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Planning the Future of Privacy at Microsoft 138

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the genuine-disadvantage dept.
Tony writes "Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, found himself in the front line in the wake of the software giant's recent antipiracy controversy. He talks about his role at the company, and what's in store for the future." From the interview: "Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, has been very involved with the issue and readily admits that the software maker dropped the ball on WGA Notifications. The flap puts him on the front line, rather than his usual role behind the scenes. For the most part, Cullen, who joined Microsoft three years ago from the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto, is happy with his role at the software giant. He works on things such as guidelines for developers and privacy policies."
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Planning the Future of Privacy at Microsoft

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  • by conner_bw (120497) on Monday July 03, 2006 @09:44PM (#15653995) Homepage Journal
    Royal Bank of Canada, where do I know that name? Oh right, incompetence [slashdot.org] and SCO investments [slashdot.org] a plenty. Microsoft is in good hands, no really!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @09:50PM (#15654022)
      and by "this" I mean rewarding people who help them kill competitors.

      Remember when SGI was a Unix company and a leader in 64-bit computing with their high end MIPS chips and then they switched to become a Wintel reseller and drop their chips and started selling Windows and practically stopped devloping their Unix? Well, if you look at who made that decision (Belluzzo), Microsoft hired the guy and made him a company president [theregister.co.uk]

      Remember when HP was a Unix company and a leader in 64-bit computing with their high end PA-Risk chips and then they switched to become a Wintel reseller and drop their chips and started selling Windows and practically stopped devloping their Unix? Well Microsoft hired that guy and made him a company President too (oh yeah, it was the same guy).

      This is what I expected to happen long ago, and posted on Groklaw (as an AC, of course) -- I bet Darl and friends get executive positions at Microsoft or a Microsoft backed company as rewards for their service too.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:00PM (#15654068)
        More speculation of MSFT hiring people who betray other companies for rewards here [slashdot.org] and here [osnews.com] and here [slashdot.org]
    • Royal Bank is particularly incompetent in the IT department, I wonder how Microsoft came to hire somebody from such a famously inept organization. Birds of a feather perhaps?
      • Royal Bank is particularly incompetent in the IT department, I wonder how Microsoft came to hire somebody from such a famously inept organization. Birds of a feather perhaps?
        Perhaps experience in covering up and diffusing major mistakes? Snow jobbing cutomers? Obfuscating incompetance? MS has need of those.
      • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Monday July 03, 2006 @11:05PM (#15654312) Journal
        Wasn't RBC one of the big PIPE investors or a front for an investor that bankrolled the SCO v. IBM case? There are already threads from that leading back to MS*. Is this another?

        *MS execs "advised" RBC to invest in SCO.
        • So this means there's a grand conspiracy at the Royal Bank? I doubt it.

          The Royal is the largest bank in Canada, tens of thousands of employees (direct and indirect.) The investment division alone has thousands -- if you think there was a memo from upper management to investment managers saying "Screw Linux -- let's help SCO!" you're sadly mistaken.

          Investment guys do what investment guys do. They invest in what they think will make money.

          It's all about the capital.
          • Except RBC handles a lot of MS money in various investments. So, they might be willing to take a long shot high risk investment if it will keep their biggest customer happy. What's 30 million when you want a bigger piece of your customer's 40 billion?

            And it's already been established that RBC invested because of a "tip" from certain MS executives. Have you heard about the Halloween Papers [wikipedia.org]?
    • RBC != SCO investor (Score:3, Informative)

      by gravyface (592485)
      Informative? Please read at least some of the comments you're citing [slashdot.org] before spreading the FUD.
    • "Royal Bank of Canada, where do I know that name? Oh right, incompetence and SCO investments a plenty. Microsoft is in good hands, no really!"

      It gets even better for the conspiracy nut

        ||three years ago from the Royal Bank of Canada||

      3 years ago?

      Which would put that, what, at the beginning of the SCO/Caldera scam^W lawsuit?

      RBC, Baystar, Microsoft - thick as thieves.

