Microsoft Privacy Policy

Dear unknown reader,

I am guess by now you’ve heard if not try the new Windows. I switched to Linux as a desktop use several years ago, and I shall acknowledge I do not know much about the Windows well anymore. At the time I did not like to be limited by the Windows eco system. As time passed by I have made few attempt to go back to several version of Windows, and every time I went to back to Linux. Before you ask, yes Microsoft have improved a lot and Windows became system quite good and easy to use, and yes unfortunately I lost a lot of time too trying to make something working correctly with Linux.

I moved to Linux for technicals reason at the time. Now I will stay with it for different reason than technicity. For the end user I don’t think the technicals reasons matters anymore. What matters now is the privacy, and I am guess you’ve read a lot of articles online. Many of them explained how to set Windows to prevent getting information about you. A fewer numbers of articles complained of invasion of privacy, and ultimately many argued that we gave away our privacy to Google so what difference do that make whether it is Microsoft or Google ?

One year ago I have tried one of the Windows phone, as I wanted to move away from Android. As soon I as switch the phone, I had to accept their end user policy which I did not understand fullly. If I wanted to use the phone, I was forced to agree on their policy. That’s when I realized Microsoft was already doing the same as Google. So I returned back the phone and went back to use an old fashion mobile phone. (See my earlier post)

To me, you should not use any products of those companies Windows nor Google because of privacy issues it implies. The consequences of giving away your privacy are not obvious at first sight. Above a video from la Quadrature du net which explain very well why it matters. If you’re interested you may also look at the web series Do not track me episodes.

Life without a smartphone

Dear unknow reader,

I was reading back a post I wrote “My Privacy is not on sale” almost two years ago. Since I gradually disconnected my life from Google. (I never had Facebook anyway) I closed my gmail account few month before the Snowden scandal. I started to use DuckDuckGo as my home page. Then I bought a Firefox phone trying to escape Android. When the first Firefox phone came out it has so many bugs I had to recompile new version of it and I broke my phone by flashing a boot partition whihc I should not have done. So I ended buying a conventional phone with keys and I have it now for more than a year. I am trying to protect my “privacy”

So I live without a smartphone. So far I don’t miss it. As time went by I realized that those kind a phone are phone designed to uniquely track you for commercial purpose. It’s pretty scary. It’s even more scary about how the NSA can track you if they want to.

At least I do believe that as we are consumer we can refuse to give our privacy away over their services. I don’t want to be tracked by big corporations, create account and feed more data to those companies and help then to make a better world. Simply because they don’t make the world better, their just doing business. The easier way to this is  to stop using “smart” phones and maybe those corporation will change if they know it won’t bring them any money…I know that’s utopic now..

I have asked you in my previous post if you think we were in 1984 ? In a short answer I believe we are in strange world of information over load. The Digital age. It is not 1984 but something different with similarities. As history unfolds it’s difficult to understand of what’s going on in the world. It’s not about propaganda anymore, it’s about information.

Information is much more valuable than you think, you should not give it away for free.

Alternatives….

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by. I did not write any post for a long time. I moved my blog to a different country. Indeed my blog was previously hosted in United States. It may not change anything  but still I don’t like it. I am trying to do everything I could to prevent my digital life to be stored in United States. Yes I becoming paranoid, even if though I did nothing wrong. I would like to be in control of my digital life in the internet, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to do so. The first thing I did many years ago was to close my Facebook account.

For several month I have been trying to cut my dependence over thoses “free services”. (Remember that nothing is free) Are you aware where are you personal information stored ? Again it may not change anything, but be aware that the law and regulations are different from countries to countries. Do you agree with the U.S. law ? The NSA scandal is important, but it does not bother me is compared to the influence of those big companies who tells you how to use technology.

I noticed few month ago that I must have a gmail account if I want to use any Android phone. We are now in connected world, whereby thoses internet corporation push you to be more and more connected and know more about you. I don’t want them to know, what are inside my emails, my location, or what I buy or not buy. Did you know that your email are scanned by Google ? I searched how to use android without a Google account, and it has appeared to difficult (At least with the older version 2.3). I could explain how to do it but I don’t intent to make my posts technical. Moreover it is bit of pain as you cannot use the Android market/Google play because you must login with a gmail account. So if you want an app you have to install it manually, and it is not convenient at all. So I change my phone and stopped to use Android.

