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. Is Microsoft Being Raided Not Just for Anti-Competitive Reasons but for Bribes and Back Doors?

    News about raids in Microsoft China mostly lacking when it comes to background, context, and information about Microsoft's crimes in China



  2. Former Microsoft Engineer Working on Windows BitLocker Confirms Government Asks Microsoft for Back Doors

    Recalling the times when even Microsoft staff spoke about secret government collaborations and back doors



  3. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  4. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  5. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  6. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  7. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  9. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  10. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  11. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  12. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  13. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  14. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  16. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  17. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  18. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  19. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  20. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  21. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  22. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  23. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  24. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  25. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  26. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  28. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  29. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  30. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    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