part in particular stood out to me. The Post, citing a top-secret NSA PowerPoint slide, wrote that the agency has a specific “User’s Guide for PRISM Skype Collection” that outlines how it can eavesdrop on Skype “when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of ‘audio, video, chat, and file transfers’ when Skype users connect by computer alone.” (Emphasis added.)

This piece of information is significant for a number of reasons. Last year, speculation arose in the hacker community that Skype, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2011 and had been difficult to wiretap, had become compliant with law enforcement demands. I pressured Skype to disclose its eavesdropping capabilities, but the company refused to discuss the matter. After a range of advocacy groups published an open letter calling for more clarity on the issue, Microsoft eventually released a transparency report detailing information about law enforcement requests for user data. The report devoted an entire section to Skype and claimed that in 2012, it hadn’t handed any communications content over to authorities anywhere in the world. Microsoft also said in notes accompanying the transparency report that calls made between Skype-Skype users were encrypted peer-to-peer, implying that they did not pass through Microsoft’s central servers and could not be eavesdropped on—except maybe if the government deployed a spy Trojan on a targeted computer to bypass encryption.

But the NSA “PRISM Skype Collection” guide casts doubt on whether any Skype communications are beyond the NSA’s reach. That the NSA claims to be able to grab all Skype users’ communications also calls into question the credibility of Microsoft’s transparency report—particularly the claim that in 2012 it did not once hand over the content of any user communications. Moreover, according to a leaked NSA slide published by the Post, Skype first became part of the NSA’s PRISM program in February 2011—three months before Microsoft purchased the service from U.S. private equity firms Silver Lake and Andreessen Horowitz.

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. The EPO's Dutch Scandal Leaves Battistelli and His Cronies on the Run

    EPO management is making concessions and issues statements which admit defeat, allowing the staff union to continue its activities



  2. Microsoft Won't Let People Wipe (Off) Windows But Happily Wipes Android, Wipes Android Apps Through Cyanogen and Blackmailed 'Partners'

    Microsoft's obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place



  3. Links 26/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Officially Released

    Links for the day



  4. Links 25/3/2015: India Moving to Free Software

    Links for the day



  5. Another Reason to Boycott UEFI: Back Doors or Crackers

    UEFI makes computers more prone to infections, according to some security experts



  6. The EPO's Administrative Council is Under Increased Pressure to Rein in and to Finally Stop Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO's Administrative Council (AC) is about to have a meeting, so the Member States' delegations are urged to call for action



  7. IRC Proceedings: February 22nd - March 21st, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  8. The Latest Microsoft Attacks on GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is still hiding behind the façade of 'love' whilst actively attacking GNU/Linux and Free software from many directions



  9. Attempts to Disrupt Android by Pushing Microsoft Software Into It (Using Patent Blackmail and Cyanogen)

    Microsoft's Android coup d'état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection



  10. Links 24/3/2015: WebKitGTK+ 2.8.0, Black Lab Linux 6.5

    Links for the day



  11. Concerns Over Željko Topić's Alleged Powerful Links in Croatian Diplomacy

    Rikard Frgačić explains the powerful connections acquired though Ivan Šimonović, who is himself connected to EPO Vice-President Željko Topić



  12. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Fire From Prominent Figures Who Are Key EPO Stakeholders, Expect Battistelli to Resign 'in the Longer Term'

    The ‘reign of terror’ which is primarily attributed to Battistelli and his cronies may be about to end; the Luxembourg parliament approves the Unified Patent Court



  13. Benoît Battistelli's EPO is Under Attack From French Politicians Yet Again

    More EPO interventions -- this time from France -- target Benoît Battistelli over his abuses and take it up to Eurocrats for political actions



  14. Bribes and Extortion Help Turn Android (Linux-powered) Into 'Microsoft Android'

    A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft's arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google's (and users') detriment and beyond regulators' range of visibility



  15. Microsoft-connected Black Duck Software Created by Microsoft Marketing Man as an Anti-GPL Operation, Admits the Management

    Black Duck "was founded [on] the idea ... to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely," according to a new report



  16. Links 23/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC5, Kubuntu Celebrates Ten Years

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Admits Lying (or Deceiving) About the Cost of Vista 10

    After much hype in the press about Windows being 'free' it turns out that Microsoft just lied yet again, leaving that lingering perception that Windows is as inexpensive as GNU/Linux



  18. Politics of Blackmail at the EPO

    Comments serve to highlight the role of bribes (or contrariwise blackmail), as allegedly exercised by the current management of the European Patent Office



  19. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Attack From the British

    A British MEP criticises Battistelli and the management of the European Patent Office (EPO) while Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for Intellectual Property, gets closer to Battistelli in a tactless effort to improve relations



  20. The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour on the Right of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers to Strike

    The role of bureaucrats from Norway in defending (or not) the rights of EPO workers -- rights that the EPO's management is actively trying to deny and punish for



  21. Michael Silver Back to Acting as Gartner's Microsoft Agent, Promoting Vista 10 Based on False Promises

    Vista 10 in the headlines as its marketing propaganda zones in on false perceptions around cost, aided in part by longtime foes of GNU/Linux such as Gartner, especially its Microsoft-embedded elements (Michael Silver and co-workers)



  22. Despite Media Propaganda About Security, Microsoft Windows Remains the Least Secure Operating System, by Design

    Amid highly misleading security-centric reports that rely on Microsoft's bogus number of vulnerabilities (Microsoft already admitted hiding many of them) Techrights presents recent news about Windows 'security'



  23. Canonical Goes to Bed With Company That Sues Linux Using Software Patents and Copyrights (Through SCO)

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on GNU/Linux, Canonical is foolish enough to give Microsoft control over many Ubuntu instances



  24. Links 22/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Shaping Up, LibrePlanet 2015

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part VI - Propaganda Wars Against Free Software Facilitated While Media Control is Secured and Abused

    How Microsoft systematically lies to the public, including decision-makers and officials who can be tricked into choosing proprietary software, thinking it is in fact "open"



  26. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part V - Dumping and Surveillance to Counter GNU/Linux Insurgence

    Microsoft makes false claims about future versions of Windows (with more surveillance) becoming 'free' in order to stop migrations to GNU/Linux



  27. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part IV - Deleting, Attacking Android/Linux From Within

    Microsoft 'loves' Linux so much that it is trying to get on top of Linux and then delete Linux



  28. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part III - Abducting the Competition (Android)

    How Microsoft tried to destroy Android using a coup d'état approach, just shortly before getting caught, then retreating and rewriting the public record



  29. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part II - Patent Lawsuits Against Android/Linux Still Going On, New Ones Filed

    Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures are suing Android companies using software patents while some Android vendors settle by becoming slaves of Microsoft



  30. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part I - The UEFI Attack on GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's highly abusive tactics against GNU/Linux live on in UEFI form, dispelling any myths that someone may still cling onto regarding a 'reformed' Microsoft


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