Bonum Certa Men Certa

Nobody Sent to Prison After Microsoft Abused Privacy of Customers

Another reason to stop using Windows and other Microsoft products/services



Summary: Microsoft's above-the-law attitude well demonstrated by the snooping scandal and FBI collusion, which was not only violating human rights but also proved profitable to Microsoft (at the expense of taxpayers)

WE NOW know that Microsoft profited from its own privacy violations, pocketing taxpayers' money through the FBI. Robber baron Bill Gates recently defended mass surveillance, characterising it as essential (for him) and generally confirming what many people already suspected (that he defends the NSA). He does something similar for a profit. Microsoft's exceptionally strong relationship with the NSA should therefore be seen as ideological, too. Microsoft is not the victim here. The victim is the public, which governments and Microsoft are in essence colluding against.



"Violating the rights of citizens is now the equivalent of a Microsoft product and Microsoft cannot lose any money in this area."US taxpayers pay Microsoft for US taxpayers to be spied on and Microsoft profits from the FBI (i.e. US taxpayers) as long as nobody puts up a resistance strong enough, e.g. by boycotting Microsoft. One bit of original coverage said: "In December 2012, for instance, Microsoft emailed DITU a PDF invoice for $145,100, broken down to $100 per request for information, the documents appear to show. In August 2013, Microsoft allegedly emailed a similar invoice, this time for $352,200, at a rate of $200 per request. The latest invoice provided, from November 2013, is for $281,000."

Notice how Microsoft is charging. It's becoming like a profitable business area. Violating the rights of citizens is now the equivalent of a Microsoft product and Microsoft cannot lose any money in this area. There was other such coverage, even in political sites [1]. As one of the sites that broke the news put it: "These documents show how frequently the government calls on tech companies for information, and how nonchalantly they do business. The DITU allegedly requested information from Microsoft hundreds of times a month, and it appears that the government can buy customer information by simply shooting the right person an email."

Yes, it's that simple. There is not even a court order. The illusion of justice defending the innocent is no more. Reading Skype messages is another thing that Microsoft habitually does, as we discovered about a year ago. This is done indiscriminately. Everyone is under surveillance.

Now, consider the fact that nobody at Microsoft has been sent to jail for it. Contrast that with what happened in Germany: "To illustrate the direction in which they are leading debate, I would like to juxtapose the Microsoft claim that it is entitled to examine hotmail traffic to find a leak with what happened when a former Deutsche Telekom security manager undertook similar activities over their networks to also identify a leak. He went to jail."

This was said in reference to another revelation: Microsoft used surveillance on customers for business reasons [2]. These two latest revelations say something very simple; Regarding arrest of 'ex' Microsoft staff that abused access to data, he got fired because he's 'ex', not because of abuse -- the abuse is standard practice at Microsoft. According to this, "the software giant, on its own initiative, leafed through the blogger's Hotmail account and instant-messenger chatter logs..."

This means that "chat logs as well," as iophk put it, are now targeted. He added that "nothing passing through Redmond is safe. This is the very thing they loudly accuse Google of. No wonder any more where they get the ideas for those accusations." Microsoft has already admitted doing this (it did not even try to deny or spin it). So who will be sent to jail? Nobody of course. Microsoft is above the law. But also, as some put it, "Microsoft Doesn't Need a Court Order to Search Your Hotmail" (so nobody should ever use Hotmail or any of these other silly services that host E-mail for 'free').

For Microsoft, 'free' hosting is an opportunity for espionage, copying, framing, blackmail of competitors etc.

Ballmer shamelessly lied when he said "Google reads your mail, we don't." The very opposite seems to be true. Google was found innocent very recently [3].

Michael Arrington, writing in his personal blog, said: "I’m reading about how Microsoft read a blogger’s Hotmail (or other Microsoft hosted email) to determine who leaked Microsoft information to that blogger. Microsoft’s response is pathetic, stating that “the privacy of our customers is incredibly important to us” in the same post that explains that they’ll keep doing it.

"While I think that doing this is both evil and shortsighted (they lose trust and users), the only thing that surprised me was that they admitted it."

Indeed. But they did.

