Privacy Implications of Windows 10

The EFF has a good analysis of all the ways Windows 10 violates your privacy.

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 6:20 AM • 84 Comments

Comments

HermanAugust 23, 2016 7:02 AM

I am subscribed to the Windows Insider test program.

When I looked at Win10 back in February 2015 using tcpdump, I noticed that it sent my Email Address and a UUID in plain text back to MS and it opened connections to 39 servers, some of which I don't know who they belong to.

My conclusion was that the only way to secure Win10 is to pull the network cable, or disable networking in a virtual machine.

So, I'm not using it and I can't recommend it to anyone else either and since then, I have purchased three Macs.

Spaceman SpiffAugust 23, 2016 7:23 AM

As far as I'm concerned, Windows IS a virus in its behavior. We have a choice. JUST SAY NO TO WINDOWS! I've been using Linux exclusively for 10+ years and couldn't be happier.

Joffrey DahmerAugust 23, 2016 7:32 AM

Win10 'Home' edition came factory-installed on a notebook I bought earlier in the year. Told it I paid for every nybble of data exchanged with my ISP, which seemed to deal at least with the forced updates (tho' not sure about any telemetry that the settings exposed by the OS fail to control). In any case, have now replaced it with win7 which (trackpad non-support notwithstanding) is by far the less unpleasant Windows experience.

Reed WiedowerAugust 23, 2016 8:54 AM

This seems a little like click-bait. I support the EFF with money, every month, - but gathering telemetry data on application crashes and OS hangs seems like exactly the sort of thing anyone deploying a widely-used operating system *should* be doing.

Cortana is opt-in, and the upgrade process is unrelated to using Windows 10 (given the improvements in security to Windows 10, I find it amusing so many people think going backwards will keep them safer), so there's only one central critique of this piece, namely, that people who purchase Windows 10, and want security updates, can't disable the telemetry logging.

Reading Microsoft's response actually makes a lot of sense:
https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2015/09/28/privacy-and-windows-10/

Remember, unlike Google, or Facebook, Microsoft's business model is not to collect data to advertise at you. (Both Apple and Microsoft differ from Google/Facebook in this key way) So they definitely don't want to erode trust in that way because it impacts their business model of selling you more software and hardware.

MaxAugust 23, 2016 8:57 AM

They gave up trying to make something worth paying for. New strategy is, turn Windows into an advertising platform.

AndrewAugust 23, 2016 9:23 AM

This whole discussion remind me of an old joke:
Why Windows is not a virus
https://www.redhat.com/archives/rhl-list/2005-October/msg00818.html

On a slightly more serious note - I think this is an unfortunate side-(d)effect of the hyper-connected civilization that we've become.

I think it started with the online ads.
Then it was the Gmail.
Then we got the likes of Android.
Now your own pc is a snitch for M$, Canonical, et al.

And sometimes it looks like our whole species has developed some unhealthy exhibitionism traits.

hawkAugust 23, 2016 10:02 AM

@Reed Wiedower

I agree. MS faces a lot of blind opposition from persons like CR. He must have been fired from MS back in the 90's or something. A widely distributed OS like Windows 10 is an extremely difficult undertaking. Many just parrot what they hear then lash out with something like "that does it, I'm going back to Linux"
Who cares. My grandmother used to say "we didn't have all these problems back in 1950. If we just went back to the way we did it back in 1950 then all our problems would go away." Nuts. Expect more of the same. Notice also how others get a free pass, like Apple. It's a head game. Don't play.

parabarbarianAugust 23, 2016 10:10 AM

Microsoft knows its customer base and I strongly suspect that only a vanishingly small percentage of current Windows users will migrate away because of this. Already I hear users rationalize it with excuses like, "Everybody uses Office" and "I have nothing to hide."

So, welcome to your future with Microsoft; where your every action will be monitored and regulated by computers you do not control.

DanielAugust 23, 2016 10:10 AM

I remember reading on this blog about a decade ago someone remarking along the lines that Windows has the greatest Trojan ever invented....yet I still didn't learn my lesson (sigh). Windows 10 did it. I am one of these people that dropped Windows for Linux rather than upgrade to Windows 10. I still run one machine on Windows 7 but with the new forced updates I plan on moving that to Linux too.

So whenever you hear people express skepticism that Windows 10 will cause people to move to Linux there is at least one counterexample: me.

kRUSTYAugust 23, 2016 10:17 AM

@Reed Wiedower

If the article is click bait, then you're astroturfing with jet engines.

I had already seen this EFF piece, and found surprising that Mr. Schneier would reference it, as he seems to be of the opinion that W10 can be neutralised.

I would be curious how many copies of Windows 10 are bought or "upgraded" by Uncle Sam, and whether they get any special treatment regarding data collection. (Is it done in-house by Fort Meade?) Any deployment to sensitive areas such as .MIL and STATE.GOV? (And what software does Hillary's private server run?)

Nix or NothingAugust 23, 2016 11:32 AM

Disabling yet another Win10 "feature"? Yeah, honey, keep slapping more makeup on that black eye. Tell the nice officer that you walked into a door. Tell the nice doctor that you fell down the stairs. Tell everybody that he's just "misunderstood".

Ross SniderAugust 23, 2016 12:22 PM

The EFF article fails to mention that the privacy policy for Windows 10 explicitly lists law enforcement as a partner that will have access to your data. Combine that with the list from the EFF: geolocation, voice input, text input, programs run and during what times, visited websites, etc.

No thank you. There has been no effective legislation to deal with the mass surveillance disclosed by the Snowden documents, and the partnership of Microsoft and others in surveiling users on behalf of intelligence agencies and federal police ("FREEDOM Act" wasn't effective legislation).

Until there's some legitimate action protecting me from third party abuse I minimally engage with these companies and encourage others to boycott them and will communicate explicitly that Microsoft's terms of use give state police copies of everything you do on your Windows 10 Operating System, including what programs you run, what websites you visit, and what you type into and say near your computer.

AnoAugust 23, 2016 12:46 PM

but gathering telemetry data on application crashes and OS hangs seems like exactly the sort of thing anyone deploying a widely-used operating system *should* be doing.

Bob, this is HR. Why did this pornhub app crash on your computer over 30 times this morning? You're supposed to be working on that kernel driver!

You say you have nothing to hide. Shall we test that theory?

On another tack: Does it include arguments? If I run mariadb batch mode with userid & password command-line arguments, and it crashes, does microsoft know my userid & password? What about memory dumps from a crashed program? Can microsoft extract my encryption keys?

There's plenty of stuff I want to keep to myself. Medical records, future research projects, those special pictures with my wife.

This is why app crashes & OS hangs telemetry are usually opt-in and not mandatory!


Cortana is opt-in

Not anymore!

July 27, 2016: https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/07/27/1714213/you-cant-turn-off-cortana-in-the-windows-10-anniversary-update

Quoting from one respondent:

In some ways this is more honest, it's been demonstrated that the OS will talk to 107 domains whether or not some switches are toggled in the Control Panel to give the illusion of privacy.

