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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

    Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, September 21, 2020



  3. Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

    As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).



  4. Erosion of Free Speech and Tolerance of Opposing Viewpoints in Free Software Communities

    The concept of free speech is being reinvented by oversensitive people who nowadays expand the list of exclusions/exemptions (from scope of 'permissible' speech) to politics and criticism of large and highly abusive corporations



  5. Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

    Links for the day



  6. Guest Post: The Worrying State of Political Judgement in Free Software Communities

    A look at what Mozilla has become and what that teaches us about the Web and about software



  7. Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 20, 2020



  9. Git is Free Software, GitHub is Proprietary Trap

    More and more people all around the world understand that putting their fruit of labour in Microsoft's proprietary (but 'free') prison is misguided; the only vault they have is for human beings, not code



  10. Daniel Pocock on Codes of Conduct and Their Potential Dangers in Practice

    In Debian we’ve already witnessed several examples where Codes of Conduct, if put in the wrong hands (in the Linux Foundation it’s corporate hands), can achieve the very opposite of their intended goal and its a true shame as well as a travesty for legitimate victims of real abuse



  11. Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

    Links for the day



  12. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  13. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  14. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  15. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  16. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  17. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms



  18. Epitaph for (Death of) Patent-Centric Media: Litigation Giant Bird & Bird Nowadays Doing Ads as 'Podcasts' in Think Tank Site 'Managing IP'

    Publishers don't hesitate and openly revel in taking bribes as if it's a badge of honour or importance, allowing themselves to be profoundly corrupted in pursuit of quick cash; we discuss what's happening in sites that pretend to cover patent news (but actually drive agenda of litigation giants, to the detriment of actual innovators)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 19, 2020



  20. Links 20/9/2020: 4MLinux 34.0 Released, September Release and EndeavourOS for ARM

    Links for the day



  21. Video: Free Communication With Free Software - Daniel Pocock - FOSSASIA Summit 2016

    The 2016 FOSSASIA talk from Daniel Pocock (Debian) about Free software alternatives to Google, Microsoft Skype and so on (Microsoft started paying Debian in 2016)



  22. [Meme] Microsoft Downtime... Now in 'Linux' (Wait a Month for Microsoft to Restore Uptime)

    Microsoft’s utter failure that is "WSL2" is bringing the failures Windows is so notorious for (loss of work, lack of security, fatal patches) to so-called ‘Linux’; the timeframe for a fix says a lot about just how much Microsoft “loves” Linux…



  23. Coming Soon: Microsoft Leaks (Which Microsoft Pressured Medium to Suppress and Promptly Unpublish)

    Microsoft is no ordinary company; exposing it is like dealing with the Mafia or some drug cartel in Mexico, but we're able to publish truths about Microsoft nonetheless (their notorious intimidation and silencing attempts have always failed against us)



  24. Dishonest Corporations -- Like Smug Politicians -- Pretend to be Something They're Not

    Corporate lies dominate the media, having been crafted by unethical marketing departments with their photo ops and hashtags



  25. GNU is Also a Brand, But It Boils Down to Philosophy and Principles, Not Greed or Corporate Identity

    Why the goal of GNU should be freedom rather than so-called 'world domination' (the objective of large firms with shareholders)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, September 18, 2020



  27. Links 19/9/2020: Taiwins 0.2 and a Call for Ubuntu Community Council Nominations

    Links for the day



  28. One Year Later Richard Stallman Needs to be Un-cancelled and Attention Turned to the Real Perpetrator of MIT Scandals

    The sheer hypocrisy, treating Stallman as the real nuisance to MIT when it was in fact Bill Gates who trafficked money through convicted sex criminals (to MIT); justice needs to be belatedly restored



  29. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section Isn't About Linux But About Microsoft

    ZDNet's so-called 'Linux' section isn't really about GNU/Linux; it's just the site's usual Microsoft propaganda, bought and paid for by Microsoft



  30. Debian's Network of Gossip and Gossipmongering in Debian-Private

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News


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

Recent Posts