There are alternatives to get away from those big corporation even if they are not perfect.

This what you can do :

  • Use an email provider which does not scan your email,  share sell  your data with a third party. (Eg neomailbox.net)
  • Use temporary email when you need to create account.
  • To sync my files and contact remotely you can use owncloud on a Raspberry Pi
  • Use an alternative mobile phone like Firefox OS,
  • Use an open source OS for on my computer (FreeBSD Linux)
  • Use Duckduckgo as a homepage to search on the web
  • Try to convince people to use diaspora as a social network instead Facebook
  • Try to convince people to use XMPP message client on phone and computer

I am sure there is many others alternatives I can’t think about just now. Those are far from being perfect, but I do encourage you to use them if you don’t want those big corporations to decide for you what shall be internet.

Think Different

My privacy is not on sale

Dear reader,

Thank you for passing by… I stopped writing for while. I host this blog a hobby to express my view. Life sometimes get you busy with other things, and I did not took the time to write.

Netherless I had plenty of ideas I would like to share talk about. I closed the comment as I received 95% fake comments or ads. Still if you wish to contact me you can do it by email.

If you have read my previous post you’ve maybe found out that I was concerned about privacy before that the scandal triggered by Edward Snowden came up. It’s seems that only the vast majority of us are discovering that we are spied and tracked online. (Governement or Google). On the internet you can read various things pros and cons against Snowden but I find difficult to distinguish between what is true or false and what is right or wrong. I will try on this post to give another perspective over this, and privacy in general.

I think we must distingish between being tracked by a companies and being tracked by the governement. Why does the goverenment spy on us (NSA, or GCHQ )? The govermnent claim is for our national security, and most of normal shoudln’t worried about that. My concern is why it is secret ? How do we know if it has helped to prevent terrorist attack ? The US governement, nor the other develloping country have proved with facts that it was an efficient to use all of this technology to prevent terrorism or protect the country national interest. The NSA activities remain unclear to most us. Many questions remained unanswered. Why collecting and store this huge amount of data ? Is it really efficient ? What exactly is collected ? How long this data is stored ? What do they do with it ? Almost none of us know…. What would you do at Edward Snowden place ? Take the money and live confortable life ? Act with courage and belief of what you think is right at the risk of spoiling your life ? Whatever are his motivation, and whether he is right or wrong he has the merit to have triggered a public debate. This public debate is essential for our democracy rights, and we must continue to push our governement for more answers.

However so far I still blog freely in favour of Edward Snowden without the fear of being arrested. Anyone can read article about him. I am not quite convinced it is completely 1984 yet. So it’s not because I believe the US governement is wrong to hide to the public the NSA activites that US authorities are complety corrupted. So far I don’t think live in fear, I don’t think I would be arrested because I am blogging against the NSA activities. I could be very dangerous and scary if the data collected is to be used against us and our democratic rights, take down political opponents. As far as I know the NSA data have not been used by the DoJ to prosecute anyone as proof of guilt. So things are not so bad as they seems. Intestingly I am not so much concern about it…

I am more concern about Google, and how this company track us for commercial purpose. I have read plenty of article about Google these days. As the NSA scandal rise many journalist now questions Google behaviour and I thinks that good. However I think many of the journalist does not raise the right concern about this company, and does not provide new perspectives…

Let me talk about email among other outrageous things. Did you know that Google open every emails and process it to dress profile for commercial purpose. Google claims it is a machine who does it and respect my privacy. That’s outrageous be to me it’s even worse if it a machine who open my email. Yes it’s worse ! I AM NOT A PROFILE ! I AM NOT A NUMBER ! You have to keep in mind is that

to Google you are just number. If a computer can open your email at Google datacenter, then someone also at Google can open your email. How much do you trust Google ?. Do you know exactly what they do with your personal information ? What information they collect for marketing purpose ? Do you have control over those informations you’re sending about you ? Why store our digital life to their servers ?

That’s why a year ago I decided to stop using Gmail, I transfered all of my emails to another provider outside United States, and I took some time before completely close my account in order to remember all the websites I registered to and tell the person around me that I am changing emails. I have defenitly closed my Google account a month ago, but before that I wanted to deleted all my personal information. It’s amazing that amount of data they store about you ! And it’s not easy to remove them.