Please remember, Win10 overrides the local computer's hosts file. You need to block all 107 (known so far) domains at the router!

 

I believe it was said best by Darth Vader: I am altering our deal. Pray I do not alter it further.

Actually, I'm praying they do alter it further. I have popcorn! After the taskbar advertising, forced upgrades, click X to upgrade, ... you know, there's just too much to list here ..., etc. I can't wait to see what happens next. This is better than TV!

ianfAugust 23, 2016 12:46 PM

parabarbarian: welcome to your future with Microsoft; where your every action will be monitored and regulated by computers you do not control
You've got the correlation wrong: MSFT does not want to regulate your computer/ browsing usage, it wants to mine the content of that so it can extract a mesh of keywords describing your interests. Which, TOGETHER with your unique browser/ device fingerprint, it then can sell to the ad industry WHILE YOU ARE BROWSING THE WEB, so that you'll be served just the "appropriate" kind of ads in real time (well, in theory anyway).

That's the present intrusive commercial surveillance model, who knows what will come after that?

A CONTEXTUAL ANECDOTE: I mention this to a friend during a Skype session, why I'm giving up on Skype, that MSFT analyses our voice exchange and weeds out keywords to add to our amalgamated fingerprint profiles (also in this case identified by mail addresses).

    If you speak of ThisBrand car model, you are bound to start seeing many more ads for it in the near future, I said.
    "Really? So if I say BrandX, BrandX!, BrandX!, they'll show it to me?"
    Never heard if it, I say, but probably.
    "They make 35 units a year, used to make 17-18."
    In that case, you don't have to worry about being inundated with their ads, they already sold the entire production run for the next several years.
    "True, I'll have to go see it again at the Geneva Car Saloon."

    CONCLUSION: there are limits to usefulness of keywords harvesting.

MicroflaccidAugust 23, 2016 12:47 PM

Microsoft has ordered the sockpuppets over the top to get mowed down, hawk, reed, et al, and predictably, none of them address the actual problem: nobody trusts Microsoft. Microsoft thinks it's their machine, not yours, and they've already shown that they will use it to rat you out to the government. The only way Microsoft can palliate this problem is with manipulation and coercion, so naturally those are the two core functions of their new operating system.

Now when people can conveniently choose a replacement,

https://www.virtualbox.org/
https://distrowatch.com/

Microsoft is terminal. Their market is powerless victims: cubicle serfs, big-box lumpenproles, underdeveloped countries. Do the compassionate thing, just pith Microsoft.

SasparillaAugust 23, 2016 1:10 PM

The announcement of impending change of the Windows Update system on Windows 7 & 8.x to the Windows 10 type update system pushed me enough. Last night I downloaded and created several Linux install / run DVD's and will look for one that actually successfully runs on my PC computers. If I can get one to work, I'll go to dual booting Linux and keeping the Windows partition only for the occasional gaming I do. Will try to do the disable WU and use security only method if that is available:

WSUS Offline Update, Autopatcher or PortableUpdate.

"There has been no effective legislation to deal with the mass surveillance disclosed by the Snowden documents, and the partnership of Microsoft and others in surveiling users on behalf of intelligence agencies and federal police"

@Ross Snider - I think one could argue that things have gotten worse since 2013, although we somewhat know about it now. The law allowing companies to be able to share any data (without liability) directly with the NSA passed just after Windows 10 came out always seemed like way too much of a coincidence to me - knowing what Microsoft had done with them before.

While those reading and commenting here can probably do something (for the most part) about being stuck with Windows on their PC, 90% of the market will not - its still a monopoly at the PC level - and Microsoft will be happy to see us go (less people complaining).

Here's a good article (bit of a MS mouthpiece but the details are good) on turning back the telemetry on Win 10 for those stuck with it (remember this is just the telemetry part, it has other parts that are talking back to home base), it defaults to sending home everything:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-telemetry-secrets/

https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/manage/manage-connections-from-windows-operating-system-components-to-microsoft-services

hawkAugust 23, 2016 1:45 PM

Your ISP already knows everything about the websites you visit. You don't even know what the MS telemetry data is. You think you can use a different browser on a Linux machine and no one will know? Even back in the XP days websites popped up ads based on your searches and your browsing. You can't even be sure of privacy with a smart card and VPN or with Tor. All you accomplish is making it look like you're a terrorist. And everything is Microsoft's fault? WTF

hawkAugust 23, 2016 1:56 PM

@Micoflaccid

What always stands out to me are the sockpuppets like you spewing crazed nonsense about Microsoft but never a word about AT&T or Verizon or China Telecom. You don't have the foggiest idea what you're talking about. Please tell how you're so smart hunkered down in the basement on your air-gapped box and the data diodes. Nuts.

de La BoetieAugust 23, 2016 2:19 PM

Perhaps the sea-change for the discerning here is to move to a fully Virtual machine environment based on an Open source host (also including Qubes).

That way, you can run Windows, or any other "social/spying" operating system in an appropriate environment for your purposes. This may include zero networking, or it may just be used for particular personas or applications you want to operate.

Either way, it should not get unfettered access to your local file systems and keystrokes, nothing closed source should do so.

What does annoy me in the W10 upgrade is that, for example, it is a downgrade for W7 Ultimate users, it does not include things like AppLocker. You are supposed to get Enterprise, the W10 Pro is not Pro at all. That's what the main problem is, the retail versions don't include anything equivalent to the Enterprise functionality.

hawkAugust 23, 2016 2:46 PM

Microsoft is always getting bashed here. Even though ISP's will provide authorities with everything and anything about you and without resistance, Microsoft's pushback gets dissed as PR.

If it weren't for Microsoft we'd all be stuck back in the 80's. The .NET framework makes Java look like road kill.

I wasn't born yesterday. I can't help but think all the Microsoft-is-evil crap has just a little bit to do with a sore loser IBM cloud wannabe.

chickenhawkAugust 23, 2016 2:59 PM

BUT WHAT ABOUT ISPs, WHAT ABOUT THEM? THEY SUCK TOOO!! Very convincing, hawk. Guess what, nobody trusts Microsoft, even after your spectacularly lame riposte for simpletons. Ever wonder why?

Now, emboldened by his incongruously macho name, hawk tries to tell us resistance is futile, Tor or i2p or FREENET or GNUNET or VPNs will get you in trouble, which evidently deters sniveling Microsoft bitches like hawk, if not people with a semblance of balls. Hawk wouldn't dare spoof a user agent or poison fingerprint data. He's too dumb for linux.

So, hawk, you're such a cyber big shot who pooh-poohs the very notion of privacy, hack me. Without getting pwned and doxxed to ignominious 4chan fame.

But seriously, are you so in need of an identity that you're reduced to identifying with a shitty mass-market consumer product? Can't you be like other lost souls and wave your pom-poms for the Red Socks or whatever?

