Microsoft and NSA: Partners in Spying on YOU?
In the past few days we’ve had several people send us articles about Microsoft and Windows 10 and spying. We’ve written about this before, but there seems to be no end to bloggers and so-called journalists digging up around and coming with silly conclusions, such as comparing Microsoft to the NSA.
A lot of recent articles, like this one, are hinting that Microsoft has elevated its spying to the level of the NSA. The implication is that if you use Windows 10 you’re opening your computer up to NSA-like spying, only this NSA-spying is being done by Microsoft. And if you are using Windows 10, woe is you – you can’t keep Microsoft from spying on you. Yawn. We sure wish people would write articles that would keep computer and internet users safer, instead of wasting time writing this sort of irresponsible detritus. We thought the National Enquirer went out of business!
To think Microsoft is using personal information gathered from hundreds of millions of users for some nefarious purpose is just ludicrous. And comparing the to the NSA is moronic. The NSA is a government agency, not a publicly traded company whose existence depends on sales, reputation and success in the marketplace. NSA has an unlimited source of funds – all it has to do is pick from the government money tree. It would be corporate suicide for Microsoft to use any data allegedly collected from users’ computer and selling it or giving it to any government agency. On the contrary, Microsoft (and Apple & Google) and unlike Yahoo, have been resistant and reluctant to turn over any data to government agencies without a valid warrant. In fact, just a over a month ago, Microsoft challenged a government agency asking a higher court to overturn a decision forcing Microsoft to turn over user data. You can read the facts about that case here.
Some bloggers and pseudo-journalists, simply make things up including attention-grabbing headlines like “NSA Partner in Crime? Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Auto-spying Cant’ Be Disabled” Really? NSA partner? The NSA doesn’t compete in the marketplace against such successful companies like Apple and Google. Microsoft does.
Apple and Google have been “auto-spying” (if that’s what you want to call it) on their customers for years – and in almost every area that so-called “auto-spying” isn’t to gather information for nefarious purposes, but to make using a computer, smart phone, or tablet easier and more convenient for the user.
Do you think Microsoft wants to know your location so they can watch you like a babysitter hired by the FBI (or the NSA)? No, they want to know your location so they can provide more relevant information about weather, traffic, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting events, etc. Apple and Google (Android) have been doing this for many years. Microsoft simply joined their club.
Three months ago (August 15, 2015) we predicted someone was going to sensationalize this as some proof of Microsoft spying on its users — and sure enough, bloggers and journalists have cherry-picked just enough facts and combined them with just enough speculation to create a recipe of fiction designed, not to educate users, but to scare them. Why would bloggers and journalists want to scare or rile readers? You guessed it. Money. More readers+more fame=MORE MONEY.
It’s always all about the money these days and too seldom all about the truth.