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07.05.14

Microsoft Sabotaging No-IP Rather Than Admitting Its Own Failures, Time for Class Action Seems Right as List of Affected Domains Collected

Posted in Microsoft at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft control over the Internet (control that should never have been granted) is used to shut down millions of legitimate services

THIS is an incident that has infuriated many people, companies, organisations, etc. It’s widely publicised by now. Microsoft is above the law, apparently, or rather, Microsoft is the law in the United States (see our page about “Microsoft influence in the United States government”).

Tux Machines, our near-real-time news site, relied on No-IP until some months ago. Millions of people use the site every month. Millions of services and sites use No-IP every month. It means that billions of people are dependent on No-IP . It is a critical service for perhaps tens of millions of Web sites and other services (such as LDAP, E-mail, and so on). Well, Microsoft’s outrageous demands have ruined the services. It is Microsoft’s fault (due to its own sabotage like back doors and incompetence that makes many insecurities). Do Microsoft’s demands now supersede the rest of us? Can Microsoft knock offline millions of services all around the world and if so, where did Microsoft acquire such an infitinite power? Here is an explanation and roundup of the past few days’ responses, which resulted in Microsoft relinquishing control of No-IP (when it was already too late and huge damage had been done).

“Can Microsoft knock offline millions of services all around the world and if so, where did Microsoft acquire such an infitinite power?”Let’s start by stating that Microsoft has back doors and much of the blame for SPAM, DDOS etc. should be put on Microsoft Windows, which is insecure by design. Microsoft cannot claim to be pursuing better Internet security (ever!) while it does what it does for the NSA. For Microsoft to take a whole network to court is like the FBI and USDOJ going after MegaUpload; however, Microsoft, unlike the FBI and USDOJ, is not a Federal agency. So what the heck is going on here? And how can Microsoft get away with it? Surely there should be a class action lawsuit, but will victims be capable of finding each other, then organising? Here is the response from No-IP and an article about it which says:

Millions of legitimate servers that rely on dynamic domain name services from No-IP.com suffered outages on Monday after Microsoft seized 22 domain names it said were being abused in malware-related crimes against Windows users.

“Apparently,” it says, “the Microsoft infrastructure is not able to handle the billions of queries from our customers. Millions of innocent users are experiencing outages to their services because of Microsoft’s attempt” (Microsoft is probably arrogant enough to not even apologise).

“Microsoft now claims that it just wants to get us to clean up our act, but its draconian actions have affected millions of innocent Internet users,” says the above.

They should organise for class action lawsuit. Perhaps No-IP should sue Microsoft for loss of many customers and the customers too should sue Microsoft for the damage caused by its overreach and abuse. No-IP ought to help its clients organise for a class action lawsuit.

Two days ago I drafted a post about this, calling for class action against Microsoft over this whole overreach. I did not publish it at the time as I was waiting to see how much damage was done overall. The services had not been restored by that time. Some services were down for several days. Now, let’s try to estimate the damage. If we assume $1000 compensation for 1.8 milion servers, then that’s $1.8 billion, which Microsoft can probably borrow from one of its offshore havens to pay in reparations. Microsoft should be sued in an organised fashion and prepare to pay billions of dollars in compensation, just as they were forced to pay fines after browser-related crimes.

“So, to go after 2,000 or so bad sites, [Microsoft] has taken down four million,” Gogun said. Gogun is a senior employee at NoIP.

Here is some press coverage of interest and feedback from victims, including:

  • “The dynamic DNS free domains from NoIp are working again. Thank @mictosoft for suspending 4mil honest users due to a “technical error”.” (Source)
  • “No-Ip.com categorically claims microsoft did not talk or consult with them before hijacking their networks! Disrupted millions!” (Source)
  • “Good to see that in the “land of the free” the bully with the money can take down the small guy” (Source)
  • “Dear Microsoft, please stop breaking the domains relied on by everyone who doesn’t have a static IP – surely compensation due? #noip” (Source)

How can Microsoft gain the power to just shut down parts of the Web without an open legal process? Watch IDG’s (partly Microsoft-funded) coverage of the No-IP fiasco (tilted in favour of Microsoft to make it look like innocent “error”).

