> wrote in message
> What a wonderfull platform.
You're kidding, right? ;-) It's a complete disaster as an upgrade,
and as you noted, it's an open door to releasing a perfect, complete
profile on the end user to MS (or as you note, whomever pays the
highest dollar, which would likely be the DHS or the NSA).
> Of course I also had to reactivate the xp edition on one
> of my computers.
VISTA deactivates any previous license when installed. Full installs
on new hard drives (in removable drive bays) or brand new PCs are
the only 'safe' way to experiment with VISTA. If you don't tweak the
OS immensely, you can have hidden "shadow copies" of your files
created on a regular basis; if you inadvertantly join the little "Help us
build a better operating system" club or report errors to MS, you're
giving MS access to your PC. System restore in the culprit in this,
and most people can't live without restore. If you but a new PC with
VISTA installed, it is also crammed full of other 'trial version' or other
permanently installed software that is equally culpable.
> Now in this age where evey micro of info on
> us or our computer is sold to the hightest bidder inorder to perfect the
> sales targeted at us but not the ability to keep our computers' straight.
(see below) Retail box sales of XP are actually up, and it is expected to
be available for some time to come. There is no service pack for VISTA
yet because it is extremely complicated to patch a severly broken OS.
You can still order PCs with XP (much more available now than in the
the first quarter after VISTA's release), and you can certainly build your
own tower without having to deal with VISTA.
OEM box manufacturers are offering a downgrade option on new PC
sales that come with VISTA... offering a downgrade to XP in order to
save the sale of the computer. Even MS is not only offering a money
back scenario, but they'll pay your shipping cost to return the OS as well.
Maybe you should take advantage of that.
> My, my when will the idiocy end?
When people realize that having the latest OS isn't that important; when
they realize that their work is more important than the status of having the
supposed latest and greatest. When people realize that if they're on the
net with this OS, they're going to be vulnerable... not to virii and malware,
but to data access.
It's not Bill's fault... it's the regime's fault.
The NSA Is Likely Reading Windows Software In Your Computer
By Sherwood Ross
Created Oct 17 2007 - 10:05am
Sooner or later, a country that spies on its neighbors will turn on its
own people, violating their privacy, stealing their liberties.
President Bush's grab for unchecked eavesdropping powers is the
culmination of what the National Security Agency(NSA) has spent forty
years doing unto others.
And if you're upset by the idea of NSA tapping your phone, be advised
NSA likely can also read your Windows software to access your computer.
European investigative reporter Duncan Campbell claimed NSA had arranged
with Microsoft to insert special "keys" in Windows software starting
with versions from 95-OSR2 onwards.
And the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry also asserted
NSA helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According
to France's Strategic Affairs Delegation report, "it would seem that the
creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by
NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the (Microsoft) MS-DOS operating
system by the same administration." That report was published in 1999.
The French reported a "strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by
insistent rumours about the existence of spy programmes on Microsoft,
and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates' development teams."
It noted the Pentagon was Microsoft's biggest global client.
In the U.S., Andrew Fernandez, chief computer scientist with Cryptonym,
of Morrisville, N.C., found Microsoft developers had failed to remove
debugging symbols used to test his software before they released it.
Inside the code Fernandez found labels for two keys, dubbed "KEY" and
NSAKEY". Fernandez, though, termed it NSA's "back door" into the world's
most widely used operation system. He said this makes it "orders of
magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer."
Microsoft called the report "completely false."
Apparently, agenices of the military-industrial complex take on a life
of their own. NSA, for example, has long engaged in commercial espionage
eavesdropping on European businesses to benefit U.S. firms, according to
William Blum, author of "Rogue State"(Common Courage Press).
NSA achieves this through ECHELON("E") -- an intelligence cartel
dominated by the U.S. with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and
Canada as junior partners. Launched in the 1970s to monitor Cold War
data, "E" morphed into "a network of massive, highly automated
interception stations covering the globe," Blum said.
Using "E", NSA has spied on German and French businesses which, as a
result, have come off second best against their American competitors.
Among companies targeted were Thomson S.A., of Paris, Airbus Industrie
of Blagnac Cedex, France, and the German wind generator-manufacturer
Enercon. "We know this technology("E") is there and it is being used on
us," Josef Tarkowski, former head of counter-espionage for the German
government told The London Sunday Times Internet Edition.
"Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky," Blum documents, NSA's
continuously orbiting satellites "sucks it all up:home phone, office
phone, cellular phone, email, fax, telex∑satellite transmissions,
fiber-optic communications traffic, microwave links∑voice, text,
images." These are then processed by high-powered computers at Ft.
Meade, Md., NSA headquarters.
Billions of messages are sucked up daily, Blum writes, including those
by presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the
Queen of England, transnational corporation executives, and foreign
embassies. It's been estimated "E" sifts through 99.9999 percent of all
global communications to get at the 0.0001 percent that is of interest
Each of the English-speaking partners, Blum asserts, "is breaking its
own laws, those of other countries, and international law -- the
absence of court-issued warrants permitting surveillance of specific
individuals is but one example."
"E" works by mining for key words that are extracted by computers and
passed along to humans for evaluation.
Some NSA activities came to light during the countdown to the U.S.
invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the time, the U.S. listened in on the
private conversations of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN weapons
inspectors in Iraq, and on the deliberations about Iraq of all members
of the UN Security Council. It also spied on organizations such as
Christian Aid and Amnesty International. Earlier, it was said to have
spied on U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond(R.-S.C.)
Less well known has been E's spying on foreign firms. In 1998, German
wind generator-maker Enercon developed a cheaper way to generate
electricity from wind power, but its U.S. rival, Kenetech, said it had
patented a near-identical process, and got a court order to ban Enercon
sales in the U.S., reporter Blum writes. NSA's role was exposed when
one of its employees revealed he had stolen Enercon's secrets by
tapping telephone and computer links between its research and
Again, NSA, with CIA aid, Blum and other sources say, obtained covert
information from French Airbus Industrie that enabled its U.S. rivals
Boeing and McDonnell Douglas to win a $1 billion contract. "The same
agencies also eavesdropped on Japanese representatives during
negotiations with the U.S. in 1995 over auto parts trade," Blum added.
The Sunday Times also reported Thomas-CSF, a French electronics maker,
lost a $1.4 billion deal to supply Brazil with radar because the U.S.
intercepted details of the negotiations and passed them to Raytheon, the
U.S. firm that makes the Patriot missile. Raytheon won the contract.
"E" is headquartered on British soil on a 560-acre base at Menwith Hill,
in North Yorkshire, the largest listening post in the world, taken over
by NSA in 1966. As well, the U.S. operates an enormous radar and
communications complex at Bad Aibling, near Munich, that is also an NSA
intercept station, and a dozen signals intelligence bases in Japan.
NSA also read other peoples' mail by inking a secret agreement with
Crypto AG, a Swiss maker of encryption technology, to rig their
machines before sale so that when foreign governments used the random
encryption key the enciphered message would be clandestinely
transmitted to NSA.
The result: when Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and more than 100 other
countries sent messages to their embassies, trade offices, and armed
forces around the world via telex, fax, and radio, NSA spooks could read
them. NSA, by the way, employs some 30,000 workers and, if it were a
private corporation, would rank among the top 50 on the "Fortune 500."
It's budget, of course, is secret but it's a bet NSA is cheerfully
gobbling up ump**** billions of your tax dollars every year. Of course,
other countries today emulate NSA's activities. China, for example, is
said to have hacked into British defense and foreign policy secrets and
the German weekly Der Spiegel recently reported German computers at the
chancellery, and foreign, economic, and research ministries are infected
by Chinese espionage programs.
Rather than shutting down or curbing NSA activities, President Bush is
expanding NSA's role. Even if a rubber stamp Congress goes along, not
everybody approves. The American Bar Association, our largest lawyer
group, has denounced Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
"The issue is whether the president can unilaterally conduct secret
surveillance, taking into his hands the awesome power to invade
privacy," ABA President Michael Greco said.
Greco may be upset because the Bill of Rights declares: "The right of
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and
the persons or things to be seized."
But what did George Washington know compared to George Bush?
[About author Sherwood Ross is an American reporter who has worked for
major American newspapers and magazines as well as international wire
services. To comment on this article or arrange for speaking