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#1 2007-02-05 22:20:38

morningsun76
the answer has been with you the whole time
From: In two worlds
Registered: 2004-09-11

Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

How the net turns code into politics

The freedoms built in to the net are under attack like never before, argues regular columnist Bill Thompson.

The launch of Windows Vista last week was accompanied by widespread criticism from advocates of open systems, open networks and the free flow of information.

Particular attention was lavished on the digital rights management (DRM) features of the new operating system, the tools that determine whether you can play or copy video or audio on your computer.

Vista's DRM even aroused the wrath of the Green Party, which condemned it for requiring "more expensive and energy-hungry hardware".

It claimed that "there will be thousands of tonnes of dumped monitors, video cards and whole computers that are perfectly capable of running Vista - except for the fact they lack the paranoid lock down mechanisms Vista forces you to use".

Perhaps, though I can't really see home users dumping their existing hardware earlier than planned just so they can download high-definition TV shows and pump them through to their new HD television - they will just get a dedicated HD player instead.

Protect and survive

But the emergence of Vista and the protection measures it affords to certain forms of content gives us a glimpse of a new world, one we are entering almost without noticing. It is the world of protected content and the secured network.

    ...the network tends towards liberal values just as a flower turns toward the sun
Bill Thompson

The internet that we know today is changing, turning from an open, enabling and profoundly public space into a communications system which can be regulated, controlled, monitored and - where necessary - curtailed.

A regulated internet does not have to be a closed internet, but the trend is clearly towards increased control and the loss of the freedoms which the net has provided thus far. We must understand how this is happening before we can find ways to resist it.

Today's internet has a technical architecture which expresses certain liberal values, largely concerned with fair access to the net's resources, lack of centralised control, support for freedom of speech, openness to innovation, and resistance to monopoly - either cultural, economic or technological.

These values are implicit in the way that it links computers and networks together and moves data around, because they are a consequence of the way that every computer on the net communicates with other computers.

They are embedded in the network's protocols, the standards which determine how connections are made and how data is moved.

Free flow

One important consequence of this is that anyone can write an application that uses the internet to create a communications channel between any two co-operating computers, and the network has no reliable way of knowing what the data being transmitted means or how it is being used.

This makes censorship, monitoring and control remarkably difficult. They are not impossible, but the network tends towards liberal values just as a flower turns toward the sun.

The idea that the network just moves bits around and does not concern itself with the meaning of the data is generally called the end-to-end principle.

Unlike a political ideology, the end-to-end principle is not an abstract philosophical point but a statement of the technical capabilities of the network.

It tells us what facilities are available to those who write programs that use the network, and is therefore a much stronger determinant of behaviour than a belief in social justice, free markets or even a god.

Just because the protocols embody liberal values does not guarantee that the network itself will be a force for social good.

The freedom that the network offers is available to all, even those who pursue an illiberal agenda, and programs like a web browser or an e-mail client do not have to embody the values that underpin the network as a communications medium.

It is as easy to write the CyberPatrol internet filtering program as it is to write the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharer.

Control panel

It is also as easy for an oppressive, illiberal and authoritarian government to make use of the network as it is for a liberal social democratic administration, as we see in China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Yet now governments and corporations around the world are making a concerted effort to dismantle the open internet and replace it with a regulated and regulable one that will allow them to impose an "architecture of control".

The freedom of expression that was once available to users of the Internet Protocol is being stripped away. Our freedom to play, experiment, share and seek inspiration from the creative works of others is increasingly restricted so that large companies can lock our culture down for their own profit.

If a closed network is built then the losers will be those who want to use the net freely, to share information across borders, to explore ideas or challenge institutions.

With no space for resistance or revolution, the shared social space provided by today's internet could vanish, and the potential for play, exploration, discovery and innovation may vanish with it.

Microsoft's Vista will be used in millions of homes, and people will find it simpler, easier, safer and more stable than previous versions of Windows.

They will appreciate the effort that went into developing the "Aero" user interface, the new security features that protect them more effectively from spam and viruses, and the way lots of things just work, like the improved wireless networking.

They will rarely notice the limitations, because they are not the sort of people who download films from the net or try to make copies of their DVDs.

But the day will come when they do notice. It is not that the features built into Windows are evil, as some of the more hyperbolic bloggers claim, nor even that they are unnecessary.

It is that they change the way our computers work and the way they relate to the network, and those changes could be used to take away our freedoms.

Thanks to the internet we are seeing an unprecedented shift of power from the centre to the people, a shift that we observe in the media, in politics and in the way large companies respond to their customers.

We need to ensure that the freedoms we currently enjoy online are preserved as the network evolves, or this shift could easily end up as minor historical footnote.
Bill Thompson is a regular commentator on the BBC World Service programme Digital Planet
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/t … 325353.stm

Published: 2007/02/05 10:04:16 GMT

BBC MMVII

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#2 2007-02-05 22:23:53

morningsun76
the answer has been with you the whole time
From: In two worlds
Registered: 2004-09-11

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Government spooks helped Microsoft build Vista

By Nick Farrell: Tuesday 09 January 2007, 14:26

THE USA GOVERNMENT'S cryptologic organisation, the National Security Agency, has admitted that it is behind some of the security changes to Microsoft's operating system Vista.

