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. Software Patent From Troll Called 'Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations' a Symptom of a Rotten Patent System

    Another example of patent trolls and software patents as gatekeepers and parasites, denying access to very trivial ideas or implementations



  2. When Even Patent Lawyers' Blogs Acknowledge the Rapid Demise of Software Patents

    Voices for patents are accepting the new order wherein software patents are hardly potent at all (and increasingly difficult to acquire)



  3. Calling Proprietary Software, Software Patents, Lock-in (Like OOXML) and DRM 'Open'

    What Microsoft et al. call 'Next-Generation Open Media Formats' are basically neither open nor acceptable (it's DRM) and what Microsoft apologists dub 'Open Source Tools' are just another example of a Microsoft Office openwashing Trojan horse



  4. Recycled Old News About Vista 10, Stressing That Not Only '10' is Spyware But All of Windows is

    How Microsoft propagandists are spinning Microsoft's gross and potentially illegal privacy violations as a reason to 'upgrade' to Vista 10



  5. Links 1/9/2015: Manjaro Linux 0.8.13, Netrunner 14.2 LTS

    Links for the day



  6. Patents Roundup: IAM's Claims About India, Lawyers' Patent Bias, ITC for Microsoft, and PTAB Against Kyle Bass

    Another weekly summary, focusing on issues that pertain to or affect Free software in particular



  7. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  8. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  10. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  11. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  12. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  13. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  14. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  15. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  17. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  18. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  19. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  20. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  21. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  23. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  24. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  25. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  26. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  27. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  28. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  29. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  30. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)


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