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In Microsoft Windows the Police May Get Access to All the Files (and That’s Almost Impossible to Stop, It’s Very Difficult to Prevent This)

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

It takes a lot of technical work to remove OneDrive from Windows (how many people will even bother?)

How to remove OneDrive from Windows

Summary: As it turns out, it’s incredibly hard to remove OneDrive from Windows; Microsoft is basically pulling copies of people’s locally-stored files, which are then scanned by Microsoft for law enforcement purposes and maybe optimisation for advertising (in the same pass; it’s cheaper)

SOMETIMES it feels like technology isn’t being improved for the user but against the user (for those looking to subjugate users). This isn’t even a controversial hypothesis; many out there can provide evidence to that effect.

“All Microsoft can do about it is issue a bunch of non-denying denials, hoping time will pass and people might forget about the whole thing.”Over a decade ago we wrote a bunch of articles about how Microsoft had optimised Windows for snooping (or forensics by spooks and police). There’s nothing thoroughly secretive about it; there are even codenames associated with it. Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks provided a lot more evidence. All Microsoft can do about it is issue a bunch of non-denying denials, hoping time will pass and people might forget about the whole thing. Forget the warnings, don’t be too alarmed, dear people, go back to normal and “act normal…”

Yesterday we published 3 posts about Google surveillance and cooperation with police [1, 2, 3]. Later on we stressed again the real motivation. Obviously we aren’t defending wrongdoing; but in our view certain types of spying (on the innocent; the ‘driftnet’ approach) is itself a wrongdoing. Do we want to live in a society where privacy itself is a wrongdoing? Surely not…

“Obviously we aren’t defending wrongdoing; but in our view certain types of spying (on the innocent; the ‘driftnet’ approach) is itself a wrongdoing.”Over the years we’ve shown examples of European Patent Office (EPO) surveillance being leveraged against those who had exposed wrongdoing. Corrupt officials like António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli do not respect the privacy of those below them who can blow the whistle. That’s also why they surround themselves with loyal allies/confidants (friends and family, not qualified managers). Clannish behaviour such as this is commonplace in police departments and other institutions that exercise power over others. Intense protests erupted in the US over this.

Fernando Cassia, the former Inquirer journalist (we loved his work there!), noted to me some hours that, based on a new thread (“Windows10: How do I uninstall OneDrive app via powershell?”):

You need a custom #powershell script and registry fiddling to completely remove #Microsoft #onedrive from #Windows10 #Vista10

// old tricks to leverage mkt share, like “MSIE is an integral part of the O.S.”

Well, it is even worse from a privacy standpoint given what we know and have hard evidence of. It’s no secret that the same laws and regulations which apply to Google Drive also apply to OneDrive.

So, based on the above, Microsoft is increasingly integrating Windows into ‘clown computing’ and uploading people’s files, which will then be scanned by Microsoft. Google, we learned yesterday, increasingly does the same with Android. So that’s the trend. Does this seem acceptable to anyone? A sign of technological progress? Users are barely given a chance to change this behaviour (see the complexity of the above commands/howto).

“So, based on the above, Microsoft is increasingly integrating Windows into ‘clown computing’ and uploading people’s files, which will then be scanned by Microsoft.”For those who want to read some more rants about Vista 10 (a term that Mr. Cassia uses, even as a hashtag), IRC logs might do. This subject was discussed in IRC earlier tonight. “There was a program that went through ripping IE and stuff out of Windows 98 and putting in the Windows 95 B shell,” Ryan recalled. “Worked better after you rebooted. It was best to do it on a clean install. So I did clean install, ran that, rebooted, installed my drivers and the web browser I wanted to use. Then patched up Windows 98 with whatever still applied, like the 47.5 day bug. It was really a big relief because most of the security patches applied to stuff I didn’t even have anymore, including Trident/IE. When you’re on dial up, that really helps. I had a system that came with XP and I ended up putting 98 SE on it and running that program again.”

Ryan is a former Microsoft MVP; he moved to GNU/Linux a very long time ago. He uses Fedora now.

“Microsoft still plays games with their minimum system requirements,” he added. “When they used the backdoor to foist Windows 10 on older PCs, a lot of them that it didn’t just completely mess up came back up and were so slow they hardly worked anymore. It got so bad that Steve Gibson wrote a program called Never10 to toggle some registry bits and remove the “Get Windows 10″ app. Most people, given a choice, will just keep using their computer the way it was, because Windows 10 is so much worse than Windows 7 ever was. So, you’d leave the computer on one evening and here’s Windows 10. You didn’t ask for it. It’s just there now.”