They spend millions for their corporate images, and claim that they are good  and have nothing to hide. When would they make their search engine open source ? Never…We do not realize it but we are brainwhased at Google sauce…To me, I think for them you’re just a number their filling the sample of their statistics that they can sell for marketing purpose. The only thing they care is making money at the expense of your privacy whatever they say. That’s why I hate their double speech.

I could also talk about many other things they do, which I despise, such as Android or the Google glass but it’s quite late now…. Briefly they took the open source concept and emptied the real essence out of it. Android is not really open sourc. Only Google decide when to release the sources, and the apps are close source. The direction of the OS is not decided by a community but by Google.

I am taking Google as example because they are the leaders in this field, about it could be any of the high tech companies.

Those companies want to force you use the technology the way they want to make money. But accepting their TOS (Terms of Services) you opened a Pandora box which is very hard to move away….

MY PRIVACY IS NOT TO SELL ! I AM MORE THAN A MARKET SHARE!

Think different

Dear reader,

Again thanks for passing by, and read my post. One of my friend  told me I was doing this blog to “defend my ideas.” To be honest I never taught about defending my ideas while doing this blog. I am doing this blog to understand better the technology world and share my ideas. Indeed I can see that we’re in an information world we don’t yet fully understand.

Unfortunately most of people have no concern about information world we are in, and the implications it has over our daily life. The trend is to Love new technology, and at the same time to hate computers. Eg : I Love Apple, but I don’t like technology.

On this post I would like to show that this trends leads to some wider issue which is not obvious to see at first sight. Often you do not realize that the technology will have control over you, more than you having control on technology.

For instance the Mac have been designed to be easy to use, and people believe that it works well compare to others computers and often people says that there no is viruses / malware on their Mac. The latter is first completely false, but most importantly do you realize that most of the time you are bounded how the company wants you to use your computer. Maybe your are not interseted so much in technology.

The easy answer would be: I don’t care as long as it does what I want to do. The common  comparison is with the car. It just works.  However the main purpose of the car to move you or an object from point A to B, whereas a computer a several uses. One of  the major use is the ability to going online.  It is the interface between you and your digital life. What can you do if you don’t have control over it ? On my earlier on my post I spoke briefly spoke about Google fine.  The company has been fined for having spying on their Safari’s user without their consents. (You can see related article here and here) You could say, it is nothing, you have nothing to hide. But to whatever the trend or fashion, that’s one example among others to show you that by trusting these companies you don’t have control over technology and our right to privacy. You’ve been tracked without you knowing it. Maybe you should read 1984 from George Orwell to understand the implications it has on society.

So to I am trying to do this blog to bring up a different point of view about technology and the impact it have on your daily life without using technical language. My goal by doing this blog is not defend my ideas, but I am trying to make you think about technology over our daily life. And remember to think different.

Share this file

Dear reader,

Last year in UK the webiste PirateBay has been censored by the British government under the pressure of the lobbyist from the entertainment industry. The guardian made an article here last July 2012 insisting on digital rights. This is futile because it won’t prevent people from accessing this portal, the article itself show a link where you can bypass it very easly. PirateBay is not only a File sharing portal, it ‘s a vector of communications. I have just found thanks to Piratebay a movie you can download the torrent by clicking on the button just bellow. You can find subs in your language on the site in addition of different other formats.

                       Please spend some time to download, copy, share this.

Can you live without Google ?

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by, and thank for any real comment, if I had any…. Most of the comment I have are spams. But I prefer having spam than tracking you.

I have decided in my blog not to track you at all, and to pay for my blog instead of getting a free one from Google or any other “free” blog plateform. I am using the free open source plateform WordPress. I don’t know how many vistiors I had so far, and I don’t really care. I am not really writing this blog to get an audience. Maybe I could have more readers with the Google plateform but I have got few reasons why I would like to  avoid using Google services. And I have stopped to use by default Google for my search on the web.

Do you realize how much power we are giving to Google and Facebook with our “personal information”. I am focusing on these two as these are the two giants one and their practice should be known by the “public” for the public interest. However does the public care about their privacy ? Most of the public consum without any care on privacy,without so much care how their personal information is managed. And they agree because these big companies provide them a “free”service. I acknowledge that it is usefull and get our daily life easier. But we shall use this with care.

