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01.06.16

Microsoft Confirms Real-Time Spying on Vista 10 Users (Operating System as a Bug), Increases Pressure to ‘Upgrade’

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t install, just antagonise the bugging

A microphone

Summary: Microsoft inadvertently reminds people who had Vista 10 installed on their PC (sometimes downloaded passively against their will) that it is spying on them all the time and a new kind of pressure is being used to create a panic for acceptance of any forced (remotely-imposed) ‘upgrade’ to Vista 10

TECHRIGHTS does not wish to be dragged back into Microsoft bashing (unlike direct attacks on GNU/Linux, usually with the aid of software patents and patent trolls), but readers probably know by now that Microsoft has been turning people who used to be called users or customers into subjects or products, to be spied on and be treated like a commodity whose amount need to be maximised for exploitation in bulk.

With the introduction of Vista 10, the latest and nastiest (more malicious based on rather objective criteria) version of Windows, Microsoft now spies on every person all the time. There is some good analysis [1] and criticism [2] of this self-incriminating propaganda-driven move from Microsoft, which is desperate to convince people whom it forces to move to Vista 10 that this forcing will be for their own good, not just the good of the NSA.

“Vista 10 is not an operating system but spyware pretending to be one.”Using ‘security’ as a reason, Microsoft is now bashing older versions of Windows. Low on resources, Microsoft leaves in tact even known (to the public) back doors in its Web browsers, as covered by Microsoft-friendly sites (as here) and FOSS-centric sites (well, FOSS-centric most of the time). Here is how to put a positive spin on Microsoft’s latest kind of pressure/demand for people to move to the latest trap: “This news has come as a breath of fresh air as it was considered a bane for many web developers, thanks to the endless security holes in the software.”

Well, Web developers whom I know and work with often complain about the latest Internet Explorer and “Edge” (new branding for the same rubbish). They’re more incompatible with even more Web sites, for various different reasons. So this excuse or optimism is misplaced. As soon as next week, based on Microsoft fan sites, Microsoft will have yet another propaganda by which to pressure people to install spyware on their computers. Now is a good time to move to GNU/Linux. Some high-profile journalists are doing so right now because they better understand the underlying reasons (they’re reasonably technical).

Vista 10 is not an operating system but spyware pretending to be one.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Massive Windows 10 Success Has Six Nasty Surprises

    Understandably perturbed by this BetaNews took Microsoft to task on these revelations and asked if it would like to “explain how it came about the information, and why it is being collected in the first place”. Microsoft’s official response: “Thank you for your patience as I looked into this for you. Unfortunately my colleagues cannot provide a comment regarding your request. All we have to share is this Windows blog post.”

    To which BetaNews makes a very fair conclusion: “Microsoft’s spying is intrusive enough to reveal how long you have been using Windows 10, but the company is not willing to be open about the collection of this data.”

    Consequently the next obvious point to ponder is: If Microsoft is happy to disclose this data without saying how it was attained, what else does it access and track without user knowledge? Given Microsoft already admits much of its automatic spying cannot to turned off, just how many more metrics and how much user data is it gathering from every Windows 10 device?

  2. Why is Microsoft monitoring how long you use Windows 10?

    The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system.

    This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals’ usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.

    If the company has indeed been checking up on when you are clocking in and out of Windows 10, it’s not going to admit it. I asked how Microsoft has been able to determine the 11 billion hours figure. Is this another invasion of privacy, another instance of spying that users should be worried about? “I just wanted to check where this figure came from. Is it a case of asking people and calculating an average, working with data from a representative sample of people, or it is a case of monitoring every Windows 10 installation?”

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