Ginger BreadmanAugust 23, 2016 3:12 PM

"Privacy Zuckering verb:

Creating intentionally confusing privacy policies —à la Mark Zuckerberg—to sucker users of social networking sites like Facebook into exposing valuable personal information."

From Wired magazine: Jargon Watch

You really don't need to use FB or Google. Even if you do, there are some controls that you can use to make sure your most private data stays that way.

Not so when the OS is secretly cooked to record and save your every word, keystroke, password, and data point entered.

Now MS is applying Zuckering principals to change the privacy rules on the fly, taking more and more with every tweak.

It's not right. We all know it's not right. But, based on those who have gone before MS, apparently it's all 100% legal.

And, let's not say Linux is a real choice for the vast majority of users.

That leaves Apple OS systems, ...maybe.

In any case business and government will be using Windows for the foreseeable future, thus setting the trap for hapless workers who aren't IT wizards.

GrkAugust 23, 2016 3:18 PM

@hawk

Maybe because this is a thread about Windows 10 - a MICROSOFT product?

It isn't an AT&T Product. It isn't a Verizon Product. It isn't a China Telecom product.

It's a Microsoft product.


Shill elsewhere.

Borked AginAugust 23, 2016 3:25 PM

@de La Boetie


"You are supposed to get Enterprise, the W10 Pro is not Pro at all. That's what the main problem is, the retail versions don't include anything equivalent to the Enterprise functionality."

There are several websites touting a totally easy and free version of W10 ENTERPRISE by merely copy-pasting a generic key into the activation setting.

WARNING from ONE WHO MAKE THAT BIG, BIG MISTAKE:

If you do that, you have just borked your 'puter.

The watermark warning in the lower right corner is a subtle beginning. However, you now cannot update the system, the warnings and black screens start to increase geometrically, there is no way personalize your system, certain settings become locked with no obvious way out of it. It is a bad, bad, bad thing to do.

The ONLY fix is a complete reinstall from scratch. grrrrrrrrr.

Guys, don't do it. Seriously.

btw, a legit key is about $400, but only available to corporate customers. So much for free Windows 10 forever.

Clive RobinsonAugust 23, 2016 4:10 PM

@ Hawk,

I agree. MS faces a lot of blind opposition from persons like CR

If that comment is aimed at me then you've picked the wrong target to aim at. Yes I've been calling out Microsoft back from the MessDross days. As for Mess Windoze I've called them out on that as well, having still got copies from Win 1 through to Win 7. But I was not the only one calling them out the US DoJ and various EU courts did the same for the same reasons.

But if you had been around this blog for long enough you would know I've called out other OS's even those that were supposedly secure. So I don't favour Microsoft for condemnation, all consumer OS's and some specialist OS have received my condemnation. In fact you will find a comment on this blog where I clearly state I don't believe any consumer OSs are secure enough to use. Further I'm none to impressed with Tor having pointed out where it has significant architectural flaws that will stop it from ever being secure against the likes of the Five Eyes and in particular the US (google this blog for "all roads lead to Rome").

As for working for MS it's funny you should mention that... long before Mess Dross I had the misfortune to work with them over CP/M on their Z80 card for Apple ][ systems, and I certainly remember Billy Boys open letter over people passing copies of Basic around, and laughing like a drain knowing that in effect he had stolen the idea.

But if you had been around on this blog for a while you would know I've given freely of information so that people can improve their security regardless of their OS or Apps.

But lets be honest about things here, MS Windows 10 Home is bad news and actually very likely to get found guilty of various illegal behaviours in non US courts over it's actions.

But as a side note can you name can you name another commercial OS that has around fifty "telemetry servers" addresses hard coded into it?

Likewise can you name another comercial OS that forces mindlessly large downloads on users who most asuradly do not want them?

I could go on with a very long list of things Microsoft have done and are doing to users that other commercial OS designers/developers do not do.

But at the end of the day I still use MS OSs I just ensure that they can not breach the legal duties of confidence I'm legaly required to keep. Part of that is not "upgrading" beyond XP in most cases. The fact that all but one of the MS OSs I use has been orphaned by Microsoft is neither here nor their as far as I am concerned, they still do the jobs they are required for admirably. Thus I have no need to climb into Microsofts "hamster wheel of pain" of endless upgrades and patches and thus have more time to use constructively in other endevors.

At the end of the day it's your choice to climb into that hamster wheel, if you wish to not mine. But as I'm charitable I will help you make it's use safer so neither you guts spill or your unmentionables get displayed to the world. But it's up to you to ask, as many others have. It realy is your choice and your choice alone to ask or not, but I would ask you not to condem me for helping those who have asked, that realy is not helping anyone, including yourself.

Ergo SumAugust 23, 2016 4:11 PM

@Reed Wiedower, quote...

Remember, unlike Google, or Facebook, Microsoft's business model is not to collect data to advertise at you. (Both Apple and Microsoft differ from Google/Facebook in this key way) So they definitely don't want to erode trust in that way because it impacts their business model of selling you more software and hardware.

You really should read financial reports from Microsoft, or at least, articles that analyze Microsoft's financial reports.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/07/windows-surprisingly-strong-in-microsofts-20-6b-fourth-quarter/

Quote from the link:

Bing, however, was profitable for the full year, and in the fourth quarter its revenue was up 54 percent (or up 16 percent with traffic acquisition costs* included) from a combination of both more searches and more revenue per search. Windows 10's greater use and embedding of Bing was instrumental here, with more than 40 percent of Bing searches in June coming from Windows 10 devices.

*-Emphasis mine...

Guess what the "traffic acquisition costs" refers to? Yup, the free Windows 10 licenses...

@All...

Yes, most OSes and apps do collect "telemetry data" that can be just performance data and everything else. If it's only performance data collected by Microsoft, can someone explain how Bing had more 50% jump in its earning? Maybe I am not up to date on the type of data that valuable for advertisers, but it's doubtful that strictly performance data could increase Bing's revenues that much.

It's sort of interesting that Bing's revenue has increased for previous versions of Windows about 14% during the same time period. It shows, that despite the fact that Windows 7 and Windows 8.x had been retro-fitted with "telemetry" tools, the much larger number of installation base did not result in greater revenue share than Windows 10. In my view, the reason for it that Bing isn't as deeply integrated in the OS. At least, not as of yet.

Starting in October this year, Microsoft will have packaged updates for Windows 7 and 8.x, basically take it or leave it, same as the current Windows 10 updates for non-enterprise versions. I fully anticipate that Bing's revenue from the older platforms will grow substantially by March 2017...

Clive RobinsonAugust 23, 2016 4:21 PM

@ Bruce,

... of all the ways Windows 10 violates your privacy.

I doubt it's "all" as it's a fast moving target... Which is fast turning into the worlds largest game of "Whack-o-Mole".

As parents tell their children when playing on the park roundabout "If it's making you giddy then it's time to get off otherwise it will make you cry" appears to be sage advice for those that can.