According to the Washington Post, the agency which was once so secret that it was jokingly referred to as 'No such Agency' has admitted making 'unspecified contributions' to Vista.

Tony Sager, the NSA's chief of vulnerability analysis and operations group, told the Post that it was the agency's intention to help everyone these days.

The NSA used a red and a blue team to pull apart the software. The red team posed as "the determined, technically competent adversary" to disrupt, corrupt or steal information. The Blue team helped Defense Department system administrators with Vista's configuration.

Vole said that it has sought help from the NSA over the last four years. Apparently its skills can be seen in the Windows XP consumer version and the Windows Server 2003 for corporate customers.

The assistance is at the US taxpayers' expense, although the NSA says it all makes perfect sense. Not only is the NSA protecting United States business, its own Defense Department uses VoleWare so it is in the government's interest to make sure it is as secure as possible.

Microsoft is not the only one to tap the spooks. Apple, with its Mac OSX operating system, and Novell with its SUSE Linux also asked the NSA what it thought of their products. The NSA is quite good at finding weapons of mass destruction that are not there.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=36814

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#3 2007-02-06 02:59:48

sinaptix
Member
Registered: 2005-07-09

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Well for people who are interested in Vista, here is a video guide of how to properly load Vista onto your machine big_smile

http://www.flabber.nl/archief/019185.php

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#4 2007-02-07 03:36:02

Mutant Mouse
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2005-10-19

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Time to start using Linux.

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#5 2007-02-07 04:46:24

belljar
Member
Registered: 2006-08-21

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Time to start using telepathy.

roll

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#6 2007-02-07 20:27:59

Tom Paine
Member
Registered: 2004-10-26

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Belljar---yes!  You nailed it on the head.

I'll bet that's what we'll all be using come the revolution!

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#7 2007-02-07 22:17:30

morningsun76
the answer has been with you the whole time
From: In two worlds
Registered: 2004-09-11

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

On a related note:

All Internet service providers would need to track their customers' online activities to aid police in future investigations under legislation introduced Tuesday as part of a Republican "law and order agenda."

Article: http://news.com.com/2102-1028_3-6156948 … util.print

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#8 2008-01-10 00:18:40

Bhang
Paradigms of Vigilance
From: American Underground
Registered: 2005-04-12
Website

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Microsoft's Brainwashing Children's Book: Mommy, Where Do Servers Come From?

http://gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2008/01/mserver.jpg
http://gizmodo.com/342499/microsofts-br … -come-from

Last edited by Bhang (2008-01-10 00:18:57)


Hyperdimensional Blogging

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#9 2008-01-10 00:52:02

Xenopope
Exegesis
From: NOTHING
Registered: 2004-09-03

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

sinaptix wrote:

Well for people who are interested in Vista, here is a video guide of how to properly load Vista onto your machine big_smile

http://www.flabber.nl/archief/019185.php

Magnificent. Much more efficient use of a Microsoft Vista installation disk IMHO.


I am as is Void.

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#10 2008-01-15 20:26:39

LightningEye
Seeker
From: Consciousness
Registered: 2006-04-27

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Bhang, that was incredible.

This takes the cake though. Read the small print:
http://forum.noblerealms.org/pics/981_backcover2.jpg


Not sure how long that image will stay at that URL. msg me if it disappears and you want it back.

Microsofts next book: "Mommy, where does linklove come from?"

Last edited by LightningEye (2008-01-18 03:44:23)

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#11 2008-01-16 07:52:25

SiriArc
AD VO ZIN
From: Denver
Registered: 2005-08-03

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

LightningEye

Not sure how long that image will stay at that URL.......

Why not stash it @ N RTM......?


11   23   11

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#12 2008-01-16 08:54:52

Rhyotion
Member
Registered: 2007-11-16

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

belljar wrote:

Time to start using telepathy.

roll

Hahaha! Yes!

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#13 2008-01-16 17:48:23

LightningEye
Seeker
From: Consciousness
Registered: 2006-04-27

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

SiriArc wrote:

LightningEye

Not sure how long that image will stay at that URL.......

Why not stash it @ N RTM......?

I can store images on this forum's server?
How do I do that?

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#14 2008-01-17 08:02:08

SiriArc
AD VO ZIN
From: Denver
Registered: 2005-08-03

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

http://forum.noblerealms.org/pics/555_mwsnap334.jpg

Upload Image



http://forum.noblerealms.org/pics/555_mwsnap335.jpg

Browse Your Desktop For The Pic You Saved There

Submit

Post   [img][/img]


11   23   11

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#15 2008-01-18 03:43:55

LightningEye
Seeker
From: Consciousness
Registered: 2006-04-27

Re: Microsoft Windows as government control mechanism

Thanks SiriArc! I can't believe I didn't notice that before. smile


Getting back on topic, (which I fully acknowledge was thrown off because of me)...
Bhang's photo is the best. It can be so... dirty. So don't think about it too much. tongue

Last edited by LightningEye (2008-01-18 03:45:51)

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