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Microsoft Releases Skype For Linux 4.2, Has Bug-Fixes

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  • #31
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    And you're overly paranoid for thinking that our web searches, online purchases, and online conversations are going to result in us, as an individual nobodies, will get us blackmailed or screwed over. MS is a criminal organization, but it has priorities and is more powerful than most governments. If I were known to do cocaine AND weapons deals over Skype, I'd be more worried about my friends ratting me out than a company that has no obligation to get me arrested for matters that don't concern its profits.

    It's only a non-trivial issue if you decide to be stupid with your life decisions; it isn't hard to be a good person (no matter where you are), and it isn't hard to just not use stuff like skype. Aside from pirating Windows, there is nothing MS would find on me that they could use to blackmail me. But, suppose I was someone who lived in an area like Uganda and was homosexual. Aside from knowing MS isn't sitting there going "MUAHAHAHA!" sending emails to my enemies telling them where I live and who I am (because MS would gain nothing from that), I think I'd have bigger priorities than chatting with people about my sexual orientation on Skype.
    Ok there seems to be a sort of disconnect in your line of thought between the first and two paragraphs so I took the liberty of joining them together. Try to look at the big picture here: It's not just that private data of you exists. It's not just that that data can end up in the hands of a government or some other malicious 3rd party. It's not just that sometimes that data leaking out can be dangerous to your health, especially if you live in an oppressive regimen or one where you are persecuted for your political/religious views or sexuality. It's all of these taken together that make privacy a non-trivial issue.

    If you were doing cocaine and/or weapons deals over Skype, you'd be a moron and wouldn't last long. Depending on the jurisdiction, if ms finds out that some type of criminal activity is taking place due to spying on Skype conversations, they may be legally obligated to report it to the authorities.

    You don't even have to look far for examples of how privacy violations can cause very real harm to people. Just some time ago, gmail was hacked (possibly by chinese government) and the emails of some chinese political dissidents ended up compromised. Do you know what happens to political dissidents in China? Then there was that thing in Facebook where a glitch or a change in policy or something made some woman's private information public, and the woman in question was in hiding from a violent ex-husband. And this is just the tip of the iceberg here.

    Contrary to what the moron Zuckerberg would like you to believe, privacy still matters.

    Let's think of the situation where you're eg. an atheist in Pakistan, where being an atheist can get you a death sentence. Or like you said, a homosexual in Uganda. The problem is not MS sending your private communication to your "enemies" out of spite. The problem is MS recording and possibly storing your private communications with your friends, communications which you expect to remain private. Maybe you need to talk to someone who's in the same situation as you, or just have to confide in someone about your situation, having to hide in a country that is hostile to you. Now that conversation has incriminating evidence about you, and it's not that MS might purposely hand it over to some malicious party, it's that the malicious party might get access to it regardless.

    It's only a non-trivial issue if you decide to be stupid with your life decisions; it isn't hard to be a good person (no matter where you are)
    Ah, but you're wrong there. Very, very wrong. It's the age old "if you aren't doing anything bad, then you have nothing to fear" -line, that tyrants accross the ages have loved to use. But it's false, because people have much more reasons to need privacy than just hiding illicit behaviour. People have the right to keep secrets.

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    • #32
      Ericg said:
      Pretty much, maybe not encrypted (it could probably be done, just i dont think mandated by the standard), maybe not screensharing, but voice calls? video calls? Yes
      I have a brief knowledge of WebRTC so forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought that video and audio transmissions were encrypted. I was excited about the protocol because of that. I didn't know that file-sharing was possible. Perhaps I misunderstand your post.

      Adam Roach (works for Mozilla; see the link; the 2nd comment) said:
      One of the really neat things about WebRTC is that it has encryption baked right into it; there’s actually no way to send unencrypted media using a WebRTC implementation. Currently, this is based on DTLS-SRTP keying, which does a key exchange in the media channel (gritty details in RFC 5764), although there is some discussion of allowing Security Descriptions (RFC4568) as well, which would allow applications to provide their own keying material.
      https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/05/em...-your-website/

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Ren Höek View Post
        Let's say you have an application for a job at a big company. The company buys an evaluation from microsoft, based on your automatically generated profile...
        ... you used the words alcohol and pot more often than the average does. No job for you, Sir.

        You need a new contract with health insurance? You shouldn't have googled for STD that often.

        You want to fly somewhere? Well should't have bought the book about islamic culture on amazon and have an acquaintance watching the wrong clips on youtube.

        Sure, the examples are a little exaggerated, but if you allow companies a collect that kind of data, to construct profiles for you and to sell the data...
        ... well, they will.
        Let's test the assumption "they will".
        Starting points: many companies already have that kind of data, and have been for a long time. Let's estimate the following:
        What is the ratio, among the companies that have any kind of personal data, of the companies that sell their data to third parties with significant adverse consequences on their own clients?
        I personally don't know, but it's not much.. So what is the reason they don't do it know, but "will" someday?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by dee. View Post
          Now that conversation has incriminating evidence about you, and it's not that MS might purposely hand it over to some malicious party, it's that the malicious party might get access to it regardless.
          That is very true, although if you can compromise MS servers, looking at hypothetical skype logs is probably not your only vector of attack. It does (if they exist, which is unknown) increase the attack surface but not by much anyway (compromised gmail accounts of activists around the world have seldom been through Google's servers).
          Also, if you are not already under surveillance, very common communication means will not draw the attention to you, which might completely balance these drawbacks.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by erendorn View Post
            Let's test the assumption "they will".
            Starting points: many companies already have that kind of data, and have been for a long time. Let's estimate the following:
            What is the ratio, among the companies that have any kind of personal data, of the companies that sell their data to third parties with significant adverse consequences on their own clients?
            I personally don't know, but it's not much.. So what is the reason they don't do it know, but "will" someday?
            It's a new technology, not yet at the peak of its potential:
            * Data collection evolves. More and more is collected, and especially more and more is linked. Plus the possible anonymity is reduced step by step.
            * Based on the data, the evaluation and profiling develops, leading to more elaborate statistic predictions.
            * Market has yet to realize the new potential.