TõnisAugust 23, 2016 4:48 PM

"What always stands out to me are the sockpuppets like you spewing crazed nonsense about Microsoft but never a word about AT&T or Verizon or China Telecom."

@hawk, @all

Thought crimes are usually two pronged:

1. Dissemination
2. Possession

Perhaps I don't care so much about what I disseminate, because I'm not sharing nude selfies with contacts who I think are 15 year olds but are actually 40 year old cops. Yes, Verizon sees my internet traffic, but it cannot help itself to my stored files or share them with its law enforcement "partners" the way Microsoft now supposedly will be able to do with a user who is on a Windows 10 box. I care about the files I'm in possession of because a) they're private; and b) I may not even know about every file I might be shown to be in possession of or what it even is.

Dissemination is harder to prove. I don't care what IP this post of mine is coming from. After all, who is really at the keyboard typing it when there's tape over my webcam? On the other hand, possession is easier to prove. Just take some naive sap's unlocked, unencrypted smartphone and plug it into Cellebrite UFED equipment or get Microsoft to give you a heads-up so you can make a surprise visit and take his unsecured laptop. No, thanks.

Marcos MaloAugust 23, 2016 5:06 PM

When using an OS become like being in an abusive relationship, it's time to leave. Corporate entities have a poor track record in couples counseling with humans.

tyrAugust 23, 2016 6:26 PM


Clive is not the only one who has followed the
Microsoft story since its sordid beginnings as
a grab from the public domain. They have never
been your friend it was always about the money.

The business model was selling you broken things
that required one more upgrade to be functional.
Now it is to take over yur comp and hold you for
ransom. Benefit to you has never been part of the
scam.

Win 10 just adds another layer to the saga.

Dirk PraetAugust 23, 2016 7:19 PM

@ hawk, @Reed Wiedower

I agree. MS faces a lot of blind opposition from persons like CR.

Let me put it this way, gentlemen: burying your head in the sand may give you plausible deniability as to who exactly it was that sodomized you, but it will not change the fact that it happened. Either you are both willfully ignorant of what is going on with Windows 10 and the telemetry backports to 7 and 8, or you are suffering from some kind of Stockholm syndrome.

GweihirAugust 23, 2016 9:13 PM

The main issues with Win10 I see is that we _still_ have no conclusive analysis of what it sends home (and no legally binding assurances from MS either) and that there is no reasonable way to opt out of updates, making any Win10 machine an unreliable mess that can break at any time and get new malware and spyware installed and you can do nothing about it.

Professionally, I don't know what we will do, we have reason to expect that in the near future more and more customers will explicitly forbid us to store and process any of their data on Win10, it is just too much of an unquantifiable leakage-risk. For the moment we are staying on Win7 for all things that require Windows (mostly office), but either MS will offer a way to switch off telemetry completely that is available to a small business or we will probably have to move to Win7/Win10 locked down in an isolated VM with no network access or updates for use with office.

Privately, I have one application type that unfortunately still needs Windows: Gaming. If MS continues with its evil machinations (telemetry and forced updates), I will likely move to a model where I have one machine for gaming only, no email, no web-browsing, etc. and one with Linux for everything besides gaming. That would also mostly neutralize the threat from forced updates, as then they could only break games. Alternatively, dual-boot, but encrypt everything Linux so that Windows cannot access anything, but I am leaning to the two-machine model, also because then I can lock down all network access for Windows to what is needed for running games and getting updates and nothing more.

It is a sad state of affairs when you have to consider a major OS maker a malicious adversary. Microsoft has now fully reached that status. Sure, like any good parasite, they are trying not to kill the host too fast, but still.

Ergo SumAugust 23, 2016 9:30 PM

@Dirk Praet...

Either you are both willfully ignorant of what is going on with Windows 10 and the telemetry backports to 7 and 8, or you are suffering from some kind of Stockholm syndrome.

That might be the wrong diagnosis, the Freudian Theory is probably more fitting under these circumstances.

In either case, you cannot say that Microsoft will have, or ever had Lima Syndrome...

confusedAugust 23, 2016 10:23 PM

@ Gweihir

If you're going to that model, what's the difference between putting XP on the VM and putting Win 7 on the VM? The logic is that MS has given up on XP so while there might be security exposures on XP they can be minimized by use of the model you sketch while there's presumably (!) no danger of MS moving telemetry back to XP.

Reluctant Windows 10 UserAugust 24, 2016 12:33 AM

I finally switched from Windows 7 to 10 last week, simply to have a system that was more supported by Microsoft than the legacy 7.

I'd delayed doing this for many reasons, among which are 1) until this spring Windows 10 seemed to be primarily a kind of ongoing crowdsourced beta (with "Windows 10 Insiders" doing the testing...), scarcely a substitute for real in-depth internal testing (the latest fiasco with disabling practically all web cams bears that out, I think), 2) the degree of UI changes from 7 seemed huge (but I'm gradually adjusting by using Stardock's "Start10" start menu substitute/crutch), 3) the degree of telemetry is crazy (but I've eliminated a lot of it by configuring O&O "Shutup10" program to reload via the Task Scheduler more private defaults each time I start the machine or logon.

I've been agreeably surprised that my system is now quicker than Windows 7 to start/stop, and that generally it just seems a bit more sprightly.

But generally I'm with the EFF and other critics on this: Microsoft, Google and the other Internet oligarch companies really need to give us a precise, clear statement not couched in legalese or generalities of just what data they retain & process of their users' interactions with software & websites, and what product of it they may broker to other companies. We're the product and we have a right to know how our livers are being chopped!

65535August 24, 2016 4:38 AM

“[Microsoft] it will face backlash in the form of individual lawsuits, state attorney general investigations, and government investigations… We at EFF have heard from many users who have asked us to take action...” - EFF

I agree with the EFF. Windows 10 Home and Professional leak personal and proprietary data like the Titanic. I believe it will that a huge laws suit to get M$ attention. I suggest that the EFF sue Microsoft.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive

@ Max

“They gave up trying to make something worth paying for. New strategy is, turn Windows into an advertising platform.”

Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a winner! Max has correctly identified the core problem with Windows 10 – It basically a huge advertising platform – not a business Personal Computer. Further, the more Microsoft denies that fact the more it lies to its customers.

@ Ross Snider

“…There has been no effective legislation to deal with the mass surveillance disclosed by the Snowden documents, and the partnership of Microsoft and others in surveiling users on behalf of intelligence agencies and federal police ("FREEDOM Act" wasn't effective legislation).”

You hit the nail on the head. Windows 10 is a spy platform that just happens to have a word processor and spreadsheet program.

@ Sasparilla

“I think one could argue that things have gotten worse since 2013, although we somewhat know about it now. The law allowing companies to be able to share any data (without liability) directly with the NSA passed just after Windows 10 came out always seemed like way too much of a coincidence to me - knowing what Microsoft had done with them before. While those reading and commenting here can probably do something (for the most part) about being stuck with Windows on their PC, 90% of the market will not - its still a monopoly at the PC …”

I agree that M$ has turned to dark side and gotten in bed with the 3 letter agencies. I have lost trust in M$.

