08.07.15

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The Delusion of Privacy and Security in Vista 10 Instantaneously Debunked Even in the Media, Despite Microsoft’s PR Efforts

Posted in Microsoft, Security at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”

Steve Ballmer

Summary: The media continues to mock Vista 10 ‘features’ (and by extension Microsoft) for their gross privacy violations while Microsoft boosters try to create an illusion that Microsoft wants to improve security, despite creating back doors for rogue government agencies

BASED on some of the very latest Web statistics, the adoption rate of Vista 10 is very poor, especially when one considers the cost. Vista 10 surprised many people when it was served to the public (final release) with all the surveillance built in, as if every user (or buyer) is a beta tester of Microsoft, expected to endlessly send input to Microsoft for debugging purposes (even keystrokes!). What started with some blogs and privacy groups ranting about Vista 10 is now a major story in much of the media.

“You know that Vista 10 is broken when people (both developers and non-developers) desperately try to ‘fix’ it, as is widely reported in the media right now.”WND, a GOP-centric site, complains about Vista 10 and goes with the headline “Windows 10 spies on emails, images, credit cards, more”. Linux Veda says that “Microsoft are abusing their users and we could do with a useful tool to restrict this.”

You know that Vista 10 is broken when people (both developers and non-developers) desperately try to ‘fix’ it, as is widely reported in the media right now. Some people reportedly abandon it (to go back to older Windows or upgrade to GNU/Linux). Since Vista 10 is proprietary software, there is no way to fix it or even ensure it does not send personal data to Microsoft (silently, with or without encryption). One can only hope, especially when adjusting settings using Microsoft’s own handles.

Twitter’s Microsoft spam (paid for by Microsoft) now reaches shamelessly high levels, for they append “sponsored” Microsoft propaganda even to hashtag pages, calling it “top news” and linking to Bing shortcuts, posted by Microsoft’s professional buddies. We have already complained about how Twitter was helping Microsoft promote Vista 10 (these two companies have been working together for a long time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

Much of Microsoft’s ‘damage control’ (notably in Twitter) is just linking to articles which suggest ‘fixes’, as if privacy in Vista 10 can be easily sorted out. The ToryGraph says that “Microsoft is collecting user account information, credit card details and passwords,” but then goes gentle/soft on Microsoft. An article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols refers to those concerned about privacy violations in Vista 10 as “paranoid”. TechRadar, which so often delivers Microsoft spin, tries to advise readers, not by telling them to steer away from Vista 10 but rather to ‘fix’ it. A better article came from Andrew Orlowski, who called Vista 10 “a clumsy, 3GB keylogger.” In his article titled “Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers’ cesspit” (showing if not emphasising Microsoft’s hypocritical attacks on Google) Orlowski wrote: “A funny thing happened while I was reinstalling Windows 8 over Windows 10 yesterday morning. There in front of me, halfway through the installation process, were two full, clear pages of privacy toggles. Every toggle was set to not send private information to Microsoft, or anyone else.

“Microsoft has turned users of Windows into useds, or products.”“In addition, Windows 8 created a local user account by default – and didn’t demand I maintain a constant, umbilical connection to Microsoft’s servers. Windows 8 was configured for maximum privacy. Now compare this to the indiscriminate data slurp that Microsoft calls Windows 10. It’s basically a clumsy, 3GB keylogger.

“It’s often said that with data protection and privacy, we’re like lobsters: we don’t notice the water getting warmer and warmer, until we’re boiled alive. So it’s been with Windows. Windows 8.1 didn’t show you clear choices or screens with privacy toggles anymore, but invited you to agree to either “Express Settings” for privacy (wow: cool, convenient) or “Customise” them (there be monsters). It respected your local user account, but then bullied you into switching to the umbilical when you accessed the Store. Windows 10 makes the Customise option so small it looks like the trademark notice, and even then, the defaults are set to send everything to Microsoft, and only allow you to control the data slurp partially. Local user accounts are so buggy in Windows 10 that you’ll probably switch to always-being-slurped anyway.”

“It’s time we owned our own data,” says this new article, quoting what it called a “Silicon Valley truism.”

“If you’re not paying, you’re the product” is the truism. Microsoft has turned users of Windows into useds, or products. Microsoft is intensifying its relationship with the NSA while many other companies try to distance themselves from the NSA. Microsoft does not strive to offer security at all, despite its empty claims to the contrary (like a show trial involving data in Ireland). IDG's Microsoft boosters and Microsoft staff (Microsoft MVP J. Peter Bruzzese in this particular case) prop up the illusion of Microsoft as advocate of “security”, but it is just Microsoft marketing shrewdly disguised as “articles”, or Microsoft MVPs acting like external staff (watch this Microsoft advocacy site having a go too). Vista 10 ought to end any pretense that Microsoft cares about security.

Remember that Microsoft did not fix a serious Windows flaw for 3 months, despite Google urging Microsoft to fix it. The above ‘articles’ (from Microsoft mouthpieces) are just part of the publicity stunt. Microsoft is not bothering to fix critical flaws that it knows about and tells the NSA about (essentially giving back door access to all versions of Windows, as usual). Vista 10 takes all this to unprecedented new levels and lets spies track Windows users in real time (even their keystrokes!). It also harvests passwords, including encryption keys (supposedly for 'recovery').

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