      --
      BMO
  • Planning.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by doubtless (267357) on Monday July 03, 2006 @09:59PM (#15654059) Homepage
    I thought I had read Planning the future of piracy at Microsoft..
  • Dang, this is the first I've heard of it. I wonder if the Matrix has ever gotten the BSOD.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If Microsoft has someone with that title then it means that they are already compromizing privacy.
  • by EllynGeek (824747) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:04PM (#15654085)
    They have the finest coders in the world, surely they can spy on users and invade their systems without being caught so easily. Why, they look like amateurs when Zone Alarm finks them off on the first try.
    • Sure they could work around firewalls that are installed on the Windows computer itself. But eventually someone would get them by monitoring the traffic on his Linux router =>
      back to square one plus accusations for circumventing the Windows firewall application.
  • Off topic, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sillysnipes (868150) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:08PM (#15654096)
    Windows Error Reporting, for example, has privacy built into it. When there is a problem with the system we want to know about that, because it is perhaps the only way that we can fix it. But we also understand that you need to have the choice about whether the information is sent. So, before it gets sent, you have to affirmatively say "please send".

    ...I hate that "Send/Don't Send" screen with a passion. Why not just tell us the error message instead so we can try and fix it?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:13PM (#15654108)
      ... because you can't fix it. It's closed source, remember?
    • by Phraghg (984220) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:44PM (#15654231)
      Because getting a detailed error report for most users is scarier than the fact that an error occured at all. Hence the spinning beachball of doom on Mac OSX :).
    • Have you ever sent one of those error reports? I know I didn't for the longest time, but they're actually just looking into the microsoft database and telling you what's the problem. If you knew what the hell it actually did, you'd know that sending it would GIVE you that "error message" that you so wanted. Plus it helps less tech savvy people who can't understand anything of the inner workings of a computer by showing exactly (most of the time) what the problem is.

      Please, just try it out. You may find it u
      • Re:Off topic, but... (Score:3, Informative)

        by vux984 (928602)
        Please, just try it out

        I tried it probably a dozen times.

        Each and every single time it came back telling me there was no additional information. I turned it off. (System Control Panel -> Advanced -> Error Reporting -> Disable Error Reporting for those that might not know how.)

        I don't miss it.
        • The error reports are logged in a database and the largest buckets get pushed out as bugs for devs to fix. If a fix is already availble you'll get pointed to it. It's up to you want you report but if you want the problems you are seeing to get fixed then reporting them is one way to help that happen.
        • Mod this person up...if I had some points I would. Thanks you for the tip on turning off the useless error reporting.
    • .. and they don't have an option for sending reports to 3rd party developers. It would be nice if I could build a flag or email address into an exe, and hear about types of failures annonymous users are having with my product.
      • They do have an option, but they don't do a particularly good job of advertising or documenting it. Instructions are available at this link [microsoft.com]. I believe access to reports is free, but you need a certificate to get access, which costs several hundred dollars.

        I'm not saying this system is ideal - only that it's available if you're looking to pursue it.
    • Re:Off topic, but... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nkwe (604125) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @01:14AM (#15654708)
      Why not just tell us the error message instead so we can try and fix it?

      If you have memory dumps turned on (My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery Settings, Write debugging information, Small Memory Dump (or better)), you do get to see the error message. That error message is embedded in the created dump file. In order to see what process or driver faulted the system (the error message), you take that dump file and run it through WinDbg. WinDbg is part of the "Debugging Tools for Windows" package, a free download from Microsoft.

      When you say "Send it" to Microsoft, what happens is that the equivalent of a small dump file is sent to Microsoft for automated analysis. WinDbg uses basically the same analysis engine. Assuming whatever crashed your system didn't totally corrupt memory and your stack, WinDbg will tell you what process, processor, and what thread caused the fault. It will also take a good stab at what module (dll, sys file, etc.) was responsible for the fault. If you have enough symbolic information available you may even get a function or stack frame name that is of use.

      Mark Russinovich has a book Microsoft Windows Internals, Fourth Edition: Microsoft Windows Server(TM) 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 that has useful information about all this.

      • If you have memory dumps turned on (My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery Settings, Write debugging information, Small Memory Dump (or better)), you do get to see the error message.

