Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states

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28 Responses to “Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states”

  1. holtt says:

    Can we tone down the FUD and panic here? Here is an update from the original article

    UPDATE (3/26/11): HTTPS is again available for those in the countries discussed below. Microsoft denies deliberately blocking access to HTTPS, blaming the problem on a bug:

    We are aware of an issue that impacted some Hotmail users trying to enable HTTPS. That issue has now been resolved. Account security is a top priority for Hotmail and our support for HTTPS is worldwide – we do not intentionally limit support by region or geography and this issue was not restricted to any specific region of the world.

    • chawke says:

      holtt wrote: Can we tone down the FUD and panic here?

      We say:

      ‘Hungry…Must Eat…’

      But seriously, in this case, even if it is looking more like an unfortunate bug instead of deliberate aiding of oppressive regimes, we were more likely to believe it to be a deliberate action because of previous & proven sleazy actions on the part of Microsoft.

  2. Deidzoeb says:

    Haters gonna hate, Libyans gonna lib, capitalists gonna capitalize. Also hot coffee is hot.

  3. imron says:

    Export restrictions on cryptography perhaps?

    • Jack says:

      Horrible time to get legal when the whole region is falling apart. Twitter gets messages from the White House asking them to delay scheduled upgrades, but this happens?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Facts like this are one of the reason why I would really like to see some ISP start offering things like the Virtual Personal Email Server that I described last year in this post: http://freesoftware.zona-m.net/wanted-virtual-personal-email-servers/

  5. danby says:

    Apparently it was just a bug and other random countries were affected too. It’s been fixed now. Doesn’t look like there’s a conspiracy here.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/26/microsoft_https_hotmail_syria/

  6. ledfloyd says:

    Microsoft Wins ‘Most Ethical’ Award [ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/microsoft-most-ethical-company_n_837003.html ]
    Showing Ethics doesn’t parallel Morality.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Correction: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/26/microsoft_https_hotmail_syria/

    It’s a bug which has now been fixed.

    - Pedro

  8. notatoad says:

    “Hotmail users who browse the web with Firefox may force the use of HTTPS by default–while using any Hotmail location setting–by installing the HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plug-in.”

    and chrome users can use the KB SSL enforcer.

  9. Sapa says:

    “For Microsoft to take such an enormous step backwards– undermining the security of Hotmail users in countries where freedom of expression is under attack and secure communication is especially important–is deeply disturbing.”

    I second that

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is horrifying in its implications.

  11. Oshkosh John says:

    It obviously has to said be over and over, until everyone gets it.

    Dammit, everything you ever put onto the Internet is visible to somebody whom you might not want to be made privy to your thoughts. If you are doing illegal or possibly not-quite-proper activities, discuss them face-to-face, in the flesh!

    You can arrange your meetings on the Internet using cryptic phrasing. If someone really cares about your comings and goings, you’ll be caught anyway.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is really simple, don’t use Hotmail.

    Why would anyone think that Microsoft cares about their privacy?

    Microsoft is one of the world’s biggest corporations and has always valued the bottom line over needs of individual customers.

    Also treat all e-mail like a postcard. Don’t put anything in an e-mail your wouldn’t put on a postcard.

  13. Nasicournus says:

    This would be a lot more shOc

  14. Nasicournus says:

    This would be a lot more upsetting if anyone used hotmail anymore.

  15. chawke says:

    Not a surprise.

    Just Google ‘gates foundation monsanto’. Here’s a link to an example of what appears:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100830/12233610823.shtml

    Also, Bill Gates has spoken in favor of using vaccines on poor populations, with or without their consent, to control population. He is on the population bomb bandwagon- a popular hobby of the American Upper-class. (Another hobby of the upper-class is complaining about the wages of man-servants and restroom attendants.)

    The population-bomb theory _is_ complete bullshit, often times racist, and always classist.

