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. Links 18/12/2014: LinuxQuestions.org Polls, Fedora for POWER

    Links for the day



  2. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  3. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  4. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  5. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  6. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  7. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  8. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  9. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  10. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  11. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  12. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  13. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  14. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  15. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  16. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  17. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  18. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  19. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  20. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  21. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  23. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  24. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  25. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    Links for the day



  26. EPO Staff Protests Today and Protested Last Week, Targeting Corruption in the Institution

    PO staff is demonstrating against abuse by the management of the EPO, today we well as in prior days



  27. Links 7/12/2014: New Linux Release, Marines and Prisoners on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Scandal: Benoît Battistelli's Arrogance Recognised by European Delegations

    Battistelli’s Nixon moment and the evasive nature of his approach towards external delegations that are troubled by his behaviour



  29. CBS Brushing Aside and Away Microsoft's History of Blackmail and Bribes Against Linux

    Putting in context some of the poor reporting (or whitewash) regarding Microsoft's bribe (disguised as "partnership") to Barnes & Noble



  30. Links 7/12/2014: Typhoon Hagupit, AURORAGOLD

    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