        Seeing as how this configuration box is what determines whether the send/don't send box pops up, why isn't there an option to configure said send box (ie, always send, ask to send, never send; I can imagine that in a collaborative environment, it even makes sense to have the "Small Memory Dump (or better)" and "
        • If you have memory dumps turned on (My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Startup and Recovery Settings, Write debugging information, Small Memory Dump (or better)), you do get to see the error message.

          I can imagine that in a collaborative environment, it even makes sense to have the "Small Memory Dump (or better)" and "Always Send" enabled)?

          By in a collaborative environment, if you mean a "work environment", Microsoft does have a good solution for this. It is called "Group Policy". With group policy you

          • By in a collaborative environment, if you mean a "work environment", Microsoft does have a good solution for this.

            No, I mean a collaborative environment. That can be a work environment. That can be an open source project. Because the latter exists, it is not sufficient to have the ability to control such in a "Group Policy". And the former might not even be reasonable if one considers that a work environment may very well mean multiple branches of a company collaborating, at least some of the time being
    • Because "Access vioation at 0xdededede" isn't an error message you can really troubleshoot. And if you could troubleshoot it, you'd have a debugger installed on the machine that would prevent the dialog from appearing in the first place.
    • Dunno if you've ever tried, but reading the crash dumps that are sent, using MS tools, is actually quite handy. I've had great success finding the offending file, and fixing the issue myself (not via programming, but by file replacement mind you)

  • by rolyatknarf (973068) * on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:10PM (#15654099)
    I feel so safe now - I'm getting all wet and squishy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't dropping the ball usually imply that it was there to be dropped? The total lack of notifications is more like not bringing the ball to the game, intentionally. Oh, we just forgot to inform you that we're Sure, it's for my own good that you're spying on me and my family and reporting everything to big brother.
  • Ah, the humility (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolic (11752) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:16PM (#15654124)
    Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, has been very involved with the issue and readily admits that the software maker dropped the ball on WGA Notifications.

    When I see stuff like this, I don't know what to think. Come on! A chimp could figure out that someone will eventually discover anything you try to get away with, especially when it involves unauthorized communication with unknown servers. They didn't drop the ball, they tried something stupid and got caught. Fess up.
    • They didn't drop the ball, they tried something stupid and got caught.


      You are absolutely right - there is a distinction there. Dropping the ball would be, oh, say... something like missing release deadlines by years.
    • They didn't drop the ball, they tried something stupid and got caught. Fess up

      Well really they DID drop the ball, not that they were doing something wrong (that is 'having the ball') but in that they were found out.

      The analogy reminds me of the Jo Moore scandal - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Moore [wikipedia.org]
      she attempted to 'bury bad news' behind coverage of the WTC bombings. As she was a PR person many pragmatic observers pointed that what she had done badly was not to have attempted to do this but that she w

    • by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @08:16AM (#15655643) Journal
      They didn't drop the ball, they tried something stupid and got caught. Fess up.

      Is it only me, or does anybody else see a paralell between this gaffe and Sony's rootkit?

      It's not Linux. It isn't your computer. When you buy a computer with Windows on it, or install Windows on your machine, it isn't your computer any more. It belongs to Microsoft.

      How do we know they didn't make a deal with the DOJ to open a few backdoors? Do you know what's in Microsoft's code? I don't.

      Do you trust a company who has been known for evil business practices for twenty years? I don't.

      Microsoft doesn't need a rootkit. That's the only real difference between MS and Sony.
  • "You could make an argument that, for the good of the user and even the good of the ecosystem, Automatic Updates should be turned on by default. People should have patched machines. But that would be contrary to our belief about user control; users need to have a choice."

    "In other words," continued Peter Cullen, "freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
  • ...please... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by djupedal (584558) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:17PM (#15654128)
    I know it is a holiday, but is this type of word usage necessary...?

    ...found himself in the front line in the wake of...

    'front line' means just that...front...way out in front...

    'wake', in the context seemingly indicated here, means 'behind'...'following'...'trailing'...the activity resulting from some other activity.