@ Clive Robinson

“'ve been calling out Microsoft back from the MessDross days.”

Yes, and deservedly so and your not alone.

“...a [huge number - ed] of malware mishaps have targeted security flaws in Microsoft Windows and other programs. Microsoft is also accused of locking vendors and consumers into their products, and of not following and complying with existing standards in its software.] Total cost of ownership comparisons of Linux to Windows are a continuous point of debate… The company has been the subject of numerous lawsuits by several governments and other companies for unlawful monopolistic practices… Microsoft was the first company to participate in the PRISM surveillance program, according to leaked NSA documents obtained by The Guardian…” –Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Microsoft

@ Ergo Sum

“You really should read financial reports from Microsoft, or at least, articles that analyze Microsoft's financial reports.”

If you are trying to say M$ is making huge profits from Windows 10 that is debatable. In fact, Ballmer calls M$ “run rate” averaging complete BS [he says the books are cooked]. I agree that M$ uses highly dubious revenue recognition [and income recognition] accounting tricks – not to say others don’t do the same.

“…Ballmer's view of the run rate: "Bullshit. They should report the revenue, not the run rate."” - Arstechnica

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/12/ballmer-microsofts-cloud-revenue-numbers-are-bullshit/

http://www.businessinsider.com/ballmer-wants-microsoft-to-share-cloud-revenue-2015-12

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3011662/cloud-computing/microsoft-revenues-steve-ballmer-bullsshh-bullsshh-bullsshh-bullsshh-itbwcw.html

http://www.geekwire.com/2015/steve-ballmer-criticizes-disclosure-policies-from-the-cheap-seats-at-shareholder-meeting/

http://www.businessinsider.com/ballmer-wants-microsoft-to-share-cloud-revenue-2015-12

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/12/14/steve-ballmer-thinks-microsoft-corporation-must-fi.aspx

In summary, I view Windows 10 [Home and Pro] a spyware/Adware/NSA kissing bundle of malware. It should be either avoided completely or modified to neuter it’s constant calling home features - this of the utmost importance to lawyers and other professionals who depend on privacy.

ArchAugust 24, 2016 6:38 AM

@kRUSTY

I had already seen this EFF piece, and found surprising that Mr. Schneier would reference it, as he seems to be of the opinion that W10 can be neutralised.

Mr. Schneier is objective - he references articles which both support, contrast, compare and (sometimes) even undermines his point.

However I think you're referring to this question from his recent AMA:

I've heard you stated recently that you think Windows 10, with the bells and whistles, is the most secure OS. Can you expand on the bells and whistles? Are you using it? Also, what password manager do you use?

    I need to write an essay about how I harden Windows 10. It's on my to-do list, albeit not very high. For a password manager, I use my own Password Safe.

I gather that Windows 10 can be hardened and that you can prevent ALL data from being sent to Microsoft according to the article @Sasparilla posted.

You can configure telemetry at the Security level, turn off Windows Defender telemetry and MSRT reporting, and turn off all other connections to Microsoft services as described in this article to prevent Windows from sending any data to Microsoft. We strongly recommend against this, as this data helps us deliver a secure, reliable, and more delightful personalized experience.

https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/manage/manage-connections-from-windows-operating-system-components-to-microsoft-services

For non-enterprise users you can stop almost everything - it's quick and easy to use this tool:

https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

AnonymouseAugust 24, 2016 7:13 AM

It seems extremely coincidental that the telemetry data that MS gathers on behalf of the NSA is perfect for input to drone targeting software.

Scoff all you like but the USG already blows the hell out of cell phones all across the middle east on a near daily basis.

Just wait until they start with the domestic drone strikes. The first one will be hard to explain away, but then it will become routine.

I know this sounds crazy but those sociopaths have already flown armed drones over the United States.

ArchAugust 24, 2016 7:43 AM

@Anonymouse

I'm sure that drone strikes aren't as a result of data gleaned by Microsoft. The information they need can be easily gathered by other means with the assistance of the NSA.

You don't really think their targets stand around using Windows Phones and Windows computers do you?

They don't need Microsoft's assistance when they're hacking the data cables buried deep within the ocean, routinely breaking SSL connections and monitoring almost everything.

Fact is you can be monitored whatever operating system you use (Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD) as long as it's connected to the internet.

Freezing_in_BrazilAugust 24, 2016 9:20 AM

@Hawk

Even though ISP's will provide authorities with everything and anything about you and without resistance, Microsoft's pushback gets dissed as PR.

You think everything in terms of US, and I think it`s fair enough. However, where I live there are express law guarantees preventing the local fed government of doing so. A body of law entirely dedicated to the Internet called `Marco Civil da Internet` in Portuguese [see Brazilian_Civil_Rights_Framework_for_the_Internet]. You need a warrant for every little thing you want from the internet surfing citizenry. It is not perfect, as one year data retention is still required, but it is a small price and we are working on that. Strange as it may seem, Brazil is one of the freest nations when it comes to Internet.

(*) Granted there may be illegal [useless in court] eavesdropping, but that`s another story.

Freezing_in_BrazilAugust 24, 2016 9:32 AM

Adding:

On the Internet I use only Live Linux distros, and I recommend it for everyone. My air-gapped systems use Full install distros. I keep two weak Win7 machines on my network to serve as honeypots.

GrauhutAugust 24, 2016 11:01 AM

@Herman:

Right, Apple makes a sysadmin from hells life a lot easier, just block 17.0.0.0/8! :)


@Hawk: "If it weren't for Microsoft we'd all be stuck back in the 80's."

Wrong. Remember trumpet winsock and why one needed it? If Microsoft had won you would use AOL now.


@Windos users:

1. Install and set up O&O ShutUp10, reboot
2. Install and setup Spybot Search & Destroy, reboot
3. Install and setup Spybot Anti Beacon, reboot
4. Pray
5. If lucky 99% of possible annoyances are gone with the bit stream

GritAugust 24, 2016 12:08 PM

@casparbdn

The issue isn't that it phones home. The issues are that Microsoft refuses to let the end-user turn it off and that Microsoft is repeatedly changing settings on the end-user's machines to re-enable tracking (and that's when they aren't outright adding new tracking).

Ross SniderAugust 24, 2016 12:15 PM

@ Sasparilla

Remember that during the Snowden revelations Microsoft rebranded SkyDrive to OneDrive.

"SkyDrive" was tainted as being included in the PRISM program. "OneDrive" has a beautiful marketing campaign. But it's the same thing.

Ross SniderAugust 24, 2016 12:24 PM

@hawk

"Your ISP already knows everything about the websites you visit. You don't even know what the MS telemetry data is. You think you can use a different browser on a Linux machine and no one will know? Even back in the XP days websites popped up ads based on your searches and your browsing. You can't even be sure of privacy with a smart card and VPN or with Tor. All you accomplish is making it look like you're a terrorist. And everything is Microsoft's fault? WTF"

Your ISP does not know your keystrokes or have a microphone in your house, nor know what programs and data are going through your computer.

