Sometimes pictures talk louder than words.
In this case, one would be baffled if years ago, there would be no visible internet outrage over the brazen surveillance so casually presented to the user.
In the age of unquestionable government spying programs over domestic and foreign populations, of laughably-incredulous ‘do no evil’ policies, of constitutional disregard and an increasingly disillusioned and exhausted populace – this level of obvious intrusion is almost expected.
A defeatist attitude is silently heard over the internet landscape, and mass media tirelessly pounds the State as the savior of mankind’s problems, a kind of nurturing and benevolent entity that occasionally does wrong, but is otherwise infallible and god-like in its entitlement to power.
People are left to ‘chose’ from candidates that differ in their opinions on which areas of government to expand, are left feeling helpless by their lack of political power and betrayed that their representatives only seem to represent themselves and their business friends.
Business friends like Microsoft.
The NSA has been involved with Microsoft for a long time, at least since 1999. I won’t bore the reader with the implied interests the NSA has with operating systems.
This article’s aim is to clearly show a sharp divide between two kinds of people; those who are indifferent or willing participants in a surveillance society, and those who stand against it.
The implications are crystal clear. The only logical course of action for individuals who stand for their personal freedom is to cease using Microsoft products. I will explain my reasoning for this, but first, have a look at what users are encouraged to give (up) when using windows 10.
[words written inside brackets are my own addition. no copyright infringement intended. the text and picture used for this article are used as 'fair use' material for journalism. the additions represent my own opinion]
We recommend these settings, which include occasionally sending info to Microsoft. You can customize these settings now or later.
-Automatically find and connect to devices and content on this network.
[what? this is ambiguous. do they refer to the old Plug and Play? to detecting printers and other devices on a person's local area network? none of these features required any information be sent to the mothership before.]
-Automatically install Windows updates, app updates, and device software.
[no immediate problems with this, but what kind of data does microsoft collect here?]
-Turn on Do Not Track in Internet Explorer.
[so a setting that asks not to be tracked online, which probably no internet tracking company actually respects, is meant to give privacy-oriented individuals a little piece of mind.]
-Help protect your PC from unsafe files, apps, and websites, and check online for solutions to problems.
[translation: send microsoft all of your browsing data that we will store for advertising, behavior analysis, or to gain favoritism with big brother, and we will occasionally prevent your computer from being infected with malware. or, we couldn't create software with best security practices, and so we rely on blacklists in order to prevent infections on your machine. Firefox also sends this information via their 'block reported attack sites' and 'block reported web forgeries'. Needless privacy intrusion for the sake of a little security. Chrome spies by default, no way to disable.]
-Help improve Microsoft software, services, and location services by sending us info.
[what info? my usage data? all of my crash logs? how often your updates break my system? this will undoubtedly mean a big jump in the quality of microsoft software, will it not?]
-Use Bing to get search suggestions and web results in Windows Search, and let Microsoft use your location and other info to personalize your experiences.
[send microsoft all of your windows search terms so that they will build a giant database on you and then use that to sell you products. give microsoft your location so that they can better monetize your personal life. be the product after you've paid for a product. ubuntu has also been criticized for a similar 'feature' in the free software world, but they seem to have backed down on the intrusion.]
-In Internet Explorer use page prediction to preload pages, which sends your browsing history to Microsoft.
[...so they actually tell you what they are going to do here. how about microsoft stops playing around and just enables themselves to read and write every single file on
your their computer?]
-Let Windows and apps use your name, account picture, and advertising ID, and request your location from the Windows Location Platform.
['your identity is our identity', their company policy should say]
“But you can opt out!”, I hear some readers cry. So what? Can you trust a company that obviously lures you into making such a bargain?
“I expect a business to do what is most profitable.” you assuredly say. As do I. Yet why should I let a company manipulate my machine for their own interests. Is it in my best interest?
“Google and apple do it too.” So? I’m not advocating them as sensible alternatives (at all).
“Times are changing. You need to get in with the times.” Times change in the direction that individuals want society to take. Until I am forced to serve some crony masters, I choose not to.
“Soon it will be impossible not to be spied on.” We don’t know that for certain. Perhaps in the future spying on people will become far more difficult due to revolts and the use of sophisticated free speech technology.
“You are already being spied on now.” That is reasonable to assume. Yet why make it easier?
“This is nothing new. Microsoft has done this in their previous products too.” It is worse this time, so much so that I doubt too many apologists will jump in Microsoft’s defense.
Those who reject totalitarianism must also reject the increases of power in companies and agencies that leads to totalitarianism. Rejecting Microsoft products is a step in that direction.