As Dr. Matt Blaze put it in Twitter: "So I wonder what other activities MS looks through your Hotmail account for? Do they look for people thinking of installing Linux?"

Or worse: how about companies or government departments? Some of them try to keep it secret to avoid retribution or intervention by Microsoft.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. This is how much Microsoft charges the FBI for your info


  2. Microsoft scanned French blogger’s email account to find Windows 8 leaker


  3. Google scores major victory in Gmail-scanning case
    It was a major victory for Google this week after US District Judge Lucy Koh turned down a class-action lawsuit against the search giant over allegedly scanning the contents of peoples’ emails. Had the class-action suit been allowed to proceed, the world’s largest search engine would have faced shelling out an astronomical amount in damages.


Recent Techrights' Posts

The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
 
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day
Microsoft Falls Further and Closer Towards 10% (Windows "Market Share") in Kuwait
more countries entering the "single-digit Windows" (under 10%) club
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Antenna's Pro-Hamas Bias Revisited and Old Computer Challenge
Links for the day
[Video] Julian Assange, Over One Decade Ago, Cautioning About What the Internet Had Truly Become
video is not new
Homage to Malta
Malta is probably easy for Microsoft to bribe
IRC at 16
Logging has been used for us and against us
In Malta, Android/Linux Has Overtaken Microsoft Windows (According to statCounter)
statCounter milestone?
Links 15/07/2024: China’s Economic Problems, Boeing Under Fire
Links for the day
500 Days' Uptime Very Soon
Good luck doing that with Windows...
Windows Falls Below 20% in Tunisia
A month ago we wrote about GNU/Linux in Tunisia
Links 15/07/2024: Google Wants Wiz and Why "Sports Ruin Everything"
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and Sending Files via NNCP
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 14, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, July 14, 2024
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Windows Down to 23% in Spain
the rate of change is noteworthy
[Meme] It Is Not About Empowerment, It's About Optics for Bigots and Businessmen
Truth hurts
Truth is Always Truth
Desperate efforts to suppress the truth resulted in even worse chaos and some people are going to pay for it
Android Surges to New Highs in Georgia, Windows Plunges to 30% (It Was 99% in 2012)
Until 2012 almost all Web requests there came from Windows
Another Casualty of the 'GAI' Ponzi Scheme: Most of the News Cycle and News Sites
accelerated death of journalism
Empowering Predators Who Fancy Exercising Control Over Women (Using Corporate Money)
Remember this when Google talks about diversity, women etc.
GNU/Linux Continues Its Rapid Growth in July, Today We Look at Belgium
Again, a word of caution: statCounter isn't a perfect yardstick
Links 14/07/2024: Goldman Sachs Says 'Advanced' or 'Generative' Hey Hi (AI) is Just Hype, Thoughts on Negatives
Links for the day
GNOME Foundation Welcomes Dolly
It didn't work out with Molly and Holly
Links 14/07/2024: Perils for AI PC Hype Train, Further Attacks on Freedom of the Press
Links for the day
A Response to Bill Maher's Senseless Attacks on Julian Assange and Wikileaks
published a few hours ago
The List of Sites or Sources for Linux News is Getting Shorter Over Time (Despite GNU and Linux Steadily Growing in Usage)
A lack of publishing begets lack of educated, informed population (a return to Dark Ages where rulers leverage mass ignorance)
The Number of Web Servers Has Gone Down
Cloud fatigue deux?
[Meme] GNOME Foundation's Relationship With Women
Lots more coming soon, so stay tuned
The Smugness of "I'm a Journalist"
Attacking women for expressing their opinions (for example, about the abuse they received) isn't unprecedented
It Takes No Courage to Become Another Corporate Stooge
transition to spam
Why Techrights Has Just Programmatically Blacklisted ZDNet
Even their "Linux" writers are AWOL
Gemini Links 14/07/2024: The Stress of 24/7 Notifications and FOSS tools for Sipeed Tang Nano 1K
Links for the day
Windows Already Down to 10% in Lao (It was 96% a Decade and a Half Ago), Vista 11 Adoption Has Stalled
And GNU/Linux is topping a 1-year high in Loa
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 13, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, July 13, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day