Windows Vista forum

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Is VISTA Really Spying on Us for US Government?

I was forwarded the email below from the "Canadian Action Party" and I'm not technically sophisticated enough to check if it is true or not.

Any feedback would be welcome.

Thanks for your time.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Does Windows Vista Send Information to the Government?
by Bill Lindner on 20070726 @ 00:13AM EST

Is there more to Windows Vista being big brother than was originally
thought? There appear to be features and services bundled into Windows Vista
that stay in touch with the government and their associates, too.

If this is true, Microsoft has gone too far. This post was in an
abandonia.com forum, and appeared to get overloaded from all the attention
it was getting. Whitedust.net had a copy of it on their site.

A forum user switched to Windows Vista a month ago and actually
had some good luck with it. He began noticing latency on his home network
connection. He used port sniffing software and networking tools to see what
was going on. What he found he referred to as "foundation shaking." There
are some graphical images of a peerguardian 2 log with some very interesting
information. The computer was in an idle state.

It shows the computer connected to the following (in his own words):

a.. DoD Network Information Center (Department of Defense)
b.. United Nations Development Program (Seems to correlate to the parent
branch of the U.N. Informatics Division)
c.. Halliburton Company (We all know these guys)
d.. Ministry of Defense Data Return Agent
e.. DOHS-Recon (traceroutes for this address provided nothing, suspected
blocks on traceroute. Many of us who are monitoring this situation have
suspected the acronym stands for the Department of Homeland Security
Reconnaissance. This is merely a guess, but an educated one at that)

I ran traceroutes on the IP's, and sure enough they came back government
owned. I thought this might be exclusive to my system, so I ran over to a
friend of mine who upgraded to Vista when it first became available. After
installing monitoring software on his system, the hits it caught on his
network were immediate and almost identical in source.

Is there anyone in the abandonia community with a US based connection who is
experiencing this watchdog behavior? Are any foreign Vista users
experiencing similar attacks from their own countries ministries and
governing agencies?

It would be interesting to see how common this is. If Microsoft is doing
this to all their Windows Vista consumers, it's time to take a long hard
look at how they do things.

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Discussed a few years ago and keeps on going.

In reply to: Is VISTA Really Spying on Us for US Government?

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So it IS True - why is it not well known?

In reply to: Discussed a few years ago and keeps on going.

Thank you for the quick reply and the link to an old thread on the same topic.

To summarize what is discussed: MicroSoft does indeed spy on its users, it's well known among techies, but no one really seems to care too much about the violation of privacy.
Then the discussion turns to creating smilies.

Thanks again for the quick reply.

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Spy vs. Data collection.

In reply to: So it IS True - why is it not well known?

By the way, there are some that are so paranoid that they can't distinguish product activation from data collection from spying. These types can't be reasoned with but should take it upon themselves to not use the internet except from say "linux" or such and only from a free wifi hotspot and maybe through a proxy.

The rest of us have very little to fret about.

Bob

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Ah, the paranoid rumors...

In reply to: Is VISTA Really Spying on Us for US Government?

First, you must keep in mind that the Canadian Action Party is admittedly against the US government in almost every aspect, claiming, for instance:
1.) The US government gave its blessing, more or less, letting terrorists kill thousands of American and foreigners alike in the 2001 attacks.
2.) The US government poses an immediate threat to Canada, attempting to take over its government and blind its citizens.
3.) The US government is itself a terrorist organization and should stop passing anti-terrorist legislation.

Wow! Seems only natural that they would claim the US government is spying on people worldwide using Windows, place digital cameras in our printers, and hide CIA agents in our closets. Oh, wait, that last one is too far fetched. Plain

Does Microsoft 'spy' on its users? You could argue so in that they collect information about your hardware configuration as part of their anti-piracy strategy. Does your monitor contain an X-ray machine that takes pictures of your bone structure every 30 minutes and send that identifiable information to Area-51? Only if you win the lottery every day of the week.

John

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Technical Verification not Personal Political Opinions

In reply to: Ah, the paranoid rumors...

Thank you for the quick reply.

I'm glad you have such strong political opinions, however i was asking if someone could technically verify the above accusations and not cloud the issue with inflammatory political rhetoric. This is a technical forum is it not?

Thanks.

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True, but...

In reply to: Technical Verification not Personal Political Opinions

My point is two fold. First, the source of these claims is severely biased against the US government, actively spreading what are generally labeled conspiracy theories concerning most aspects of the government. Thus, any claim it makes should be considered as suspect in the very least. Second, they made absolutely no mention of what tools they used to obtain this information, what the IP addresses were, what application/service was sending the information, etc.

A bold claim backed by no evidence is a sign that the claim cannot be substantiated, even by those making it. I cannot find anything to support their allegations, and I sincerely doubt anyone else here can either. But it's not our job to prove what they say, it is their job. Thus, I say ask them to prove what they are saying is fact and not just a headline grabber. But then again that's my point...they offer no such proof.

John


P.S. I actually don't have strong political options. I simply paraphrased a few of the radical claims they have made in the past and added my own sarcastic comments in the same vein.

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Let's Just Get the Facts.

In reply to: True, but...

According to the claim, all versions of VISTA have spyware transmitting to government sites.

IF someone that know how (I don't) could verify - it's either true or not.

Then we put an end to the rumour either way - either it is 100% true or it is not.

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You can watch everything that transpires...

In reply to: Let's Just Get the Facts.

Consider tools such as RegMon (registry), FileMon (files), ProcessExplorer (processes), and WireShark (internet traffic), to name just a few. If you use any of these freely-available tools you will find no evidence of what they claim. However, the conspiracy theorists claim that almost every tool available has been designed to hide such monitoring, since all of those independent developers have been bought off or threatened into submission. Thus, they claim it is impossible to prove they are wrong, and that anyone who disagrees with them either doesn't know the truth or is lying. See the problem? The only solution is for them to display proof of their claims.