People on this forum are smart enough to recognize strawman arguments.

AJWMAugust 24, 2016 1:54 PM

Microsoft thinks it's their machine, not yours,

While the problem is big at Microsoft, it's somewhat endemic in the entire software industry post shared mainframe days. Old school developers understood that they had to share the machine with other users and developers, often within enforced limits, so they learned to play nice. The current crop of developers who have only ever coded on, effectively, single-user boxes have never learned to play well with others (and the autism spectrum plays right into that).

Microsoft has always had a history of not playing well with others, which stems from the backgrounds and personalities of its founders and all the straight-out-of-school developers it hires. But I see the same traits in some in-house middleware developers who happily spew config files and gigabytes of logs all over the place.

/rant

WhiskersInMenloAugust 24, 2016 3:52 PM

@Herman • August 23, 2016 7:02 AM I am subscribed to the Windows Insider test program.
When I looked at Win10 back in February 2015 using tcpdump, I noticed that it sent my Email Address and a UUID in plain text back to MS and it opened connections to 39 servers, some of which I don't know who they belong to.

Insider program, as am I.
My solution was to grab a new email account and use that to connect my machine and ID to MS.

I do not use that account for anything interesting and consider that ID to be unique to a specific
Win10 machine. Then I use different browsers and local accounts to do things.

Win10 is getting a bit odd and virtual machines are working well enough that I have
started copying a pristine VM image to a new name and then run it in VMWARE or
another VM. Then remove the recently used copy to purge cruft.

Inexpensive firewalls are available and if not now will soon be a necessary in this IOT world.

I have found that Win10 runs better on some old hardware than Linux does.

I do like the stronger posture for updates and hopefully security that Win10 has.
Business owners can pay for more control and should.

Now to flush and firewall the Lenovo, HP and ASUS etc. cruft.
Printer drivers are worse than printer ink in abusing customers.
Hardware vendors do install stuff that make the basic Win10 look innocuous.


rAugust 24, 2016 5:10 PM

@Ross Snider,

Au contraire,

"Your ISP does not ... have a microphone in your house"

Comcast.

Comey, Hero of the PPTTAugust 24, 2016 5:36 PM

Windows 10 is Comey's front door. Microsoft takes anything and everything you do and they transmit it around the internet as telemetry. Having arranged this with Microsoft and concealed it with legally void overclassification, the government used the FISA Court of Review to overrule circuit courts and claim trap-and-trace applies to the Internet too, and if we trap and trace that telemetry stuff it's not content, so if we incidentally collect it that's OK because we minimize it a little.

https://www.emptywheel.net/2016/08/22/the-government-uses-fiscr-fast-track-to-put-down-judges-rebellion-expand-content-collection/

So if you're stupid enough or downtrodden enough to use Win 10, the government can take everything you ever do in case they need it because you annoyed them. You're not the customer. The customer is FBI.

Dirk PraetAugust 24, 2016 6:50 PM

@ WhiskersInMenlo, @ Curious

I have found that Win10 runs better on some old hardware than Linux does.

I guess it wouldn't cost much having a small affordable linux box.

One of my old laptops is a Vista/Linux dual boot machine with 2 cores and 2Gb. of RAM. On the Linux partition, I'm running a hybrid KDE4/KDE5 desktop, but 2 Gb. really is the minimum required for (comfortably) running recent KDE, Gnome or Unity desktops that come with a lot of bloat to the point that on vanilla installations they're indeed slower than some Windows versions.

One of the resource hogs you will want to disable for more than one reason are indexing and tracking services like nepomuk/strigi, baloo, tracker and zeitgeist as well as Gnome's online authentication agent (goa daemon) and KDE's Telepathy subsystem. Unfortunately, ripping these out breaks all kinds of stuff. KDE's Desktop Configuration utility (Search) and Gnome's Control Center (Search - Privacy) allow you to disable some of this stuff, but not all of it, so you have to dive into the .desktop files in either /etc/xdg/autostart or ~/.config/autostart and add a "Hidden=true"-line to the zeitgeist and tracker items.

In general, I also disable Gnome's key ring services (Seahorse) in favour of a GPG agent with ssh/smart card support and kwallet, KDE's password manager that also has a Firefox extension so you can keep all of your passwords in an encrypted kwallet-file which you can store on a flash drive. For SSO afficionados, pam_kwallet can automatically open your kwallet-file upon logging into your KDE desktop if your login and kwallet password are the same.

Ideally, kwallet should also support smart cards, but I'm afraid they're not there just yet. Perhaps @Thoth could give the KDE guys a helping hand 8-)

@ Grauhut

Install and setup Spybot Search & Destroy

I personally like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware better. I use it both on Windows and OS X.

blind as a batAugust 24, 2016 7:46 PM

it is true the ISP have access to everything you do. At some point in the future they'll be on chopping block.... just a matter of time.

linux/freebsd seem like good alternatives to Windows and MacOS.

The thing I don't like are the video drivers especially nVidia.

Catepilar CatankeryAugust 24, 2016 9:40 PM

W10 probably OK for something if you don't have a wireless card plugged into mobo and don't connect it to any network, but then it's probably very difficult to install things on. W10 and any version of windows will not run faster than GNU/Linux and other systems on any hardware if you know how to actually compile your own modules and kernel and properly utilise GNU/Linux for example. You could build another system and not keep personal crap on it or connect it to the rest of your network if you think your privacy is worth more than the cost and there is a huge list of addresses you can block in a decent router if it helps you sleep better at night.

But hell, you most likely have a phone in your pocket which is "smart' so why would you worry about your personal privacy or security. The sad fact is you are going to be forced to give up more and more of your privacy by simply interacting with the rest of the world (facial/voice recognition etc) unless you are willing to live on your own in the middle of nowhere without any modcons. I'm kind of hoping the intelligent machines we are working towards take better care of Earth (if we get there before we run out of resources), or at least they are a reminder of the crazy animals that wrecked some far off joint called Dearth, but if we were to create something else capable of destroying us, we are certainly building all the tools to do it. Likely, being intelligent, they will just leave, though it's possible they might think the place is better off without us and clean before leaving. The fragile human body can't survive the trip through interstellar space anyway, no matter how hard you might wish.

W10 is a PITA to install on other people's machines who probably have no/terrible security anyway and likely use "services" like Ashley Madison who claims "it cannot be expected to have the same level of documented compliance frameworks as larger and more sophisticated organisations." (or small organisations, or some individuals, or any kind of security regime of any significance)
If you are going to build such an "OS", why not make it much easier to work for the people who are going to use it. I know MS don't really care much about the people that have to go and fix the problems for people who buy their stuff (but still want you to sign an NDA), but wouldn't it be a smart move to include their products already installed in the operating system that are required for their applications to work, or are they just interested in how you do it?

