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


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


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. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  2. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  3. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  4. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  5. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  6. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  7. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  8. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  9. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  10. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  11. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  12. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  13. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  14. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  15. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  16. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  17. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  18. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  19. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  20. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  21. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  22. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  23. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  24. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  26. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  27. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  28. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  29. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  30. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference


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


Recent Posts