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

12.10.13

Xbox Live Shows Even Higher Degree of Microsoft/NSA Collusion

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Brother

Summary: Xbox Live caught in the latest NSA scandal and the high degree of collusion seems to be reinforced by Microsoft’s reluctance to comment; other developments like Microsoft’s attack on rivals using the “privacy” card

WE already know, based on previous evidence, that Microsoft used broken/weak/no encryption in order to facilitate surveillance. There are also known concerns, as we noted earlier this year, that Xbox One may be spying on people’s homes (cameras inside rooms and other sensory data transmitted over the network). Almost nothing is as monstrous a surveillance device/appliance as Xbox; Microsoft even has patents indicating intent.

Making the rounds these days are news articles about Xbox Live coming under NSA surveillance [1,2,3,4], with agent provocateur tactics, recruitment of gamers, and so on. Microsoft has not provided any comment to deny this or to denounce the NSA, so complicity is likely here.

In other curious news about Xbox, it turns out to be self-bricking. As one report put it: “Online trolls tricked Xbox One owners into “bricking” their new consoles with instructions promising to unlock new features but actually sending devices into an endless loop of reboots that renders them useless”

“Online trolls” now include GCHQ and NSA employees, so here we have another reason to be suspicious of their motives. Xbox should, from now on, be viewed as NSA-friendly and therefore perpetually avoided, not just because it’s proprietary and managed by an abusive monopolist. In news that was covered here before, as well as mentioned in Slashdot, the FSF tackles the “proprietary with trust” myth. As IDG put it: “The Free Software Foundation on Thursday attacked Microsoft for “meaningless” public statements on privacy and security, claiming that Windows is “fundamentally insecure.””

The fallacy of ‘open’ ⇆ Free/libre matters here and the FSF uses a productive approach even though it neglects to mention Microsoft’s ‘special relationship’ with the NSA. The above article got mirrored in several other IDG sites (some in non-English-speaking countries), so the FSF did have a big impact.

All these revelations matter, especially now that Microsoft tries to demonise Google using the “privacy” angle. As one author put it, “Microsoft Really Doesn’t Want You To Buy A Chromebook” and it even started a whole deceiving campaign about it. As Pogson put it the other day, Microsoft “is spending more on advertising Chromebooks than Google is… All those users of personal computers who don’t use M$’s office suite, spreadsheets, and PhotoShop (most of us) must be rushing to stores demanding Chromebooks. That’s why many stores are having a hard time keeping them in stock.”

The anti-Chromebook campaign may, in due course, also include some fake “reviews” of Chromebooks (here are good candidates) because a lot of budget is at stake and Microsoft has zero ethics, not even a shred of regard for the truth (just look at the hypocritical hypothesis of this whole campaign).

“Bamboozled by Scroogled” is the headline of this new article from the Philippines. Its author, a longtime advocate of GNU/Linux, writes in the Manila press: “Microsoft’s decision to go after the Chromebook is a little puzzling, because the product is clearly not aimed at the same users who would buy a full-fledged Windows laptop.

“Chromebooks are pitched at people who are constantly online and who use social media and Web-based applications and little else. These are folks who precisely do not want or need Windows or Office on their laptops.

“Contrary to the portrayal in Microsoft’s pawn shop commercial, most people who buy Chromebooks aren’t clueless or stupid, either. Most of them know what they are buying.

“On Amazon.com, the number-one and number-two best-selling notebooks are Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer. The reviews, posted by verified, actual buyers (not an actress in a pawnshop), are generally positive—and nobody complains that they can’t run Windows on their machines.

“Microsoft’s pawn shop commercial makes a leap from a reasonable claim (that you can’t do much on a Chromebook when you’re not online) to an unsupported assertion (the hardware makes it easier for Google to spy on us).

“The commercial also overlooks another option for Chromebook users—install a full Linux system like Ubuntu so you can use offline applications as well.”

Microsoft is so focused on bashing Chromebooks simply because Vista 8 is a train wreck that nobody wants to use, especially businesses. The latest spin is pitched by Microsoft’s Mouth, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, who tries to spread the myth of business-friendly Vista *.

Expect Microsoft to increasingly rely on government favouritism (like back doors, warrantless spying, etc.), on patent extortion, and on negative campaigns that paint the rivals worse than Microsoft when in fact nobody gets even close to Microsoft’s violations of privacy, violations of the law (bribery etc.), and technical ineptitude.

When Microsoft says it is trying to ‘reform’ the government on privacy issues it should be remembered that Microsoft is probably the worst violator of privacy (alongside AT&T and perhaps Cisco), so this should be perceived as nothing more than a publicity stunt and miserable attempt to restore trust amid collusion with spies.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Xbox Live and World of Warcraft targeted by NSA spy activities
  2. NSA And GCHQ Allegedly Spying On Xbox Live Gamers
  3. Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
  4. NSA, GCHQ can listen to Xbox Live chat communications
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 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Maximalists Step Things Up With Director Andrei Iancu and It's Time for Scientists to Fight Back

    Science and technology don't seem to matter as much as the whims of the patent (litigation) 'industry', at least judging by recent actions taken by Andrei Iancu (following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee)



  3. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  4. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  5. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  6. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  8. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  9. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  10. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  11. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  12. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  13. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  14. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  15. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  16. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  17. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  18. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  19. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  20. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  21. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  22. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  23. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  24. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  25. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  26. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  27. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  30. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls


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