Tux Machines, which used to be No-IP-managed, went down around the same time that I repeatedly protested about this online. Interestingly enough (and that’s a fact), DDOS attacks on Tux Machines (by Windows-running PCs) began just a few minutes after I repeatedly ranted about Microsoft’s sabotage of No-IP. I can’t prove the correlation, but it was curious enough to note. The botmaster/s attacking Tux Machines was not stupid. There was hammering on different parts of the site each time one was blocked/denied (I had to manually block huge chunks of IPs and addresses). Following Microsoft’s logic, many of its back-doored (for NSA) Windows PCs attack Web sites, so it’s fine to just shut down Windows PCs universally.

Here is some other and later coverage of developments and an official response from Microsoft (face-saving lies). 1.8 million customers are said to be affected and “Microsoft Insists That No-IP ‘Outage’ Was Due To A ‘Technical Error’ Rather Than Gross Abuse Of Legal Process,” says TechDirt:

Microsoft Insists That No-IP ‘Outage’ Was Due To A ‘Technical Error’ Rather Than Gross Abuse Of Legal Process

Earlier today, we wrote about a ridiculous situation in which Microsoft was able to convince a judge to let it seize a bunch of popular domains from No-IP.com, the popular dynamic DNS provider, routing all their traffic through Microsoft servers, which were unable to handle the load, taking down a whole bunch of websites. Microsoft claimed that this was all part of a process of going after a few malware providers, though No-IP points out that Microsoft could have easily contacted them and the company’s fraud and abuse team would have cut off those malware providers.

To quote the conclusion: “That’s not a “technical error.” That’s Microsoft blatantly making an extreme claim that convinced a judge to hand over a whole bunch of domain names without any kind of due process or adversarial hearing. While Microsoft may have then had a technical error on top of that, what kicked this off was a very, very big legal error.”

Microsoft probably knows that it’s about to be sued, so it is making up stories about “errors” while Microsoft-funded press repeats the lies. Here is AOL coverage:

Microsoft seized 23 domains this week from No-IP, a provider of dynamic DNS services, after filing a civil suit alleging that the domains in question were used to distribute malware.

The domains, according to Microsoft, were used 93 percent of the time for distributing the Bladabindi and Jenxcus malware families. A court granted Microsoft custodianship — DNS authority — of the digital properties so that it could “identify and route all known bad traffic to the Microsoft sinkhole and classify the identified threats.”

This was an abuse of the Court. Microsoft deceived the Court to take over what one writer called “universe” (millions of domains). Microsoft broke the Internet for several days, having abused or bamboozled a court.

To quote one of our readers, Microsoft “is getting the heat for the attack against No-IP. Yes, they failed by trying to run Microsoft products in a production situation but the actual anger needs to be directed at the court which handed, ex parte, No-IP’s business over to Microsoft. How on earth was that allowed? That’s the real question and one that Microsoft appears to what to distract from with stupid side tracks on ‘technical issues’ to bring the attention away from legal issues. Fraud. There was no accidents involved: Microsoft took over the domain on purpose after a lot of work manipulating the court.

“Then underneath the technical side is Microsoft inherent, built-in vulnerability. Without Microsoft there would be no botnets.”

Bill Gates Deeply Corrupt Not Just in Education Sector

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Knight

Summary: Bursting the bubble or shattering the illusion that Gates is merely a misguided well-meaning person when it comes to education ‘reform’

THE Gates Foundation continues to swindle the world.

GMO (e.g. Monsanto) monopoly is still on the agenda based on reports from CNET (part of CBS) and other CBS sites that highlight more patents on bananas, with investments from Bill Gates. They are of course pretending it’s about feeding hungry Africans, which is a common PR strategy, but it is really about profit. A lot of Gates-bribed media companies and blogs (bribed for silencing Gates criticism, plus the occasional grooming) might be able to keep the lies going some of the time (watch the Gates-funded Guardian publishing a disgraceful puff piece and other whitewash from the plutocrats’ fan press, Forbes), but they can’t keep the world from knowing that’s rather obvious to more and more people over time.

Well, “for a modest profit,” note reports, Bill Gates has just sold shares in private thugs. So only after public pressure and some profit Bill Gates distances self from G4S [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s a shame that this did not receive even more media attention. It highlights the way Gates continues to rapidly increase his wealth while pretending to be giving it all away. It should be easy to see that he does this everywhere, essentially bribing to profit where it’s more challenging a task. He would bribe officials who stand in the way of his corporate ambitions. A common mistake to be made is assuming that Bill Gates ‘screwed up’ only with education when the reality of the matter is that he’s hardly any different from the Koch brothers, he just has better PR.