    At least try "..in the wake of the recent xyz, JimBob finds himself on the front lines of having to deal with..."
  • Why is it (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alien54 (180860) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:17PM (#15654130) Journal
    that the discussion of priovacy and Microsoft in the paracgh, never mind the same sentce, strikes me as some sort of oxymoron?

    It's not like we're going to see, any time soon, Steve Ballmer, or some other sedate Microsoft exec, dancing around the stage, shouting at the top of their lungs

    "Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! Privacy! "

    but stranger things have happened.

  • by XB-70 (812342)
    Regardless of The Royal Bank of Canada's little software upgrade issue (which was an error, not deliberate), bankers would totally freak if their organizations did anything that even hinted at things like Microsoft's WGA. It's obvious that Mr. Cullen is a neophyte who has no idea of the degree of sleaze that he's signed himself up for.

    Best of luck, Peter. Welcome to the spotlight!

  • by Rendo (918276) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:20PM (#15654143)
    Come on, Microsoft and privacy DO NOT belong in the same sentence. Just like NSA and phone.
  • by Firehed (942385) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:36PM (#15654202) Homepage
    All your privacy are belong to us!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...a boot, stomping on their customers' rights, forever.

    An oh yeah, the vast majority of them will just roll over and take it.
  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:39PM (#15654213) Homepage
    I think a story title, "Planning the future of Piracy at Microsoft" would be far more interesting. Don't we all want to know how many illegal MP3's Ballmer has on his IPOD. [macboy.com]
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:45PM (#15654236) Homepage Journal
    What garbage. Why cant we just jail people who lie like this?
  • by ciellarg (899150) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:48PM (#15654249)
    It's important to go back to the fundamental goal of Windows Genuine Advantage and the risk of pirated software. A lot of people believe that it might be about the revenue... ...but in actual fact, it is about the security and privacy of the users. Some research that we've done finds that the incidence of malware (malicious software) is a lot higher on pirated software, so we really are trying to make sure that users really have the opportunity to protect themselves.
    So... WGA is malware designed to help people with pirated software protect themselves? Microsoft doesn't care about the revenue?
  • Sure it is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:51PM (#15654260)
    "...but in actual fact, it is about the security and privacy of the users. Some research that we've done finds that the incidence of malware (malicious software) is a lot higher on pirated software, so we really are trying to make sure that users really have the opportunity to protect themselves."

    Riiiiiiight. I'm so sure that Microsoft is trying to help protect all the people that it finds stealing from them. If that was the case, then why force authentication of your software on me? If you were really concerned that my pirated copy of Windows has malware installed, why not use your ineptly disquised spyware to install a scanner and remove your crap, as well as everyone elses, so the users system is clean? Since it's not about the revenue, but about protecting ALL users of your software, legit or not, then you shouldn't have a problem helping thieves clean their pirated install of your crappy software, and making sure that everyone has the current updates. Limiting updates to legit users is ridiculous anyway. How many pirates do you think have a workaround, or at the least, a clandestine WUS server setup for their peers? If it was truly about the privacy and security of the user then they'd actually fix the holes in their code instead of trying to prevent lawsuits with bubblegum and bailing wire fixes.
  • One of the most gratifying things about Microsoft is that privacy is a core tenet of the company. It's part of the Trustworthy Computing Initiative, which was proclaimed by Bill Gates four-and-a-half years ago.

    Yeah TCI is to protect users privacy, not stop piracy and enforce DRM.

  • by mpapet (761907) on Monday July 03, 2006 @11:13PM (#15654336) Homepage
    This is the usual apology after the fact. Americans love this stuff.

    Meanwhile plans are afoot for something like WGA. (looks, smells, maybe doesn't quack like wga)

    The more minor stories like this get press on /. the more concerned I am it's a big distraction.

    There's no action. Linux on the desktop. Now.

    I converted two desktop users last week. How many did you convert?
  • by StreamCipher (986418) on Monday July 03, 2006 @11:50PM (#15654473)
    Do not provide us with software/OS that phones home unless the user explicitely opts in during setup.

    And make it so that the user has to specify what information is shared, for example by clicking on a checkbox next to each description of data sent from their PC.

