07.30.15

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Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

Posted in Vista 10, Windows at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“David Smith commented that Gartner will not bash MS if MS chooses to slip Vista.”

Jamin Spilzer, Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release

TECHRIGHTS does not wish to cover Vista 10 too much (we significantly reduced such focus in 2010), but it’s inevitable, since Microsoft pays a lot of companies to flood the Web with Vista 10 spam, that we should feel the need to respond.

Over at ZDNet, part of CBS, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes that Microsoft is now trying to make money from Solitaire, making it just spyware like the rest of the stack (studying the users for ads delivery), unless one ‘upgrades’ it. To quote the original: “Microsoft is once again bundling Solitaire with Windows, but if you want an ad-free experience then that’s going to cost you.”

So if you ‘upgrade’ (for ‘free’) to Vista 10, you will lose access to ‘free’ Solitaire, which now spies on everyone (for ads). Based on recent reports, Microsoft does not give people the ability to block surveillance through ads, unless they install an alternative Web browser (one that is not bolted into Windows). As The Register put it, one can “forget about extending the browser in any way, at least at first.” “Norton Antivirus doesn’t want you to use Microsoft Edge because it currently lacks extensions,” says this headline from a Microsoft advocacy site. So basically, Vista 10 is optimised for maximal surveillance.

But wait, it gets worse. A lot of articles were written upon the release of Vista 10, making it clear that Microsoft, despite the NSA leaks, made Windows even more privacy-hostile. Here are some examples from the news:

- Just remember folks…

Just remember folks – upgrading to Windows 10 – Asimov/CEIP/WER (MS’ real time telemetry system built into W10 to collect data on your usage patterns) will be running.

Until someone comes up with a tool to remove it or stop it then, literally everything you do is reported back to MS.

Microsoft said that it would be removed during release-to-manafacturing (RTM) – and it wasn’t so upgrade with this in mind (or wait).

- Disable KeyLogger Windows 10

Install Windows 10

Press Shift + F10 on the loginscreen to open commandprompt

Input the following commands:

sc delete DiagTrack

sc delete dmwappushservice

echo “” > C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Diagnosis\ETLLogs\AutoLogger\AutoLogger-Diagtrack-Listener.etl

- Windows 10: Here are the privacy issues you should know about

Windows 10 has just arrived and there’s a new Privacy Policy and Service Agreement from Microsoft coming swiftly in its wake.

The new policies take effect on 1 August and there are a few unsettling things nestling in there that you should be thinking about if you’re using the company’s services and software.

The Privacy Statement and Services Agreements combined come to 45 pages. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez wrote that they are “straightforward terms and polices that people can clearly understand.” The reality is, you’re probably not going to read them. So I did…

And, like so many other companies, Microsoft has grabbed some very broad powers to collect things you do, say and create while using its software. Your data won’t be staying on your computer, that much is for sure.

Data syncing by default

Sign into Windows with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately syncs settings and data to the company’s servers. That includes your browser history, favorites and the websites you currently have open as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords and Wi-Fi network names and passwords.

- Microsoft’s new small print – how your personal data is (ab)used

Microsoft has renewed its Privacy Policy and Service Agreement. The new services agreement goes into effect on 1 August 2015, only a couple of days after the launch of the Windows 10 operating system on 29 July.

The new “privacy dashboard” is presented to give the users a possibility to control their data related to various products in a centralised manner. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, wrote in a blog post that Microsoft believes “that real transparency starts with straightforward terms and policies that people can clearly understand”. We copied and pasted the Microsoft Privacy Statement and the Services Agreement into a document editor and found that these “straightforward” terms are 22 and 23 pages long respectively. Summing up these 45 pages, one can say that Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties. The company appears to be granting itself the right to share your data either with your consent “or as necessary”.

A French tech news website Numerama analysed the new privacy policy and found a number of conditions users should be aware of:

By default, when signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows syncs some of your settings and data with Microsoft servers, for example “web browser history, favorites, and websites you have open” as well as “saved app, website, mobile hotspot, and Wi-Fi network names and passwords”. Users can however deactivate this transfer to the Microsoft servers by changing their settings.

This was also foreseen a year ago. See this article from 2014, warning about privacy violations as per the preview:

Controversy has erupted around Microsoft’s Windows 10 preview. More specifically, questions are being raised about the amount of tracking – and the depth of tracking – that was built into the preview.

The Windows 10 technical preview goes so far as to monitor your typing, potentially crossing the line from instrumentation of alpha-level software into creepy corporate surveillance.

Truth be told, I honestly don’t think anyone but the extreme nutter fringe had, or has, a problem with being tracked in the preview. When you download the preview it is pretty upfront about the fact that it will monitor everything it can find to monitor.

The problem is that both Microsoft and the US government have lost the trust of the general populace. Discovering borderline technologies incorporated into Windows 10′s technical preview (like the built-in keylogger of ultimate controversy) simply serves as a catalyst for concerned citizens to ask the questions that have been bothering them for some time.

How much of this instrumentation will be in the release version? What are the specifics of the type and quantity of data being collected during the preview and – far more critically – what data will our Redmondian overlords be collecting on us in the release version of the operating system?

There are many more articles about privacy violations in Vista 10, but we don’t wish to focus too much on Windows, which is a dying/rotting platform.

This has become quite so horrible that Windows is now a huge risk of espionage for any corporation, let aside governments (fewer of them than corporations). There’s no longer a legal violation required for the NSA (e.g. cracking, warrantless access to datacentres)). The spies are able to gain access to sensitive data (as fine-level as keylogging, which means passwords too), using just a secret, wide-ranging warrant or ‘lawful’ interception of Microsoft data transmissions (probably with bogus/weak ‘encryption’ or none at all). No sane person who is aware of these conditions (effectively legal waivers) should allow Vista 10 to be used. It’s not an “upgrade”, it’s not “free”, it’s just “sellout” (of oneself).

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