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[News] France Wants Spyware as Standard for Windows Users

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Has HADOPI Driven the French Insane?

,----[ Quote ]
| I refer, of course, to the infamous HADOPI law, which aims to deprive French 
| citizens of their Internet connection purely on the say-so of French media 
| companies. Doesn't sound like much égalité, fraternité there, does it? That's 
| bad enough; but it seems that this bad legislation is leading to even worse 
| knock-on consequences.    
| [...]
| Now, one aspect not evident from the legalistic mumbo-jumbo above is that 
| this spyware may well not support GNU/Linux: 
|     The Assembly also postponed a handful of amendments that sought to exempt 
|     the subscriber if the system is not interoperable with software security, 
|     with the first assumption that it uses a system that is too old. An "old" 
|     Windows with expensive software installed on, for example. Or a free 
|     software ...    
|     An amendment sought to nip in the bud the potential for discrimination 
|     technological and financial background of interoperability ( "the means 
|     of secure, freely available to consumers, are interoperable). But again, 
|     it was rejected by the rapporteur implacably Franck Riester and the 
|     Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel.    


Hadopi Law: Spyware Provisions and the TF1 Sacking

,----[ Quote ]
| How can this not amount to a wholesale surveillance of online activity? Who 
| will have access to the data collected and transmitted by these ’security 
| systems’ (sic), and how will that access be managed? Will the security 
| systems be transparent (free software/open source), or proprietary black-box 
| money-makers, prone later to surrender to a veritable orgy of exploits? If 
| proprietary, how will it be interoperable with free operating systems such as 
| GNU Linux?      


Great selling point for GNU/Linux.


GNU/Linux free software tools to preserve your online privacy, anonymity and

,----[ Quote ]
| The second piece of shocking information was a report in the New York Times
| of a leaked document that the USA and the the European Union were proposing
| to exchange information with each other on their citizens. Allowing this to
| happen would be like putting Count Dracula in charge of a blood bank. They
| will of course plead effusively (a) good intentions and (b) make extravagant
| claims for built-in safeguards. Well, the latter is about as useful as a
| chocolate teapot. Heard it all before—along with fairy tales from my mother
| and father about the tooth fairy and Santa. Inevitably, they also plead cruel
| necessity but those words have been on the lips of all tyrants since time
| immemorial. When they start forming on the lips of “democratic” governments
| and politicians then it really is time to consider what must be done.
| As the average politician’s knowledge of science and information technology
| is smaller than Planck’s Constant we should not be surprised at such poor
| understanding and lax control.


Mozilla considers tracking Firefox browsing habits

,----[ Quote ]
| The Mozilla Foundation, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser, is
| considering tracking its users’ browsing habits on a voluntary basis.


5 Ways Your Gadgets Will Betray Your Privacy

,----[ Quote ]
| I’ve spent a considerable amount of my personal and professional time mocking
| conspiracy theorists, but it is true that as we open our homes and our
| wallets to electronic devices, we are also opening up our lives to
| surveillance. So if you plan on doing something risky, read the list below.
| Then then check out your ISP’s terms of service, wrap your phone in tinfoil,
| and call a cab (leave your wallet at home).


UK gov't plans huge database of e-mails and phone calls

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK government could track all emails and phone calls made in the UK, if
| its plans for a vast centralized database go ahead.


British Balk at Government Getting a Discussion Database

,----[ Quote ]
| The UK is up in arms this week — complete with torches and pitchforks — over
| the latest plan by the increasingly unpopular government's plan to build a
| database to hold copies of every email sent in the UK along with recordings
| of every phone call in the country.


The Open Source Lifestyle -- Privacy versus Respect

,----[ Quote ]
| And the flip side is that as people, as parents, as mentors, and as leaders,
| we need to teach about respect on the Internet. Privacy based on respect is
| much more likely to be truly private.  


Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

,----[ Quote ]
| The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to
| sell you stuff. It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files,
| user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status
| messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)," and more. How could
| we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status
| messages?



Will Microsoft Put The Colonel in the Kernel?

,----[ Quote ]
| "The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent
| application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted
| advertising as 'part of the OS.'


FBI ducks questions about its remotely installed spyware

,----[ Quote ]
| There are plenty of unanswered questions about the FBI spyware that, as we
| reported earlier this week, can be delivered over the Internet and implanted
| in a suspect's computer remotely.


Yahoo!, Microsoft ink web pact with Chinese government

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft and Yahoo! have signed a pact with the Chinese government
| that "encourages" the big name web players to record the identities of
| bloggers and censor content. So says Reporters Without Borders, an
| organization that fights for journalistic rights across the globe.


Microsoft, Yahoo Tailor Ads To Users' Behavior

,----[ Quote ]
| Google will remain on the sidelines — at least for now. But its Web portal
| rivals are stepping up their efforts to use behavioral targeting to make
| display, or banner, ads more relevant to Web site visitors.


New software can identify you from your online habits

,----[ Quote ]
| That is the spectre raised by new research conducted by Microsoft.
| The computing giant is developing software that could accurately
| guess your name, age, gender and potentially even your location,
| by analysing telltale patterns in your web browsing history. But
| experts say the idea is a clear threat to privacy - and may be
| illegal in some places.


Microsoft ponders offline profiling of Web users

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp. is developing a method of using personal data such as
| credit-card information to target Internet users with advertising once they
| connect to the Web, according to a patent application filed by the company.  
| In an application disclosed earlier this month, a Microsoft team including
| Chairman Bill Gates presents a method of collecting information about
| users' "cell phones, geolocation systems, credit-card information" and other
| data sources to select and display "targeted advertising."    
| [...]
| Gates is listed as an inventor on the patent application, alongside members
| of various Microsoft research units.

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