Here is some recent coverage about Gates’ “Common Core” crusade (privatising what’s public, for a profit). This coverage comes from a paper (Washington Post) whose board used to include Bill's wife Melinda and his close friend Warren Buffett. It says:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t just bankroll the development of what became known as the Common Core State Standards. With more than $200 million, the foundation also built political support across the country, persuading state governments to make systemic and costly changes.

[...]

The Gates Foundation spread money across the political spectrum, to entities including the big teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, and business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — groups that have clashed in the past but became vocal backers of the standards.

Money flowed to policy groups on the right and left, funding research by scholars of varying political persuasions who promoted the idea of common standards. Liberals at the Center for American Progress and conservatives affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council who routinely disagree on nearly every issue accepted Gates money and found common ground on the Common Core.

One 2009 study, conducted by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute with a $959,116 Gates grant, described the proposed standards as being “very, very strong” and “clearly superior” to many existing state standards.

Gates money went to state and local groups, as well, to help influence policymakers and civic leaders. And the idea found a major booster in President Obama, whose new administration was populated by former Gates Foundation staffers and associates. The administration designed a special contest using economic stimulus funds to reward states that accepted the standards.

The result was astounding: Within just two years of the 2008 Seattle meeting, 45 states and the District of Columbia had fully adopted the Common Core State Standards.

We recently covered Ravitch's views, which the same paper gave a platform to, despite the infamous Gates ties.

Here we have a Gates-funded newspaper covering a “Rush-hour protest by teachers to target the Gates Foundation” and another Microsoft-linked (and at times — in a previous incarnation — Gates-funded) folks covering this protest against Bill Gates (some GeekWire staff came from Microsoft-funded circles). To quote:

Bill Gates has poured millions of dollars into public education reform in the U.S., and some teachers aren’t too thrilled about that.

About 150 instructors from the Badass Teacher Association marched through downtown Seattle toward the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday evening to demonstrate their disdain for the Common Core standards that have been implemented in 45 states, thanks largely to support from the Gates Foundation.

[...]

But as detailed in this Washington Post article from earlier this month, there’s been more and more pushback recently from both teachers and politicians on the standards. Some accuse Gates for supporting Common Core not for the benefit of students, but rather for corporate interest and to help Microsoft’s bottom line because the standards support technology and data.

The most important point we wish to highlight is that not only in education does Gates do this. Perhaps the fact that teachers are smart led to the quick realisation that Gates was selfishly doing harm and there was a triumph over Gates’ well-funded PR operation, which includes bribing politicians and newspapers. We hope that in the coming years it will become a regular thing in the press to cover Gates’ abuses in many other areas, not just obvious ones like investment in oil giants, ALEC, G4S, tobacco, and GMO. Gates is a sociopath just like the Kochs, and one with pockets so deep that he can bribe a lot of people to bamboozle the majority and ridicule (at times even suspend/fire) his opposition.

Publicly-funded NHS Would Enjoy Symbiotic Relationship With Free — as in Freedom — Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public services should use Free/libre software

Medical equipment

Summary: Some of the latest attacks on FOSS and how these relate to the uprise of the affluent (seeking to privatise everything which is public and profit by domination over the state)

WE NOW KNOW and have evidence to prove that proprietary software is used for spying. The NHS should be especially moved by this as privacy in the health sector (patients’ data) is a sensitive matter. Some nations shrewdly move their health sector over to Free software, assuring security, privacy, and domestic control over function, not only data. It ought to have become abundantly clear that the NHS cannot secure patients’ data with Microsoft because both GCHQ (domestic) and NSA (foreign) use Windows back doors and can dig ‘dirt’ on people, even medical ‘dirt’ (with which to punish or marginalise people). New evidence [1-5] teaches us that even GNU/Linux users are specifically targeted (all they have to do is just casually step on a Linux-centric domain name), so this has nothing to do with national security (or even espionage) and everything to do with domination over society.

There is this report right now about Microsoft struggling to get money out of the NHS, which is incidentally adopting more and more FOSS (I know this because of my job). To quote The Register:

Microsoft is finding out that it doesn’t always pay to play nasty with large government customers: NHS procurement bosses are telling authorities and bodies to hold firm against a wave of licensing compliance threats.