A hypothetical comparison:
I claim to be the Sultan of Krychecz. I claim that every map, encyclopedia, etc. has been altered by the government to hide the country's existence and that all geographers, explorers, tourists, etc. have been bought off or threatened to hide the truth. Therefore, every map you show me as proof I'm lying is falsified. Now, prove that I am not the Sultan of Krychecz. Well, you can't, since I reject all proof you can come up with as being fake. Thus, either I can prove I am the Sultan of Krychecz or we can forever disagree as to my true identity.
// End Hypothetical comparison

In short, it's a claim that has never been substantiated and likely never will be in a way that satisfies all parties. Every piece of evidence that exists in the public domain contradicts the claim, but until one side gives there will never be total agreement. Thus, unless evidence is brought to the table it's nothing more than an unwinnable argument, and one that's best ignored until facts are presented.

John

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Read my post.

In reply to: Technical Verification not Personal Political Opinions

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Are we to finally admit that 1984 has finally come to pass?

In reply to: Read my post.

It's depressing that there is so little that we can do.
No one seems to be concerned whatsoever about privacy anymore.

But, If I was a foreign government, I might be just a little concerned if all my computers were connected directly to the US DoD. No wonder China refuses to install any MicroSoft products on any of their government computers - they must have verified what we only suspect.

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Dan

In reply to: Are we to finally admit that 1984 has finally come to pass?

Don't compare the United States to China.

China's government is despicable. Not only do they watch and record what you do they will put your head on a stake to show that you must not question what they say.

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HOw can anyone defend China?

In reply to: Are we to finally admit that 1984 has finally come to pass?

You mean the same China who has just been caught breaking into US Department of Defense Computers???

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Microsoft Vista

In reply to: HOw can anyone defend China?

How can anyone defend Microsoft?

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What do you mean with ...

In reply to: Is VISTA Really Spying on Us for US Government?

"connected to"? That's rather vague, isn't it?

Let me ask a concrete question: what are you connected to right now (that is while you type your answer) and how did you find out?


Kees

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Maybe this entire forum is waste of time(?)

In reply to: What do you mean with ...

Any real questions about Microsoft spying for US government is reduced, probably on purpose, to a useless and off-topic political discussion.

If China wants to break into US computers, that is their prerogative, they are a sovereign Nation.
What China does is not the topic under discussion.

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Sorry, but I don't see ...

In reply to: Maybe this entire forum is waste of time(?)

the connection between my question (what is the meaning of "connected to" in the first post?) and your answer to my post (saying that China is allowed to break into US government computers).
Of course I agree the last topic isn't under discussion here.

Kees

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I'm a Moron!!!

In reply to: Sorry, but I don't see ...

My humblest apologies, I got two similar threads confused.

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By the way ...

In reply to: I'm a Moron!!!

do you think the US government is entitled to break in into Canadian government computers, like China is allowed to break in into US government computers? After all, the US is a sovereign nation?

Maybe the US government is even entitled to break in into Canadian private computers? Or US private computers? Or is that a bridge too far?

Kees

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How about addressing the real question...

In reply to: Maybe this entire forum is waste of time(?)

You copied and pasted a claim you received via e-mail that didn't contain a shred of evidence. You then asked us to prove their claim. Honestly, I agree with you on your last point...that is a waste of time. As I have said already in this thread, it is the responsibility of the individual making the claim to prove it. Expecting someone else to prove what is, at least on the surface, wild accusations is entirely the wrong approach and, to some degree, illogical.

So, to recap:
Did they offer any proof?
-> No.
Did you offer any proof?
-> No.
Did you ask if anyone here could confirm these claims?
-> Yes.
Did we refute these claims?
-> Yes.
Did we offer tools which could be used to prove our point?
-> Yes.
Did you ignore the mention of these tools?
-> Yes.
Did you suddenly switch from asking a question to arguing a point of view without evidence?
-> Yes.
Are you the one who brought up China and their technical practices?
-> Yes.
Did you then suddenly switch and say this is not about what China does?
-> Yes.

Now, I believe your sole purpose here is to argue the point of the Canadian Action Party and denigrate any counterpoints, not to prove the claim one way or another. However, I will give you the opportunity to prove me wrong. Show us that you are interested in the truth by presenting reports by respected third-parties, looking at the traffic using the tools I mentioned, requesting proof from the source, etc, not just arguing with us, which is the opposite of your stated intent when you started this thread. Otherwise I will lock this thread in the interest of civility and relevance. As you said, this is a technical forum, so show us something technical.

John

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WRONG

In reply to: How about addressing the real question...

Wrong, I thought that someone with more technical ability could check to see if the claim is true by checking their own running version of Vista is all.

I have absolutely no interest in discussing the pro and cons of any political party in this forum.

If its not too much trouble could anyone recommend a better forum that might be populated with able technophobes rather than political radicals lacking the technical ability.

Thanks.

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LOCKED...

In reply to: WRONG

Sorry, but:
1.) We never mentioned a political party, China, etc, you did.
2.) Technophobes, by definition, fear technology. You'll be hard-pressed to find them in a technical forum.
3.) Those who ask for and present evidence are not political radicals, they are objective thinkers.

You once again rejected my offer to return to the topic at hand or present evidence one way or the other. Thus, this thread is locked, as will be any further threads created on this matter. Foundationless accusations and personal attacks are not welcome in these forums.

John

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It could be a dead end here.

In reply to: Maybe this entire forum is waste of time(?)

Most of the responders have heard this before but participate in security forums where this topic comes up from time to time. If you want to solidify your case be sure to get a network sniffer and capture the offending packets then make up a web site to host your claim.

Bob

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