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Author Topic: How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You  (Read 699 times)

Deozaan

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How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You
« on: June 11, 2016, 02:51:47 PM »
I always felt people were overreacting a bit about the Windows 10 telemetry features. "Sure, it's a bit concerning," I thought, "but it's not that difficult to go into the settings to disable the most invasive stuff." Boy was I wrong!

Microsoft has released instructions on how to "manage connections from Windows operating system components to Microsoft services," and it's a doozy!

Not only is it incredibly long and complicated, but it involves a lot of registry editing and other advanced configuration.


Shades

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Re: How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2016, 04:18:56 PM »
There is this Slashdot article about a guy who created a simple 'hello world' dummy application in Visual Studio 2015 (C++). The resulting executable contains code that "phones home" to MS. Of course, MS can do what they like with software they provide to anyone for free. If you would ask me (and I know you didn't) it is even their right...just not in their right mind.

[basement stuff]
Nowadays you must use a dedicated router between your ISP and your network, that is configured to block access to MS. At least in that way the router will always overrule any trick MS cares to put into Windows OS's.

Draconian method? Sure, but against the blatant dictatorial tendencies MS keeps showing lately, it might be the only way left to beat MS into submission.

Another way is to feed the MS beast purposefully completely wrong information. Discrediting their collected data on a big enough scale will have the same result. Could even be the next thing for nefarious organizations..."if you don't pay us, we won't DDOS you, but seriously mess up the data you keep collecting". The costs of keeping up servers that receive and store this bogus info will be quite big, the need for servers that have to (continuously) filter out bogus collected data will cost a pretty sum too. the feeling of not being able to trust the data you are collecting...priceless.
[/basement stuff]






40hz

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Re: How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 05:51:31 PM »
Life is too short to play hide & seek games with Windows anymore. Much easier to just run another OS for me.  ;)

If it turns out I need Windows to run a specific app, there's always virtual instances.

I've been exclusively running Linux on the desktop and BSD on my servers for well over a year now. I don't miss Redmond's OS one iota. These days, whenever I have to work on a Windows machine I feel like I'm wearing handcuffs.

Not for me, thank-you. YMMV :Thmbsup: :)

wraith808

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Re: How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 07:16:43 PM »
There is this Slashdot article about a guy who created a simple 'hello world' dummy application in Visual Studio 2015 (C++). The resulting executable contains code that "phones home" to MS. Of course, MS can do what they like with software they provide to anyone for free. If you would ask me (and I know you didn't) it is even their right...just not in their right mind.


After taking a look, the telemetry calls are logging to the local drive, not phoning home as claimed.

https://www.reddit.c...ion_calls_to/d2wng2g

Deozaan

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Re: How to Stop Windows 10 from Spying on You
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 07:37:00 PM »
There is this Slashdot article about a guy who created a simple 'hello world' dummy application in Visual Studio 2015 (C++). The resulting executable contains code that "phones home" to MS. Of course, MS can do what they like with software they provide to anyone for free. If you would ask me (and I know you didn't) it is even their right...just not in their right mind.

After taking a look, the telemetry calls are logging to the local drive, not phoning home as claimed.

https://www.reddit.c...ion_calls_to/d2wng2g


Yeah, I discovered the link in my OP from that Reddit thread (which was posted in the DC IRC channel). Emphasis mine:

hi everyone. This is Steve Carroll, the dev manager for the Visual C++ team.

Tl;dr: thanks folks for the feedback. Our team will be removing this from our static libs in Update 3.

Our intent was benign – our desire was to build a framework that will help investigate performance problems and improve the quality of our optimizer should we get any reports of slowdowns or endemic perf problems in the field.

We apologize for raising the suspicion levels even further by not including the CRT source, this was just an oversight on our part. Despite that, some of you already investigated how this mechanism works in nice detail. As you have already called out, what the code does is trigger an ETW event which, when it’s turned on, will emit timestamps and module loads events. The event data can only be interpreted if a customer gives us symbol information (i.e. PDBs) so this data is only applicable to customers that are actively seeking help from us and are willing to share these PDBs as part of their investigation. We haven’t actually gone through this full exercise with any customers to date though, and we are so far relying on our established approaches to investigate and address potential problems instead.

We plan to remove these events in Update 3. In the meantime, to remove this dependency in Update 2, you should add notelemetry.obj to your linker command line. If you’re generally concerned about phone-home scenarios, more information about how to configuring Windows 10 appropriately to your needs can be found here: https://technet.micr...t#bkmk-priv-feedback

Thanks.