As exclusively revealed by The Channel last week, Microsoft wrote to all 160 healthcare bodies across England in early June to warn them they had until the end of the month to cough up for extra licences, via the discounted PSA12 framework, or be charged private sector prices to settle their bills.

Someone new at TechDirt had the following take on it:

As is the case almost every time you let a subscription lapse, the entity on the other hand will cut you a deal just to get you back on the ledger. And like everyone else everywhere, the government — even with all its [well, not really its] money and power — is no different. Microsoft delivers bold pronouncements and dire warnings and the NHS hits the “remind me later” button and goes back to what it was doing.

For [corrupt 78278 agencies like the IRS faulty proprietary software may have worked well] (hiding evidence of misconduct), but the NHS cannot afford this. Sometimes loss of data causes loss of many lives. And speaking of the IRS, it should really tax the rich more, not run after the poor. The rich should contribute more towards services such as the NHS (the US does not have an equivalent yet).

The IRS seems to have gone totally rogue and its attack on FOSS could open the floodgate to trouble. The IRS recently signed a Microsoft deal/contract (we covered it at the time) and now it is making FOSS-hostile decisions which were not made before. This is reminiscent of the FOSS-hostile BBC (also taxpayers-funded), which was made this hostile after many executives from Microsoft UK had taken positions of power over there and Bill Gates paid the BBC numerous times.

“The public sector, and especially the NHS (for high impact on lives), must gradually move to Free/libre software.”Mr. Robert Pogson says that “IRS Attacks FLOSS” and asks: “When will the beast of bureaucracy figure out what it’s left and right hands are doing? I think this is a case where Obama should immediately sign an executive order declaring FLOSS organizations are charitable, educational, and scientific organizations contributing to the public good, rich or poor, a huge net benefit to society. Read the GPL! Is there anything not charitable about it?”

The rich are waging war on the poor, war on public healthcare (welfare of the poor), and war on citizens-funded media (sources of information for the masses), not just Free software that’s often developed by and for the less privileged (financially). While most of these are beyond the scope of this site, it is worth noting the role of FOSS and the impact on it.

The public sector, and especially the NHS (for high impact on lives), must gradually move to Free/libre software. It is imperative because of obligation to taxpayers and also autonomy/security.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. More NSA Fallout, Linux Time Warp, and the Ultimate OS

    In tonight’s news, the Linux Journal publishes more on the NSA surveillance of Linux users and the Electronic Frontier Foundation throws in their thoughts too. Wired.com has a look back at Linux including a funny video. And finally, Gary Newell asks if you want to help fund the ultimate operating system.

  2. Linux Journal is under NSA survillance as ‘extremist’ forum

    If you ever visited websites such as the Tor Project’s home page and even Linux Journal, there is a good chance that the National Security Agency (NSA) added you to its surveillance list. Well, this is according to top-secret source code for the NSA surveillance program called X-Keyscore.

  3. NSA targets Linux Journal as ‘extremist forum’: Report

    The NSA is targeting the Linux Journal as an “extremist forum” and flagging its readers as ‘extremists’, according to source code leaked to German public broadcaster, ARD.

  4. Are you an extremist?

    Since the news broke yesterday that we are an extremist publication according to the NSA, we at Linux Journal have thought a lot about what that might mean to our readers.

    I am one of our readers, and I know many of our readers personally. That said, I can certainly describe many of us as “extreme” in a variety of ways. We’re extremely passionate about our hobbies and professions, extremely excited by innovative technology, and extremely supportive of the open source software community. So maybe we are extremists.

    With these things in mind, we thought perhaps our readers might like to join us in letting our extremist flags fly by “stamping” your online profile pictures with our Linux Journal reader extremist seal of approval.

  5. Dear NSA, Privacy is a Fundamental Right, Not Reasonable Suspicion

    Learning about Linux is not a crime—but don’t tell the NSA that. A story published in German on Tagesschau, and followed up by an article in English on DasErste.de today, has revealed that the NSA is scrutinizing people who visit websites such as the Tor Project’s home page and even Linux Journal. This is disturbing in a number of ways, but the bottom line is this: the procedures outlined in the articles show the NSA is adding “fingerprints”—like a scarlet letter for the information age—to activities that go hand in hand with First Amendment protected activities and freedom of expression across the globe.

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