A speaker easily works as a microphone, or something that vibrates in a small capsule. No need to get paranoid.

PeanutsAugust 24, 2016 11:42 PM

I have a Windows 10 research system which contained with a hardware deny all allow a very little non ms.

It seems really very uncomfortable squirming to phone home does some odd gymnastics to try to shatter the glass. Like, enabling using a hidden (disabled) IPv6 stack, causing faults in apps it thinks might have connections, app timing behaves differently when connected to well known DNS vs contained internal DNS, I wonder why?

I've worked out some data flushing wipe procedures pre and post patching Containment was not possible with settings or software, that's a fools game to try. Patching while contained or altering containment is the improbable next goal. If your going to ever let it touch a network for some purpose, flush all data first and after.

Containment is more askin to deny all allow some to very narrow non ms subnets with depending on what app port and protocol is talking, some to no content validation

System is functional no big usability issues excluding having to keep up with the conditional non ms allows


This containment is a loosing battle though, with partnerships, stock ownership, influence and corruption this battle is a completely no win situation

Don't sit it on a network with any other devices either :)

After the 800 pound gorilla devours it's first deer no future generation of forest animal will ever trust it again and it will always long for the taste of blood

Peanuts

Clive RobinsonAugust 25, 2016 2:15 AM

@ Comey, Hero of the PPTT,

Windows 10 is Comey's front door.

Yes I've been saying that for quite sometime. But other people did not want to believe it --as normal-- I got the usuall "your paranoid" look or "Conspiracy Theory" comment.

And guess what, even though the evidence is on the table in plain sight, they will remain in denial for quite some time yet.

Even if the WashPo puts out the same line, other MSM will leap in with "Gov insider off record comments" that it's a misinterpretation of the facts etc etc.

That noose around the neck of US citizens is getting tighter and tighter, some are going from red to blue in the face but are still in denial, and will be till they expire.

CuriousAugust 25, 2016 3:01 AM

I wonder if perhaps the telemetry things that Microsoft corporation makes use of, could be some kind of test bed for future use of collecting and handling telemetry data. I mean, as if there was some conspiracy at government level to just start doing that at large scale, like with the large Windows user base. What is the worst that could happen? I am no expert, but if I could speculate wildly for the fun of it, I am inclined to wonder if there would be changes to the internet infrastructure that would either spur on, or secure the practices of a culture in which corporations or even government agencies would siphon telemetry data off people, either in their homes, the workplace, or perhaps other places as well. Admittedly, given how little I know about networking tech, I have no idea what kind of changes to the internet infrastructure would help telemetry data.

Although people laud TOR project for making it much harder to identify user traffic (as I understand it), I can't help but worry what would happen if something like TOR was used for telemetry data, as if the tech itself was incorporated by businesses.

I wonder if maybe Bruce would think of such an advent of TOR as acceptable, if knowing that TOR become common use. Having said that, I have NO idea if TOR like tech would be useful for the circulation of telemetry data.

Clive RobinsonAugust 25, 2016 3:04 AM

@ Catepilar...,

...unless you are willing to live on your own in the middle of nowhere without any modcons.

Sorry you can not live securely "in the middle of nowhere" any longer.

You will find various Grubmint individuals using any method they can including Google Earth at the bottom to find those they can abuse into coughing up money in large quantities for even minor transgressions. And if you chose to not bend over and take it then bankruptcy and prison await.

The thing is "in the middle of nowhere" you need energy and that always produces a thermal signiture. Even a small wood stove in a hut will at night produce a better heat signiture way way stronger than the grow lamps amature canabis farmers have in their urban and city lofts, that police helicopters find with regular monotony these days.

Whilst hidding out in the middle of nowhere is not realy possible any longer, it is still fairly easy to hide in a city.

Somebody I know is self employed and rented a small office space in a converted Victorian house. Due to getting divorced he quickly learnt how to live in his office. Due to the way he rented the office (in the business name which was not a limited company) he effectivly had disappeared "off the map" in his own name. Oh and as for "washing" he went to the local gym (for which he had "corporate membership) in the morning and showered there.

The thing is you have to move with the times if you want a real private life.

CuriousAugust 25, 2016 3:05 AM

To add to what I wrote:

For sake of clarity (something that wasn't clear to me earlier), I guess TOR like tech might (for all I know, which is not mcuh) not entail compatibility with TOR project as such, such that my notion of businesses embracing TOR tech, would then have to be based on TOR project as such, and not some similar tech/arrangement.

GrauhutAugust 25, 2016 5:54 AM

@Dirk: Yes, Malwarebytes is nice, helped me disinfect some boxes.

But i like Spybots kiss methodology. Patching a hosts file is a transparent thing and it works fine on road warrior notebooks where you never know to what kind of bs channel the owners connect next! :)


I think everyone making a living in it knows we actually have no other choice than supporting windows boxes (and mitigating the resulting threats). There are too many business cases where you cant replace it easily.

Michael MoserAugust 25, 2016 9:34 AM

Many corporations are using windows; does it also phone back and report the usage of corporate users? I guess some of them will be very disappointed with this practice and might even look into Linux as a desktop OS.

Dirk PraetAugust 25, 2016 12:23 PM

@ Grauhut

Patching a hosts file is a transparent thing and it works fine on road warrior notebooks where you never know to what kind of bs channel the owners connect next ...

Since there are persistent rumours that some hosts/ip addresses are hard-coded into the telemetry apps, patching the hosts file may not be enough. The obvious solution is to create a set of firewall rules either on your Windows machine (if your anti-spying utility of choice doesn't already do so) or on your perimeter firewall(s)/router(s). Here's a Powershell and .bat file to do so. Caveat: these are old scripts and may not contain all currently known telemetry hosts. You can probably DuckDuckGo a more recent list. If your home router does dd-wrt or something else supporting dnsmasq, you can grab a list here.

I think everyone making a living in it knows we actually have no other choice than supporting windows boxes (and mitigating the resulting threats). There are too many business cases where you cant replace it easily.

The nail on the head. And the fact that Redmond is less than transparent about the entire telemetry thing - whether it be for home or corporate editions - doesn't really make our job easier.

AJWMAugust 25, 2016 1:01 PM

@Dirk Praet

The obvious solution is to create a set of firewall rules either on your Windows machine (if your anti-spying utility of choice doesn't already do so) or on your perimeter firewall(s)/router(s).

If Windows really wants to call home (and/or its telemetry servers), what makes you think it would pay attention to a built-in firewall? Better to put that on a perimeter firewall, and better yet if that is not running Windows (and is not one of the devices vulnerable to ExtraBacon).

Clive RobinsonAugust 25, 2016 3:55 PM

@ Moderator,

The posting from "Lorraine Walsh" reads almost the same as past unsolicited advertorial about that particular VPN provider.

