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Author Topic: Microsoft is Censoring MSN Messenger Chats  (Read 1454 times)
Renegade
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« on: March 27, 2012, 10:45:39 PM »

Well, looks like it's official policy to introduce malware-like behavior into your software:

http://endthelie.com/2012...guise-of-fighting-piracy/

Quote
Piracy seems to be the favorite excuse nowadays when it comes to censorship, destroying internet freedom, and even absurdly large domestic digital surveillance operations.

Now Microsoft, one of the world’s largest corporations in the technology sector, has been actively monitoring and censoring conversations on their Windows Live Messenger program.

Even more disturbing, Microsoft now admits that they have been censoring conversations between users on Windows Live Messenger for quite a while now.

More at the link there. It gets worse.



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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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IainB
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Slartibartfarst

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 12:05:23 AM »

Well, I don't recall anything in MSN Messenger that categorically stated that they wouldn't look in users' chats, so I guess it's no surprise to hear that they actually do - and apparently have been for some time for censorship purposes at any rate.

I don't regard anything in email or online chats or over the phone to be absolutely private.
Fortunately, I never really have anything I wish to "hide", being pretty open about what I am doing.

However, I strenuously object to any breach of privacy and I consider this and any breach to be objectionable.

Huxwellianism in action.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 12:21:11 AM »

As though we needed an excuse to switch to Jabber/XMPP.

Ehtyar.
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nosh
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 02:47:36 AM »

 ohmy
That's it! The final nail in TPB's coffin...

Microsoft has always been a wanker frontrunner when it comes to effective anti-piracy measures. The situation here was hilarious deadly serious a few years back - the guys who sold pirated CDs (pre-broadband days, but they're still around) actually had MS Anti-Piracy posters pasted on their walls with helpline nos. to call for reporting infringements (I'm NOT kidding!)

I'd trolled their helpline and asked the lady who answered how every 14 year old in the city knew exactly where the pirated stuff was available but MS, with all the resources at its disposal, needed me to call and guide them.

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IainB
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Slartibartfarst

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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 02:58:00 AM »

As though we needed an excuse to switch to Jabber/XMPP.
Which of the IMs are "secure" in any real sense?
I have AIM, ICQ, MSN, IRC, Tahoo in my TrillianBasic3, and Google Talk/Chat in Gmail and a separate Google Talk application that I sometimes use.
I have always logged my online chats and presumed that what went onto the logs was in the "clear" at some point, and therefore insecure.

Is Jabber/XMPP more secure? What other chat systems are more secure?
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Renegade
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 04:59:28 AM »


Fortunately, I never really have anything I wish to "hide", being pretty open about what I am doing.


I take it you're not going to destroy America or dig up Marilyn Monroe? tongue Grin

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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
40hz
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 06:04:36 AM »

Now that all  the major ISPs have agreed to "voluntarily cooperate" with the federal government's "request" to start actively spying on their customers' activities and communications, I think it's largely moot at this point.

Internet access is handled by private companies in the US. Access is not a public service. It's a private product offering. So there are ZERO constitutional safeguards in place, mainly because, in the absence of specific laws regulating private sector actions, US constitutional provisions only say what the government can and cannot do. Individuals and businesses are free to do whatever they want as long as there isn't a law against it.

It's a clever ploy. The US government has found a way to get around the US Constitution by getting businesses and organizations to do what the government itself has not been granted authority to do. I don't know what you'd call that. Maybe something like: Tyranny by Proxy? Or Proxy-Police State?

Since becoming a customer is considered a voluntary act regulated by a private contract, there's no constitutional restrictions on what those contract terms are - as long as they don't violate an existing law.

Now it's true that the US government could pass a law that attempts to protect your privacy when you're using the web or e-mail. But to quote a 9-year old female relative "That is so NOT gonna happen!"

It's a sad state of affairs. We're already well beyond the point of "locking the stall after the horse has been stolen" here. Now it's more like we're trying to do it after they foreclosed and took the entire farm away.
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 06:17:25 AM by 40hz » Logged

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app103
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 08:00:07 PM »

Back around 2005-2006, I discovered this blocking thing that Microsoft does when I tried to send a friend a link to a page on my website. It was blocked with that same “The link you tried to send was blocked because it was reported as unsafe.” message.

It wasn't targeted at my website specifically, it was targeted at ALL .info domain names, regardless of the content of the website.

I don't know if they still do that. I haven't used MSN in quite awhile.

I also recall there being a default setting in the options that a user could change to remove the block. I do remember having to do something in the options to allow me to send links to my site to people and they had to do the same to be able to receive them. Again, I don't know if that is still the case and if it is still user configurable.

It was supposed to prevent malware from spamming everyone in your contact list with malware URLs, in case you became infected.

It is possible that it's not a piracy related censorship issue and that a lot of people have been uploading malware torrents to TPB, that once installed on a user's system will spam everyone in their contact list with the URL to get the torrent (among other things)...lather, rinse, repeat, and all your friends that trust you are infected, and their friends, and their friends, and so on....without the malware writer having to spend a dime to buy a domain name or for hosting, and no worries about his site getting shut down. Once he uploads his torrent and seeds it, it's self perpetuating....unless someone like Microsoft does something to block it.

If this is the case, then Microsoft may well be justified in adding TPB to their block list.
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Renegade
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 08:33:30 PM »

If this is the case, then Microsoft may well be justified in adding TPB to their block list.

Hmmm... I can understand trying to protect people, but this is still over the top. Banning an entire TLD is simply idiotic. Banning a site is still censorship, no matter how you try to justify it.

The fact is that the Pirate Bay has zero malware on it. None. Nadda. Zip. Zilch. With other torrent tracker sites untouched, this stinks of being entirely politically motivated. I don't buy for a second that this is any kind of altruism on the part of MS - you'd need to be seriously high to believe that.

The answer to malware isn't censorship.

If you'll excuse the metaphor, the Internet has "dark alleys", and perhaps the Pirate Bay is one of those dark alleys, but the answer isn't to stop people from going where they want to -- if you're worried about dark alleys, just don't go down them. It's pretty simple.


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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
cranioscopical
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 10:01:38 PM »

Proxy-Police State

One 'r' too many...
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Chris
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