What You Need to Know About Microsoft’s Spying Ways

microsoftI had a conversation the other day with the best and most knowledgeable computer guy I know. After discussing privacy threats, he made this statement:

Everybody buying a Windows computer today is a traitor to humanity.

Now, this is a very technically oriented guy, and he quickly agreed with me that most people don’t have a clue about such things. Still, the primary point stands: Whenever any of us buys a Microsoft product, we are supporting the tools of our own slavery.

Here’s the problem:

Because people keep buying Windows, computer manufacturers are forced to buy and provide “Licensed for Windows” products. And those products include a lot of bad things. As I’ve pointed out before, Microsoft cooperates massively with the NSA to provide them with records of your thoughts and actions. But the problem my friend referred to was something else… something called TPM,

Trusted Platform Module.

It’s a little chip in your computer that is, in my friend’s words, “way evil.”

Microsoft’s goal (with Apple following in their footsteps, by the way) is to kill the general purpose computer. Combining this Trusted Platform Module with Windows provides something that Microsoft and their government pals have been after for a number of years: something called Digital Hygiene.

If that sounds slightly Nazi-ish to you, I’m glad, because it is.

Digital Hygiene means that unless Microsoft approves of all the software on your computer – or any number of other factors, to be determined in the future – your Internet access will be instantly cut-off.

Here’s what Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing was quoted as saying (by multiple sources, at a conference in Berlin) in 2010:

Infected computers should be quarantined from the Internet, and PCs should have to prove themselves clean with a digital health certificate in order to access the Internet.

Now they are doing it, and my friend is right to raise an alarm.

More and more computers cannot run anything except a “signed” operating system – signed by Microsoft or the hardware manufacturer. In other words, if they haven’t given the A-OK that what you’re using is as it should be, you get cut off. Moreover, the “we certify it or what you bought won’t work” extends to every program you run.

This is already inside any computer that is sold as “Ready for Windows 8.” When you install Windows 8, these capabilities are automatically activated.

Once that’s done, you will need major computer skills to wipe it off your machine and install something better.

What this all means is that, in the not too distant future – if you use a Windows machine – you might be limited to a small selection of pre-approved, pre-sanitized, privacy-questionable programs.

And I can almost guarantee all the tools we use now to protect ourselves from the reach of digital snoops will be blocked too, leaving us naked and vulnerable.

But there is a solution.

Buy a Linux machine. Not only will it protect you against the above, but it’ll be cheaper, and doesn’t have all the problems that Windows does (e.g., the blue screen of death).

Here’s how to get started:

  • Buy an older model computer with an AMD processor. They’re cheaper and still offer WAY more power than you’re likely to need. Just be sure to ask if the thing comes with “vPro,” “CompuTrace,” or a “TPM chip.” If it has any of these, don’t buy it!
  • Install Linux Mint on it; a user-friendly version of the program.

Most likely, unless you’re technically minded, you’ll need to enlist the help of your local independent computer retailer. Do so – they will be a great resource as you shift to a non-Microsoft world.

Remember, Microsoft is a traitor to their customers, relying upon their ignorance to keep the game going.

Don’t be their zombies!

microsoftSource: Edward Snowden

Paul Rosenberg

14 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Microsoft’s Spying Ways”

  1. Thanks for this warning, Paul! I’ve been thinking of trying Linux for years but haven’t pulled the trigger. One thing I’d definitely need is a C++ compiler compatible with the OS, as I also write programs. Microsoft’s Visual Studio is a well-featured application, which I’ll (probably) be sorry to have to give up.

    1. The GCC compiler suite does C++ just fine.

      One of the beneficial side-effects of having so many different groups working on the same “Linux” architecture, is that compatibility becomes exceedingly important. There are no “hidden” or “undocumented” APIs, and published standards are scrupulously followed.

      A quick search for “linux c++” has plenty of links, even YouTube videos.

  2. This is all too true and has been in the works since Windows 95, as this aspect of the PC was a part of Bill Gates ‘vision’ for home computing since the late 1970s. Sadly, since most humans are addicted to convenience and utility, people are now too stupid to do the things you recommend. I’ve tried several times in my IT career to interest consumers in non-Windows PC platforms, with little success. There just aren’t all the little ‘apps’, ‘gadgets’ and gimmicks that can be constantly downloaded for their jaded amusement in the non-Windows world. PC manufacturers tried a few years back to sell mainstream alternatives with Ubuntu OS preconfigured with easy to use tools and programs. They didn’t sell. PC sales are declining in any case, as the rise of the smartphone computing platform and non-Windows tablet is superseding traditional platforms in non-business use.

  3. Anyone interested in Linux has an embarrassment of riches to choose from. That can be a problem, because with many paths some people get stuck in trying to choose.

    There is a great way to “try before you buy”, the Linux LiveCD:


    Burn a CD, reboot, and enjoy a full working Linux system without disrupting anything on your existing Windows.

    If you’re already using Firefox, Chrome, LibreOffice or OpenOffice, GIMP, then you’ll have no problems because all these are standard on Linux system.

    As the author says, Linux Mint is good. Most important is just to try it, dive in, get used to it. Because there is one overwhelming difference with Windows or Mac that Linux has that new users simply cannot understand until they see it: Flexibility.


    Since the “desktop” isn’t married to the “kernel”, you’re not stuck with just one way to do things. Sure, install Mint, or Ubuntu, or any Linux flavor. Once you are comfortable with the file structure and myriad tools, then you can start to play with the desktop itself and make YOUR system truly yours.

  4. Microsoft has been on the road to perdition for a long time. For those who still need to use Windows, I would suggest just going back to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (if you need more than 3.5 GB of ram or use a SSD drive) or even using Windows XP SP 2 if possible (my favorite choice). These are both available for free on the torrents.

  5. And once you install Linux Mint (which is what I’m using right now, BTW) go ahead and install a piece of software on that Linux Mint computer. Go ahead, I dare you! (No, I don’t mean install one of the programs that comes bundled on Mint, I mean some other program. Install Eudora 7 on it. Or Paint Shop Pro X…)

  6. I’m a bit late to this post but are you insane!
    You must not know a thing about computers or your using jargon to confuse those readers who do not know any better.
    Windows 8 ready? Meaning that the chips inside are compatible just like Windows 7 ready you needed a graphics card with at least direct x 8 in order to use Aero effects.
    Signed software and hardware! That’s not only licensing but if you look at Apple OSX (linux) doesn’t work on most configurations because Apple wants a dominant control over the hardware in order to give the best experience.
    Windows works on most hardware and needs to be signed for compatibility and signed software to keep DRM and Viruses at bay.

    I found this post because I thought when I clicked on the link that you knew something like why Windows Installer needs to call home when installing software but it’s obvious your just a nut.

  7. Delete many comments lately that do not agree with your view of things?
    Doesn’t make you right, just makes you a Dictator that loves to here himself talk.

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