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

07.04.13

TechBytes Episode 80: Richard Stallman on Universal Back Door in Microsoft Windows and His Search Engine Habits

Posted in TechBytes at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techbytes 2013

Direct download as Ogg (00:09:18, 4.9 MB)

Summary: The latest Stallman interview, which deals with NSA involvement in Microsoft Windows and how to use search engines anonymously

TODAY we turn our attention to two subjects which are not frequently tackled by the corporate media. The first one expands on matters we covered in the second part and to a lesser degree the first part of this interview. The second subject is anonymity. Browsing the Web these days is hard without identifying oneself, due to many cookies and cross-site interaction (e.g. Google and Facebook code inside plenty of Web pages). I asked Stallman what to use for search and the full transcript follows.


Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz: Whenever the source code is being passed for the NSA before release, as you see before the release of Windows Vista or Windows 7, they always pass it through the NSA and they assure you that it’s fine and that it [has[ gone through hardening of the operating system. I think fewer people will believe that after the Snowden leaks, but anyway I…

Richard StallmanDr. Richard M. Stallman: Well, the thing is, it’s different in the case of Windows because Microsoft keeps that source code secret from the users, which is in itself reason to distrust it and that’s why it has the universal back door. The users can’t take that out, so once software is proprietary, that means that the owner of a program has power over the users, it subjugates the users and that is an opportunity for abuses. But that opportunity is not there in the same way with Free software where the users can change this code. Not only do it individually, but they can work together to make their own version of it.

RSS: I’d like to [discuss] different sort of strand of topics. I have everything written down in terms of, like, one-word or two-word kind of a summary of things I wanted to go through and the next few things are to do with browsing and the of of the Internet in the form of the World Wide Web.

“Well, I generally use DuckDuckGo first, but I will use the Google search engine also.”So, the first thing I wanted to ask you is, what do you suggest to people who want to do a Web search and what do you use yourself?

RMS: Well, it’s fine to use any search engine as long as it has no idea of who you are.

RSS: And which one would you personally use the most?

RMS: Well, I generally use DuckDuckGo first, but I will use the Google search engine also.

RSS: There are several… OK, this actually relates to a discussion I’ve been having all over the Internet in the past few months and the thing about DuckDuckGo, it’s hosted in the United States, whereas something like IXQuick or StartPage are based in Holland, and some people have pointed out that DuckDuckGo is using Yahoo, which basically means Microsoft for search results, to a certain degree. And they also seem to be very…

“The point is, if you identify yourself to a search engine, you are basically helping it track you.”RMS: Look, we don’t know to what extent [duck duck go records things]…. there is no proof that DuckDuckGo doesn’t track IP addresses, for instance, of requesters. And they could have been [tracking], right? What can they possibly do to prove that they don’t track people? The point is, I don’t refuse to use Google search engine either because I just never find myself in such a way… I always just use it from other people’s computers, people who have let me use them, of course. I don’t break security, I borrow people’s computers for a few minutes… for a while [incomprehensible] to use, so my searches are done from lots of different machines and each of those machines is mainly used by others.

RSS: OK, so basically you suggest trying to discourage the tracking by using different IP addresses…

RMS: Well, you could use Tor also. The point is, if you identify yourself to a search engine, you are basically helping it track you.

RSS: And increasingly they do provide incentives for people to be logged in, explicitly, when they are using a service like YouTube or Google search engine, which is something that didn’t happen before and I think that’s something that exploits the need for convenience — to have people give away their identity whenever they use the search engine, which didn’t exist about 10 years ago, it’s a new thing. Also, I wanted to point out, I had this small argument with DuckDuckGo over the fact, for example, that even though they don’t retain the data, all of their infrastructure is hosted on Amazon, so Amazon knows people’s IP addresses and whether there is some tracking at the router or some place or another, there might be a third party knowing…

RMS: Yeah, the point is that, the NSA might snoop all your packets and see that you’re sending a packet to DuckDuckGo. You can’t stop that, so the point is, I don’t assume that doing the search there means that I won’t be recorded in any way, but there’s no way they would know that it was me.

RSS: So basically, the notion of anonymity is important here. The use of the Net anonymously…


The next part will deal with anonymity in a broader context, so stay tuned.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):

Keywords: gnu fsf richardstallman

Download:

Ogg Theora

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. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  2. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  3. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  4. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  6. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  7. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  8. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  9. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  10. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  11. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  12. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  13. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  14. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  15. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  16. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  17. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  18. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  19. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  20. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  21. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  22. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  23. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  24. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  25. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  26. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  30. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows


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