    [ ] IP address?
    [ ] GUID?
    [ ] MAC?
    [ ] Email Address?
    [ ] CD Info?
    [ ] DVD Info?
    [ ] List of installed software?
    [ ] ...
  • by thunderpaws (199100) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @12:24AM (#15654587)
    Microsfot is again changing the english language.
    • Microsfot is again trying to change the english language.

      The above correction is small. Their intent is the same but it won't work.

      Most people never will buy into their definition of malice. Despite all sorts of effort, users refuse to see their freedoms as "communist" or a "cancer". Very few people see copyright violation as the moral equivalent of "piracy", which is deception, theft and murder on the high seas. While individual software packages may be malicious, Microsoft is going to have hard tim

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @12:37AM (#15654614) Homepage

    they have a guy whose sole job, whose 8-5 is to check up on things like applications phoning home, yet he didn't notice this till recetly? What operating system does he use at home and at his office? Wouldn't an individual in such a position forever have a packet sniffer running, and be running netstat?

    Some people say that it doesn't make sense to personify a company and attribute concepts such as 'evil' to it. But I find this diffcult to attribute such lack of sign to simple ignorance.

  • by etabyte (969967)
    ...but in actual fact, it is about the security and privacy of the users. Some research that we've done finds that the incidence of malware (malicious software) is a lot higher on pirated software, so we really are trying to make sure that users really have the opportunity to protect themselves.

    That's the most BS comment I've heard in a while. Is he trying to say that MS is really worried about those people that pirate Windows? If so, then what the hell is Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA). The last I hear
    • By the "opportunity to protect themselves" they probably mean "opportunity to buy a Windows license with a discount". My pirated copy of Windows fails WGA checks and Microsoft offers me to buy Windows XP Pro for $149, which is a lot less than its store price.
      I'd gladly buy a legal copy of Windows, if it
      1) didn't have Activation because I often replace my PC's components and I would hate to get a new activation key each time I do a massive upgrade. Oh, and I have 3 PCs and buying a copy of Windows for each o
  • Peter Cullen, you suck at your job. This is a dumb pr move and you know it. Peter Cullen doesnt care about privacy and until microsoft starts caring... We shall blame Peter Cullen. Peter Cullen sucks at his job. Step up to the plate, Peter Cullen.

    microsoft is using your name as damage control, I'm using it until you own up to your horrible doings. Peter Cullen, your name will be assosiated with "liar" until you prove other wise...

    Peter Cullen.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    10:00am - Alarm goes off, hit snooze a few times.

    10:40am - Wake up with a start. Shit! Call the office to let them know that I'm going to be slightly delayed this morning due to an ongoing alien attack. I tell them I'm as keen as hell to be safeguarding users' privacy and all that, but they cut me off at this point and say that I shouldn't worry, take my time getting in, maybe take the day off until the invasion's been repelled? It's really tempting, but there's been too many days like that just lately. I
  • Microsoft didn't drop any balls. They DESIGNED wga to send info to their server and they made installation of wga MANDATORY if you wanted to download critical security updates. The only thing Microsoft has done is to slightly modify wga and post crap like this 'dropped the ball on privacy' stuff to make themselves sound more warm and cuddly. Microsoft is still installing wga and they can (and will) have it do whatever they need it to do in the near future.
    • I read this bit

      "Microsoft didn't drop any balls"
      and was surprised. I simply hadn't realised that they had any to drop. I'm thinking of the project for a worthwhile shell, now abandoned I believe, called MONAD . And of course all the slightly off-colour jokes of the style "MONAD! Microsoft, don't you wish you had one!" I know it's bad of me, but I did laugh quite a bit.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @04:49AM (#15655232)
    But read the fine print. He didn't say MS is sorry for sniffing around your computers, or spying on you and installing a spy tool on your PC. All he says is that you should've been told that there's gonna be a spyware tool from MS on your machine.

    Makes sense. If you knew there is, there would be no grounds for a lawsuit now.
  • I need more coffee (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sm62704 (957197)
    It's early and I'm not used to being able to see without glasses yet. I thought the blurb read "Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, found himself in the front line in the wake of the software giant's recent antiprivacy controversy."

