January 10, 2007

Here's One Good Reason Not to Buy Window's Vista

Microsoft can deactivate your Vista installation remotely. As Elliotte says:

He’s worried about piracy. I.e. what happens if somebody else “borrows” your key, so Microsoft cuts you off through no fault of your own. I’m wondering what happens when the U.S. Government leans on Microsoft to cut off the keys to the latest alleged seeker of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Of course this attack isn’t just a threat to foreign countries. It’s a threat to anyone the U.S. Government or Microsoft doesn’t like. I figure it’s a tossup whether this power will be used first to go after child pornographers or copyright pirates. It probably depends on who fires first, private industry or the government.

Either way, look for this attack to be rapidly expanded to tax cheats, deadbeat dads, drug dealers, individual citzens who support unpopular^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorist organizations, drunk drivers, individuals criticizing corporations, lawyers who defend these folks, and anyone else the government or a big company don’t like.

First, exactly when did our governments grant to Microsoft the roles of police, judge, jury and executor? Recovery of alleged stolen property should happen through a recognizable public process.

Second, if Microsoft can turn of your software remotely what else can they do remotely? You don't have to go far beyond Elliotte's rather mild paranoia to find an entire building in Redmond Washington, DC., full of MS contractors scurrying to do the bidding of fbi, dea or homeland security flunkies wanting to read keystrokes and hard drives remotely. I can already see these guys salivating

Unfortunately, many folks will have to succumb to the steamroller. Heck,I'll probably have at least one Vista machine at home though I plan to have Linux, Mac and ? as well. Computer diversity will be a really good thing!

I look forward to the independent side of the techie world coming up with many interesting and varied counters to this kind of potential nastiness.

Posted by Steve on January 10, 2007

When my current computer finally becomes obsolete (WinXP), I think I will make the switch to Mac.

Posted by Allan at January 10, 2007 9:36 PM

I'm going to have to figure out Linux, I can tell. There is no way I'm moving to Vista.

Posted by Laura Gjovaag at January 12, 2007 2:58 PM
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