Lorraine HarrisAugust 26, 2016 12:09 AM

I know that nuclear weapons do come with their builtin security but that is just not enough in these times to support your geopolitical needs. It is better to secure your data with the best targeting software and bombsight service your important civilian targets. Also to keep your online privacy intact use a genuine vpn service like purityOfEssenceVpn that has good pricing features and has multiple bomber wings so it become impossible to track your trajectories. I personally use this application to protect my precious bodily fluids from Communists and the Yellow Peril.

Clive RobinsonAugust 26, 2016 3:15 AM

@ Moderator, ianf,

The last sentence of the post by "Lorraine Harris" and the lack of URLs suggests some kind of --how do I put it politely-- oddity of thinking/behaviour...

Brian REiterAugust 26, 2016 8:57 AM

@kRusty

I would be curious how many copies of Windows 10 are bought or "upgraded" by Uncle Sam, and whether they get any special treatment regarding data collection. (Is it done in-house by Fort Meade?) Any deployment to sensitive areas such as .MIL and STATE.GOV? (And what software does Hillary's private server run?)

The DoD is an early partner for a large rollout of Windows 10.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/02/department-of-defense-standardizes-on-windows-10-certifies-surfaces/

The US Department of Defense announced today that it is to standardize on Windows 10. Over the course of the next year, some 4 million systems will be upgraded to Microsoft's latest operating system in what must be the largest enterprise deployment of the operating system worldwide.

...

In tandem with this, the government has given the Surface 3, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book all the relevant certifications to allow those systems to be included on the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL). ...

tyrAugust 26, 2016 7:29 PM


@Clive, usual suspects

Do you suppose that using Win 10 for DOD was what
Obama meant when he said his administration would
be the most transparent ever ?

All it would take is to spider the telemetry onto
a big storage facility connected to Wikileaks and
total transparency worldwide.

Someone might even locate the missing trillions
for a modest finders fee, say 1%.

I see on a news banner infation is expected to
rise .2% this year. If we had less poor the rate
might be higher.

John SAugust 27, 2016 9:00 AM

I have a Dell notebook I bought last year. Unfortunately came with Windows 10. Been a dreadful nightmare ever since. From graphic driver crashes, to a whole host of privacy issues and now after the Anniversary update the problems start all over again! Seriously, Microsoft is so mucked up right now it's not even funny. One cannot imagine enterprise loving such a mess as Windows 10. At least they have a option of delaying updates but still not for very long. This ideal of major updates every few months with its own host of issues is not setting well with me. Thank goodness I managed to keep my Windows 7 desktop intact even through all the messy Get Windows 10 campaign to force it onto MY PC.
Been a forever Windows user, but I can say for sure, never again will I buy a PC with Windows 10 installed. Microsoft has committed the sin of selling out it's users for a marketing platform now called Windows 10. Nothing more that a data miner for Microsoft.
How else can you explain their motivation for Windows anymore?

hawkAugust 27, 2016 10:57 AM

@chickenhawk - I know who you are. Sorry I must have hit a raw nerve. If only you had something intelligent to say. I recommend that stay away from computers.

@Freezing_in_Brazil - Brazil is a cyber cesspool. The vast majority of spammers in all my logs are from Brazil. I've basically memorized the IP addresses.

DeniseAugust 28, 2016 8:31 PM

@ Catepilar Catankery,

"The sad fact is you are going to be forced to give up more and more of your privacy by simply interacting with the rest of the world (facial/voice recognition etc) unless you are willing to live on your own in the middle of nowhere without any modcons."

This is the essence of Cybernetics, as we/they knew it. As early as logic was discovered by human beings, we've slapped "value" to all sorts of "intangibles" by ways of "metrics". Thus, a hypothesis of intangible is that its value is as good as the metric that tell us a value. Inversely, without metrics, intangibles are utterly worthless.

AnonAugust 28, 2016 9:05 PM

Brazilian internet isn't free, it's lawless.

Win 10 EULA explicitly states that it collects local files/documents and sends them to MS. This isn't "telemetry data", either - it is your actual documents.

I run an unpatched Win 10 install in a VM that had no internet access from the moment it was created. I don't trust the VM enough to isolate the network (Windows 10 is aware of, and makes very clear in Task Manger oddly, that it knows it is running in a VM), so I disconnect the host system, too.

Windows 10 is one big piece of spy/malware, and I tell anyone thinking of using it to get a Mac, instead. Not perfect, but better than running Win 10.

For business users, I recommend they stay with Windows 7 or earlier, due to the massive spying problem with Windows 10 (why has no-one analyzed the extent of the EULA's claim of sending documents?).

rAugust 29, 2016 12:30 AM

@Anon,

'Win 10 EULA explicitly states that it collects local files/documents and sends them to MS. This isn't "telemetry data", either - it is your actual documents.'

What is that, FUD? Don't make me download that monstrocity to find out, please. Maybe it only sends them when they cause an error?

DennisAugust 30, 2016 8:08 PM

@ Anon,

Windows 10 is one big piece of spy/malware, and I tell anyone thinking of using it to get a Mac, instead. Not perfect, but better than running Win 10.

I'm addicted to using Surface. It's such a great little pad. Better than storing everything in Google Docs ?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasonsAugust 31, 2016 1:18 AM

Have read about a half dozen definitions of Microsoft's OS, some taxonomy is needed and I have a few contributions. First, my daughter helped me frame the proper noun for Windows 10, "Windows Interment Camp" or "Windows Resettlement Compound". Others have referred to their OS as a CLIENT, the context is not on the role of the OS. A more accurate description of the OS as a set/series of functional operations may be stated as "Servant/serf" OS.

Clive RobinsonAugust 31, 2016 6:13 AM

@ Name.Withheld...

Have read about a half dozen definitions of Microsoft's OS, some taxonomy is needed...

In the UK we have a slang word "nark" for one who is a "snitch" to authority such as a "Coppers Nark".

I've mentioned on the odd occasion Windows 10 is FBI Comey's "Frontdoor" maybe we should thus call Win 10 what it is which is "Micro$haft's Nark".

Oh and it does not need Comey's "Golden Key" because the only "Golden thing about Win10 is it is Micro$hafts "Golden rain" on it's unfortunate --hopefull soon to be-- previous customers.

daveMay 3, 2017 9:37 PM

How ridiculous people you are.

Why are you crying privacy on Windows? Not only MS Windows, but also Google's OS (Android, Android Wear, Chome OS) and Apple's OS (iOS, Mac OS X) collect and sent data to them. Even carriers and app developers collect privacy (cookie, location, user agent) too. They telemetry user's data and change their service

It's similar situation about windows. It's false uniqueness. People don't know about google and apple collect privacy and attack on windows.

I know that collecting privacy date is NOT good for people and make them worry but it's common thing on this ubiquitous generation.

If you worry privacy, you do not USE smartphone or tablet or smartwatch or computer and back to featurephone or note or normal watch or book, then you can keep your privacy and feel safety about collecting.

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