Google does similar things with Chrome OS by the way, but the imposed changes are nowhere as radical. Maybe because the base operating system is so lean and simplified (all the workflow is in the ‘cloud’, just like personal files). There’s barely even local storage available (likely by intention).

Going back to Ryan…

“Google does similar things with Chrome OS by the way, but the imposed changes are nowhere as radical.”“They got some management that was somewhat serious about cleaning up the Vista mess and things improved for a short time,” he said, “but then “orders from on high” to start packing it full of crap that is nothing that any user would have asked for. Then they have “gimmick SKUs” that hide the real price of the computer “Windows 10 S”, you know. You get it home and then it wants $100 more dollars so you can run real programs. Simple extortion. “S” was a Trojan horse, so they started backing off from the demands for more money and called it a “mode” that could “prevent viruses” (along with most programs, but hey!). Microsoft thought it could pull a fast one. “Oh, what a nice laptop, and only $899 with decent hardware?”. S MODE! Suddenly the smoke begins to clear and you realize you have a $1,000 laptop. It’s just a bad idea to run Windows for so many reasons. There’s the viruses, the bloat. The fact that mandatory “upgrades” remove features you were using and move them to a more expensive SKU they just made up that you have to pay for again. Spyware built in. You can’t really hide from the updates without breaking the operating system on purpose with Windows 10. Eventually it tries to force them in even if you’re on a metered connection. It’s the most horrible OS there’s ever been. So people break the OS to hide from the updates, which would probably break their OS. Then you won’t get security updates, and the real fun begins. Pretty much. It’s like living on quicksand. They have something like an LTS that is much more conservative about updates and doesn’t break as often, but that’s only for “Enterprise” customers. If you use the normal release channel (everything listed as a Consumer SKU does) you’re getting updates that have not been tested almost as fast as they’re being compiled by Microsoft. So that’s why it’s breaking almost every month. There were many bugs in Windows XP where there was a hotfix, but they made it aggravating to get at, because they didn’t want to test them with the usual QA (which was not great) and it might break some program. Over the support lifecycle of XP, there were nearly 200 of these that I counted. Now they just shovel everything they wrote that month into a mega patch of death and you have no idea what it does or why, and you reboot and hope it reboots… so you can find out if it broke something. It’s depressing that people will even put up with this, and that’s a lot of the reason why desktop Linux at least tripled since Windows 10 and more people are buying Chromebooks and Macs trying to get away from it. [...] eventually only businesses stuck with Windows applications and gamers stuck in the Windows ecosystem of malware will be the ones who will use it. Microsoft desperately wants a sub $300 PC with Windows 10, but they always fail and sometimes take out the company that partnered with them in the process. I guess Kano is next. Nobody wants to constantly be dealing with unplanned downtime, but that’s what Windows 10 is, and pretending it’s anything else is foolish and the stuff that only the paid media would even pretend. I haven’t met a single real user who put Windows 10 on something/bought a computer with it, and liked it. The first thing my dad did with it was go “Oh, gross.” and replaced it with Ubuntu. He used to use Windows XP and then went to Linux full time with Vista.”

Psydroid replied, “the constant changes and updates are because Microsoft is now a headless chicken and doesn’t know what to do to stop the bleeding from happening anyway so they throw in everything and the kitchen sink in the hope that some of it will stick around?”

“I thought that Microsoft was getting their house in order with Windows 7 because it wasn’t terribly unreliable as Windows goes [but] Windows 8/10 are just sprawl,” Ryan continued. “It’s like the decaying shopping malls of COVID-19 America, packed into an OS. Rusting shopping carts and everything. Nobody at Microsoft is interested in cleaning it up. It just gets worse. They spent a lot of money and development resources on the entire “Windows Runtime”/Metro stuff, and nobody wants it. Nobody wants to use it. They use it with what Microsoft now calls “Classic Apps”, which are still basically all the applications written for Windows. Even if they can’t access most of the new APIs, the people writing them and using them don’t care.”

“The way we see it, Windows is a “burning platform” (to borrow Elop’s words).”Psydroid finally added that “no one wants to develop new software with Microsoft technologies, which pretty much guarantees the eventual death of the entire platform…”

The way we see it, Windows is a “burning platform” (to borrow Elop’s words). Microsoft cannot bribe everyone all the time to still impose Windows on every machine sold. And sure, Microsoft can take over GitHub to prop up some illusion of being relevant (how did the LinkedIn takeover work out?), but GitHub loses lots of money and Microsoft announces losses amid all these desperate moves. There are also layoffs.

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