    People like Gates see the human population’s worth and right to exist in terms of one’s perceived utility to the ultra-elite. They see themselves as the ‘real’ humanity – those who will be in the history books. After all, to use one of their examples, whom do we find more interesting – the Pharaohs, or the coolies who built their pyramids?

    (FWIW – I find the coolies more interesting.)

    • zeh says:

      Agreed. And isn’t it funny that the ultra-elite that gets portrayed in the history books are the very same that (re)write history through said books?

    • Rob says:

      You are aware that the effects of vaccines INCREASE the population?

      • chawke says:

        Rob…braaaah…I’ll try reeaal hard not to be pissy here.

        I am not railing against vaccines. Vaccines are good – save a lot of lives. Please read the article attached to my comment. And I believe the supposed autism-vaccine link to be bad, f.k’d up science at best and blatant fraud at worst…

        It is about vaccine and vaccine-like technology specifically meant to sterilize people – with or with-out their consent. This is probably why Gates et al want to develop a sterilization vaccine – so the vaccines against disease will not result in any unproductive increase in the population of their inferiors.

        Please…please…try to use whichever critical thinking skills you have when replying to comments! Ooopsies – I just got pissy there. Sorry ;)

        • randomly directed says:

          It is about vaccine and vaccine-like technology specifically meant to sterilize people – with or with-out their consent. This is probably why Gates et al want to develop a sterilization vaccine – so the vaccines against disease will not result in any unproductive increase in the population of their inferiors.

          Would you care to provide citations for your claims, or should we pretend that your hackneyed framing of this as class-warfare by the bourgeoisie supplemented by shameless usage of the race card is proof enough? Never mind the fact that your rants collectively comprise nothing more than a diversion from the topic at hand. Bill Gates is not Microsoft, nor do his purported evils taint the company by some bizarre form of guilt-by-association. Deliberately rescinding privacy from groups that need it the most is a dick move in and of itself, although there seems to be some evidence that it wasn’t malice as much as incompetence.

        • Anonymous says:

          Chawke said:

          “It is about vaccine and vaccine-like technology specifically meant to sterilize people – with or with-out their consent. This is probably why Gates et al want to develop a sterilization vaccine – so the vaccines against disease will not result in any unproductive increase in the population of their inferiors.”

          Gates had the shocking notion that, if people’s kids don’t die, they won’t have as many of them. This was predictably distorted by the antivax scum. Yes, scum. My dad’s a polio survivor, which makes me feel strongly about them.

          Did you realize that polio was near being wiped out in Africa when someone started a rumor that the vaccine was actually a plot to sterilize Muslim girls? This kind of FUD is recurrent, and it kills and maims.

          —Beryl MacLachlan

  16. chawke says:

    Beryl MacLachlan: Yes – antivax people are mislead. Please re-read my comments. I NEVER said anything that could be interpreted by a reasonable person as being anti-vaccine. Instead I receive shrill comments calling me ‘antivax scum’ and another implying that I am a communist.

    Beryl – vaccines are a tool which an be used for good or not-so-good purposes, and in case you’re wondering, I’ve had all of mine and try to keep up-to-date with them. The people who don’t vaccinate their kids are being stupid and worse.

    Why don’t you re-read my comments and perhaps do a simple Google search yourself before calling me an ‘antivax scum.’

    • Anonymous says:

      If you re-read Beryl’s comments he didn’t call you “antivax scum,” he just said those were the people who disseminated a distorted view of Gates’ opinions.

      Also, not providing any citation or evidence for your claims dies not make a very convincing argument. Gates has already distributed an unfathomable amount of his own money to the poor and needy, and has pledged to give them the rest by the time he dies. Does that really sound like the kind of person who would complain about the wages of “man-servants and restroom attendants?” Would someone that valued human life as little as you claim he does dedicate his life and fortune to making sure it thrives?

      The extent to which Gates is committed to charity really just doesn’t jibe with all of your bizarre opinions of him IMHO.

      • chawke says:

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