Most of who likes technology have followed this summer the trial beetween Samsung and Apple, however fewer have heard that Google had been fined last month by the FTC to pay 22.5 millions $ because they are tracking Safari users using without their consent.

According to the FTC webpage there, the first sentence is written as “Google agreed to pay…” To me that means Google have tried to settle an agreement. I am just outraged because the fine is so small compare to their revenue, and I think it would not impact them nor prevent them to track you again by illegal means. I am wondering what we don’t know yet about Google, as it is somehow a secret company. The European commission target them for their competition practices. They redirecting youtube links before their competitors, hence abusing of their dominance on the market. There is lot of thing we don’t know about Google, and this particular event have deicded me not to set Google as my home page anymore. I am currently stopping to use my gmail email address. I trying live without Google

In late 2009 they have set their own public DNS server. They claim that it is more secure. The problem I can see is that, they’re bounding the web to what Google want. An internet for consumer. Instead of using Google DNS you should use OpenDNS, and if you don’t know what a DNS is. Here is a very fast explication. On  the right here is a representation of the internet network map. The DNS system bind an IP adress to a name you can see on your web browser. For instance going to the address http://46.51.197.88 is the same than going to http://duckduckgo.com a public DNS server make the translation between the two. Here is the wiki page about DNS if you want to learn more about it.

The issue is that the network will impact more and more our lives, and we should learn and take the advantage of if. Internet should belong to the people and be used by and for the people.

Do not let Google own your internet, make it yours and be more than a consumer.

How about you ? Can you live without Google ?

Social media’s alternatives

Dear unknown reader,

Thanks for the comment I had so far. I did not post any article since few weeks now. I did not took care of my blog so much lately. I should write more. Because often I want to do to well my post. I would like to add value to my post provide some analysis  bias to point of view with some argument, instead of posting some quick comment on about an event.  I would rather wait for sometimes trying analyze the situation before writing a post. Maybe that’s not the right thing to do (A blog is web log after all)

Yet I don’t have twitter nor Facebook, to comment on anything happening and I am paying for my blog instead of having a free one. Why ? I have grewn up on the generation before the social media’s and I did not subscribe as soon as things came out… Sometimes I feel I’m getting old fashion as people ask me : Do you have a Facebook ? I’m just replying politely No I don’t…but it’s hard sometimes to explain why quickly. So here is my long answer :

I had Facebook for few months and I lost my password. I could never get back my password. I have breach their Terms of Service as I used false name on it, and they found out when I tried to get back my account. So I don’t have Facebook anymore I don’t want to grant Facebook the right for my digital life. When Facebook arrived everyone enjoyed it without thinking on privacy issues nor any knowledge on the information world we are in the information you’ll give to this companies.

Now many people cares about their privacy, and it’s too late to remove Facebook as their already connected with loads people they don’t want to loose contact with, so  people use it. I am sure a lot of people use it under a false name. I know someone who’s got two account. One under a false name for chatting girls, and the other one under his real name for his friend. Anyway I hate Facebook because they have transformed internet into something where you cannot be anonymous internet user anymore.

At the time when the Egyptian revolution was on going a political activist was describing the situation under a false name. His account has been suddenly shut down by the company, but he could get him back because he has some connection, he could have his account back and using Facebook for the good cause of Egyptian revolution. So Facebook was cited as the social media in the trend with the Egyptian revolution.

This example among others shock me because it grant Facebook the right decide the activity on his social network. It’s all matter how Facebook social media is seen by the public. When it give bad publicity for their plateform I am sure your accound would be closed quickly. Me I see social media run companies a threat for your privacy and your freedom of speech, but I guess Mark Zuckerberg truly believe it helps people to connect and enhance their digital life.

Are you friend with Mark Zuckerberg ?

I guess if you have Facebook you are participating to make him billionnaire, and you have given him access to your digital life, with the right to keep all your personal photos text songs on his servers, just to spy your habbits on his plateform, so he can show more accurate adds…

I have chosen not have not such friend. I am sorry. But don’t get me wrong ! I am for social media ! There is some other alternatives : http://diasporaproject.org. It is a decentralized opensource social media which respect your privacy which puts you in center of your digital life. As it a decentralized network no one can really control it.

If anyone likes my post you can ask me my username and add me on diaspora….

Regards,