08.08.14

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Only Foolish Governments Would Choose Microsoft or Apple

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 4:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proprietary operating systems are demolished by Snowden’s valuable leaks that exposed and/or confirmed more back doors

Senate spying

Summary: China bans Apple’s operating systems (just like Microsoft’s) while Apple retreats on it litigation strategy from 2010, showing perhaps where Microsoft is heading now that it is suing Samsung (as Apple did some years ago)

Back doors in Windows are nothing new, but the media does not discuss them too often (unlike iOS back doors). Earlier this week, according to this report, “IT security firm Kaspersky Cyber security firm Kaspersky [...] claimed it has detected an old, widely known vulnerability that was used in a cyber attack to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme in some versions of Windows platform across 19 million computers, including in India.”

Remember Stuxnet?

“Countries that the US does not like would be utterly irresponsible to still deploy and use proprietary software from the United States after all that.”The press seems to have quickly move on, without ever connecting it to material from NSA leaks showing Microsoft complicity with the NSA. Countries that the US does not like would be utterly irresponsible to still deploy and use proprietary software from the United States after all that.

China has already banned Windows and Russia moves away from x86 (hence no Windows). China is now banning Apple operating systems as well. Is Russia next? They’ve asked Apple and SAP for source code, having silently kicked Microsoft out (by moving to ARM).

According to this report from China, Microsoft is asked to obey the law it so often ignores (it is said to be bribing Chinese officials and engaging in other serious crimes). The report says: “Microsoft isn’t exactly welcome in China nowadays. The company and the government have many issues between them. The software company is believed to be guilty of breaching Chinese antitrust rules.

“Microsoft was told not to obstruct the antitrust investigation by Chinese regulators by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).

“Special investigations by the Chinese government are common these days. It seems the SAIC only wants to make sure Microsoft isn’t doing anything that is against the law.”

China has meanwhile moved on to banning the other NSA back doors [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and one article makes it clear that all Apple operating systems are banned:

China seems to be on a mission to isolate itself from the world, at least in terms of technology. After banning Windows 8 on government PCs and raiding several of Microsoft’s offices in China as part of an anti-trust investigation, Chinese officials have now prohibited to purchase of several Apple products for government use.

China will instead use Linux-based platforms. Some are AOSP forks.

Apple is meanwhile also retreating from lawsuits against Samsung [1, 2, 3], albeit only after it lost the biggest case in many practical terms (only cents granted on royalties per phone sold). Yes, Apple is dropping some lawsuits after Samsung tried a SCOTUS case (precedence) in its legal strategy. It has also been pleasant to see the EFF’s Daniel Nazer telling the US Patent Office to “End the Flood of Stupid Software Patents”:

We have often written about how software patents feed trolls and tax innovation. We’ve pushed for patent reform in Congress, in the courts, and at the Patent Office. While new legislation has stalled (for now), reformers have won significant victories in the courts. Of these, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank may be the most important. In this case, the court issued a landmark decision cutting back on abstract software patents.

He is explicitly talking out against software patents — something which they have not done in a while at the EFF. Even a Microsoft booster like Bill Snyder could support this with an article titled “The battle against stupid software patents is on”. We will cover patents in more depth in the next post,

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