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

07.09.13

Europe Should Embrace Operating System ‘Ballots’ to Prevent Compulsory Sales of NSA Back-Doored (Windows) Computers Ripe for Espionage

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Forced sales of Trojan horses-filled software must end

National Security Agency

Summary: Europe should now limit or ban bundling of Microsoft Windows, which comes with back doors for foreign intelligence that admits engaging in cracking (illegal but commonplace, done with impunity and no accountability)

The British government spends almost $10,000 per year per desktop with a Swiss cheese-like operating system that allows foreign nations to intrude and collect citizens’ private data, e.g. criminal records in the British police. When they do this from abroad they’re unlikely to face criminal charges and extradition. The British military does the same thing, supposedly choosing an operating system which is simply not fit for purpose (unless the purpose is actually to let the US government take control of the British military). Now that there are massive issues with the computer systems responsible for airports in London it is time to seriously think about the risks taken here, especially after the crash in California (allegedly caused by a dysfunctional, out-of-operation system).

“The British military does the same thing, supposedly choosing an operating system which is simply not fit for purpose (unless the purpose is actually to let the US government take control of the British military).”Any British shop — or by extension European shop — which currently forces people to buy Windows with a computer is worth accusing of negligence for selling computers with NSA back doors preinstalled. Such shops cannot claim to have valid reasons other than collusion with Microsoft and backroom deals (we leaked evidence of bribes for endorsement and bundling). Shops can provide DVD images from which to load Windows, in a simple one-button/one-click fashion, for those who require it and pay for it. This would be simpler to implement than a browser ballot, which requires some operating system to already be loaded. An operating systems choice is very vital now because a faulty product with back doors simply should not be sold.

Microsoft is already trying to use hardware makers as a weapon against GNU/Linux because Vista 8 is widely loathed not just by pro-FOSS folks but also businesses. It is an unprecedented failure whose magnitude is disguised by apparent gaming of search results through Microsoft buddies like the The Guardian (bribed by Bill Gates). Microsoft also tried to gag Sinofsky with a $14 million bribe and it achieved it with “non-disparagement clauses” that can be seen here. As Pamela Jones put it: “I’d call that the operative sentence behind the agreement. I gather he was asserting claims, maybe not yet in court filings, but telling Microsoft he believed he had such claims. That would explain all the other language about not talking disparagingly about Microsoft. And what might this be? “(v) continue complying with certain provisions of the Microsoft Corporation Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement between Microsoft and him related to intellectual property rights and confidentiality of Microsoft and third-party information.” Third party as in who? Mr. Sinofsky won’t tell, now, but does he know about NSA PRISM details, one can’t help but wonder or is this referring to deals with Nokia and FairSearch and such types? If he were ever forced to testify in a court, this agreement wouldn’t keep him silent, of course.”

Microsoft tried to gag the outgoing CFOs [1, 2] in a similar way, ensuring they don’t speak out about Microsoft’s real financial situation.

For those who think that it’s only a matter of tilting the rules in favour of GNU/Linux, this is simply not true. It is not as though there are no viable alternatives available to Windows except GNU/Linux. Mark from our IRC channels published “Computers and Operating System Bundling” a few days ago, naming some alternative operating systems which get excluded in the market:

With the increased use and speed improvements of the internet we see a new phenomenon: open source operating systems are distributed via downloading. This includes operating systems such as GNU/Linux, the BSDs, Haiku, Plan 9, Inferno, AROS and many others. By 2008 the Jiangsu Lemote Tech Co releases the Lemote computer with Linux and PMON, a completely open source system.

Almost everything above — is not strictly everything — does not have NSA back doors, unlike Microsoft Windows. Why are these not offered as an option to buyers?

If OEMs want an operating system which respect buyers’ and developers’ freedom at all levels and is highly capable of serving just about every need, then GNU/Linux is a perfect fit. Several OEMs already offer it as a choice but de-ephasisise this option as if software which respects the users’ freedom (Free/libre software) is somehow less desirable and needs to be hidden at the corner or the back room (which is the equivalent of what they do online).

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. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Rubble and Misinformation

    A roundup of the latest falsehoods about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and those who are peddling such falsehoods for personal gain



  2. CRISPR Patent Debacle Demonstrated That Opposition Divisions Do Their Job, But Also Highlighted Serious Deficiency in Patent-Granting Process

    While it is reassuring that EPO staff managed to squash a very controversial patent, it remains to be explained why such patent applications/applicants were even notified of intention to grant (in spite of the EPC, common sense and so on)



  3. Links 23/1/2018: Castle Game Engine 6.4, Qt 5.9.4, SQLite 3.22.0

    Links for the day



  4. Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

    The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up



  5. Even More Uncertain a Future for the Independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal as Judge Corcoran Too Gets Sent to 'Exile'

    The attack on supposedly independent judges at the EPO escalates further; the judge whom the EPO was ordered to reinstate (by ILO) is being constantly pushed around, not just legally bullied



  6. The Response to Accusations of Censorship by Team UPC? Yet More Censorship to Shield UPC From Criticism

    The Empire of Lies upon which the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived is being exposed for its lies; The Empire Strikes Back with yet more censorship



  7. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  8. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  9. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  10. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  11. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  12. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  13. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  14. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  15. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  16. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  17. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  18. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  19. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  20. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  21. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  22. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  23. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  25. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  26. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  28. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  29. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  30. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    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