Screwing the Spies

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Malware means software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user. This does not include accidental errors. This page explains how Microsoft software is malware.

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Malware and nonfree software are two different issues. The difference between free software and nonfree software is in whether the users have control of the program or vice versa. It's not directly a question of what the program does when it runs. However, in practice nonfree software is often malware, because the developer's awareness that the users would be powerless to fix any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.

Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two to serve as specific substantiation. Microsoft Windows has a universal back door through which any change whatsoever can be imposed on the users. This was reported in for XP and Vista, and it seems that Microsoft used the same method to push the Windows 10 downgrade to computers running Windows 7 and 8. Microsoft has backdoored its disk encryption.

Here is a suspicion that we can't prove, but is worth thinking about: Writable microcode for Intel and AMD microprocessors may be a vehicle for the NSA to invade computers, with the help of Microsoft, say respected security experts. Windows 8 also has a back door for remotely deleting apps. You might well decide to let a security service that you trust remotely deactivate programs that it considers malicious. But there is no excuse for deleting the programs, and you should have the right to decide whom if anyone to trust in this way. The article additionally highlights the pitfalls of DRM.

This is another proof that a DRM-encumbered product doesn't belong to the person who bought it. Microsoft said it will refund customers, but this is no excuse for selling them restricted books. DRM in Windows , introduced to cater to Bluray disks. The article talks about how the same malware would later be introduced in MacOS.

That had not been done at the time, but it was done subsequently. We mention them to refute the supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave bugs. Exploits of bugs in Windows, which were developed by the NSA and then leaked by the Shadowbrokers group, are now being used to attack a great number of Windows computers with ransomware.

Screwing the Spies

A flaw in Internet Explorer and Edge allows an attacker to retrieve Microsoft account credentials, if the user is tricked into visiting a malicious link. Point-of-sale terminals running Windows were taken over and turned into a botnet for the purpose of collecting customers' credit card numbers. This section gives examples of Microsoft software harassing or annoying the user, or causing trouble for the user. One version of Windows 10 harangues users if they try to install Firefox or Chrome. Microsoft is planning to make Windows impose use of its browser, Edge, in certain circumstances. Windows displays intrusive ads for Microsoft products and its partners' products.

We disagree. To do this, Microsoft used malware techniques. A detailed analysis of Microsoft's scheme is available on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's website. Those machines will be stuck with the nastier Windows Of course, Windows 7 and 8 are unethical too, because they are proprietary software. But this example of Microsoft's wielding its power demonstrates the power it holds.

Free software developers also stop maintaining old versions of their programs, but this is not unfair to users because the users of free software have control over it.

If it is important enough to you, you and other users can hire someone to support the old version on your future platforms. The wrongs in this section are not precisely malware, since they do not involve making the program that runs in a way that hurts the user. But they are a lot like malware, since they are technical Microsoft actions that harm the users of specific Microsoft software.

Microsoft repeatedly pushed faulty versions of this program to users' machines, causing numerous problems, some of which critical. This exemplifies the arrogant and manipulative attitude that proprietary software developers have learned to adopt toward the people they are supposedly serving.


Migrate to a free operating system if you can! If your employer makes you run Windows, tell the financial department how this wastes your time dealing with endless connections and premature hardware failures. Microsoft has made Windows 7 and 8 cease to function on certain new computers, effectively forcing their owners to switch to Windows Microsoft has dropped support for Windows 7 and 8 on recent processors in a big hurry.

It makes no difference what legitimate reasons Microsoft might have for not doing work to support them.

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If it doesn't want to do this work, it should let users do the work. In its efforts to trick users of Windows 7 and 8 into installing all-spying Windows 10 against their will, Microsoft forced their computers to silently download… the whole of Windows 10!

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Apparently, this was done through a universal back door. We have a designated Religion Sex and Politics forum - posting on those topics outside of that forum is not permitted. As forum moderator, it is my job to inform you that this post is considered a violation of Community Rules for disruptive posting. Our policy is to issue a warning on a first offense and to follow future offenses with temporary posting suspensions of increasing length. If you do receive a suspension, please be aware that circumventing a suspension by using a different account is a zero-tolerance offense that will result in both accounts being permanently locked.

Please be aware that all moderation is handled privately. It is entirely possible that we have also contacted anyone else involved in this situation about their own conduct. There would be no indication either way.

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That said, we do try to enforce our forum rules as consistently as possible. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for your understanding. Mike Dommett. Haha, this thread has made me chuckle! I love the fact that BGG has the most polite and literate posters of any forum, but the price for this appears to be an extremely limited sense of humour and a rather vocal intolerance of political incorrectness.

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And heaven forbid that a game might include any sort of violence as a central theme There is no way that I'd challenge anyone on here to a game of chess in case it was a trick to label me as an individual in favour of religious war between sovereign states! Oh, Mr Dickie, I would have hoped that someone who adorns himself with a reference to Arthur Laffer would understand the difference between cost and value!

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