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

07.20.13

Microsoft Collusion With the NSA Shows the Harms of Monopoly: No Perceived Threat in Hurting Users

Posted in Microsoft at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NSA

Summary: Why an arrogant company (invincible in its own mind) is more likely to conspire against its users/customers than most companies

MICROSOFT has more users than customers. They never choose to become customers and many never purchase anything from Microsoft, it’s merely the network effect which has them use Microsoft products. Microsoft, in turn, can treat them like garbage. The idea that they don’t pay makes it easier to justify selling them out, turning them into products or prey.

Mike Linksvayer asks a good question: “Why Doesn’t Skype Include Stronger Protections Against Eavesdropping?”

Well, Microsoft’s close (some would say incestuous) relationship with the NSA, which includes live Skype wiretapping and Windows back doors, can be explained and reasoned about as something which only a vain monopolist can get away with (domination in desktop operating systems and VoIP):

In short Skype has not protected users or informed them about lack of protection because they face near zero threat (regulatory or competitive product) which would interest them in doing so.

That is a good point. So it is time to break the monopoly. It is worth noting that one good thing which the Microsoft monopoly did is that it left a hole for the NSA leaks to become possible. A new report says:

The NSA has admitted that the organization’s use of Microsoft SharePoint allowed an unnamed sysadmin to leak information.

In what can be perceived as either a ringing endorsement of SharePoint’s “collaborative power”, or a depressing admission that, yes, spooks use the same infuriating software as we do, NSA chief General Keith Alexander indicated recent leaks came from a sysadmin being given SharePoint privileges.

Thanks, Microsoft, for making rubbish software that fails on security.

It is also worth remembering what Yahoo did before Microsoft took over most of the company. Unlike Microsoft which had colluded with the NSA, Yahoo fought the NSA. As FOSS Force put it:

I’m beginning to rethink Yahoo, just as I reappraised my feelings on the old Novel after they went to bat against SCO for the benefit of IBM and Linux.

On Monday, the Sunnyvale, California company pulled a honest-to-goodness rabbit out of the hat when they managed to persuade a FISA court to order the Obama administration to declassify as much as possible of a 2008 court decision justifying Prism before releasing it to the public.

Yahoo’s victory came one day before Microsoft went into damage control mode by denying allegations revealed by the publication last Thursday of documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper and website.

As reported on FOSS Force, the Guardian reported that Microsoft had helped the NSA “circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal.” In addition, “The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail.” In other words, according to the Guardian it would appear that Microsoft was going well beyond mere legal obligations in their dealings with the NSA.

Don’t forget what Microsoft has in mind based on its patents:

Could the NSA use Microsoft’s Xbox One to spy on you?

Skype swore wiretaps weren’t possible before recent reports. Is Kinect next?

After the lies about Skype (gross and systematic), expect this latest spin to be nothing different. Microsoft intended and probably still intends to do Orwellian spying using Xbox One. Stallman asked me about it just a few days ago.

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 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  2. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  3. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  4. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  5. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  7. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  8. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  10. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  11. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  13. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  14. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  15. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  17. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  18. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  19. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  20. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  21. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  22. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  23. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  24. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  25. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  26. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day



  28. Links 12/4/2014: Instructionals

    Links for the day



  29. Political News: Protests Face a Ban, Covert Actions Continue, Cold War Era Imperialism, Privacy, and War on Justice

    Links for the day



  30. Ubuntu News: Themes, Unity 8, Meizu Phone, Ubuntu Touch, and Elementary OS

    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