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


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. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  2. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  3. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  4. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  5. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  6. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  7. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  8. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  9. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  10. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  11. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  12. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


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