    On second thought, maybe "antiprivacy" was more accurate?
  • by Prototerm (762512) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @08:53AM (#15655724)
    If I was wary of Microsoft's actions and intentions before, after the WGA Notifications fiasco, I am doubly so now. In fact, I have lost all faith that Microsoft will do anything to protect the privacy of its customers. I am now treating updates from Microsoft as if they were *all* malware! About the only thing I have not done to date is to firewall the entire Microsoft domain, which I still might do, depending on their future actions. It was bad enough to put a privacy/security risk like WGA Notifications on my machine under false pretenses (it was not, and shall never be a critical update), without sufficient warning or permission, but to put an experimental/pre-release version of that software on my machine is inexcusable!

    To put it bluntly, Microsoft no longer has my trust! They have become worse than the pirates they are fighting.

    To put it even more bluntly: I will not upgrade Microsoft Office, because I do not trust it. I will not upgrade Internet Explorer to version 7, because I do not trust it. I will not upgrade to Vista because I do not trust it. If this later decision means I can't play the latest and greatest video games, then so be it.

    I also refuse to change the way I work because of this, however. A lot of what I do is not handled by Linux to my satisfaction, so I need Windows. That means I will continue to run Windows 2000 or Windows XP, but in a virtual machine in Linux, cut off from the internet. That should protect me from the malware writers -- including the ones at Microsoft!

    Microsoft needs to learn that a company's most valuable asset is the goodwill of its customers. Well, they just lost mine.
  • Seeking charismatic software developer with experience in leading projects and BS in business management. Past experience with BS is a plus.

    i couldn't resist...
  • WGN Frisks Users (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Tuesday July 04, 2006 @01:56PM (#15656838)
    WGN is like being frisked every time you leave the store. Once Microsoft does this then every single software vendor will do it. Expect to see 15-30 different notification programs running on your computer checking back with their servers.

    If I was frisked yesterday and found to be legit and frisked two weeks ago and found to be legit, why do I need to be frisked again? My system doesn't change that much daily, weekly, or monthly. This is a given, it is no brainer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this. 90% of us have legit licenses. 100% of us will be frisked even though 90% of us have already proven our reputation.

    Bill Gates and Paul Allen stole computer time from Harvard to write an emulator for the processor used in the MITS Altair computer. Then they stole more time to write the basic programming language for the processor. They then licensed it to MITS and used that to fund the growth of Microsoft. Bill Gates openly wrote a nasty letter to the computer club accusing them of stealing their software. Bill Gates flaunted his willingess to violate the laws by speeding, and getting caught so many times he was hauled in and arrested.

    When I was found legit yesterday, last week, two weeks ago, etc., there's no reason to believe that I am not going to remain legit. Any attempt to monitor me is an invasion of my privacy at that point. Any continued monitoring is an accusation that I will give my code to others to use and hence am aiding them in their theft, thus making me a theif.

    Bottom line, this form of monitoring is akin to calling me a thief even though I have been proven to not be a thief. To put this software on my computers when I do not wish it is bad. To monitor me without my consent is bad. To do is is to become a malware program.

    A decade ago we told Microsoft and the others that we did NOT want this stuff on our computers. If anything they are certainly persistent.

    Vista has this built into it. But XP is allegedly going out and Vista coming in. Why so much effort in protecting XP when it is allegedly to die in a couple of years? The reason is that Vista is XP with a different interface and heirarchy. Underlying it is the same OS as XP with that change and some security that prompts you upon every change to your system. Oddly enough this is how Linux and OSX do it. Because they are basically the same OS there's really NO need to update to Vista.

    Off topic: if you look at the trash can in Vista you'll note that the icon is taken almost directly from the linux community. Pretty sad.
  • Microsoft and privacy go together like Fascists and paeds....

    --

    http://absolutelynothingunified.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] - beyond the hysteria

If you hype something and it succeeds, you're a genius -- it wasn't a hype. If you hype it and it fails, then it was just a hype. -- Neil Bogart

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