            These development is pushed upon the users, two steps forward and after some protest one little back. Things that seamed impossible some decades ago, are now widely accepted.
            A while ago nobody would have accepted a settopbox with an integrated camera and integrated always activated microphone which has to be online more or less all the time in their living room.
            Not long and people will by them happily.

            For example of interest:
            If you are trying to get a credit at a bank, (or sometimes even an account), they do a check of your address and look for higher probability in the neighborhood for not paying back their installments. And you get rejected, if you are linked to a "bad" neighborhood.
            So you get profiled depending on information.
            Wouldn't it be desirable for the bank to get a way more elaborated profile? Based on your private communication and not just public data?

            So there is a high potential demand and a lot of money to earn. To believe big companies would pass on the profit because of ethical concerns...

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Ren Höek View Post
              It's a new technology, not yet at the peak of its potential:
              * Data collection evolves. More and more is collected, and especially more and more is linked. Plus the possible anonymity is reduced step by step.
              * Based on the data, the evaluation and profiling develops, leading to more elaborate statistic predictions.
              * Market has yet to realize the new potential.

              These development is pushed upon the users, two steps forward and after some protest one little back. Things that seamed impossible some decades ago, are now widely accepted.
              A while ago nobody would have accepted a settopbox with an integrated camera and integrated always activated microphone which has to be online more or less all the time in their living room.
              Not long and people will by them happily.

              For example of interest:
              If you are trying to get a credit at a bank, (or sometimes even an account), they do a check of your address and look for higher probability in the neighborhood for not paying back their installments. And you get rejected, if you are linked to a "bad" neighborhood.
              So you get profiled depending on information.
              Wouldn't it be desirable for the bank to get a way more elaborated profile? Based on your private communication and not just public data?

              So there is a high potential demand and a lot of money to earn. To believe big companies would pass on the profit because of ethical concerns...
              It's not a new technology. Databases and customers' very personal data (eg, card payment history, that give time, place and purchase history for individuals, or cable companies that know who watches porn, etc..) have been around for 20+ years in their modern form. Statistical analysis tools have been around for even longer.

              It is not profitable to lose customers by selling their information they don't want out, because you lose both the customer direct revenue, and the customer future information (that you intended to sell), and future customers by "brand recognition" and "reputation" (which are actual lines in a company's balance sheet), with their own direct and indirect revenue: not a good business plan.

              Companies can sell information when customers don't mind or when it doesn't impact their business, and they already do (why would they wait?). Some examples:
              - for advertising purpose and contact data (core business of the web): customers don't "like" it, but don't mind enough so that it remains profitable.
              - lists of non-paying customers (that go into credit rating companies and can have much real impacts on your life): because these customers don't bring much revenue, and paying customers don't mind that information being given away.
              etc..

              But no, again, it is not profitable for a company to do what you suggest, and as it happens, they don't do it.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by erendorn View Post
                It is not profitable to lose customers by selling their information they don't want out, because you lose both the customer direct revenue, and the customer future information (that you intended to sell), and future customers by "brand recognition" and "reputation" (which are actual lines in a company's balance sheet), with their own direct and indirect revenue: not a good business plan.

                Companies can sell information when customers don't mind or when it doesn't impact their business, and they already do (why would they wait?). Some examples:
                - for advertising purpose and contact data (core business of the web): customers don't "like" it, but don't mind enough so that it remains profitable.
                * So it would be profitable, if the customers aren't aware of the selling or the dimension of sold data and therefor "don't mind".
                * If customers are accustomed to the new business step by step, first advertising, then we'll see... getting used to it...
                * It wouldn't hurt business, if the company has a quasi-monopoly, or if the competition acts in the same way, therefor leaving no choice.

                I don't want to say, that they are selling everything possible at the moment.

                I'm just saying, that the process of gathering, linking and evaluation more and more data is worrying.
                It is no random development, and it contains some risks we might want to think about now, not after it get's status quo.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Ren Höek View Post
                  * So it would be profitable, if the customers aren't aware of the selling or the dimension of sold data and therefor "don't mind".
                  * If customers are accustomed to the new business step by step, first advertising, then we'll see... getting used to it...
                  * It wouldn't hurt business, if the company has a quasi-monopoly, or if the competition acts in the same way, therefor leaving no choice.

                  I don't want to say, that they are selling everything possible at the moment.

                  I'm just saying, that the process of gathering, linking and evaluation more and more data is worrying.
                  It is no random development, and it contains some risks we might want to think about now, not after it get's status quo.
                  * It cannot be a business with the general population not aware of it. Your government can get data without you knowing (and already does), but your random employer or other business cannot, because as soon this trade reaches any kind of scale it becomes public (not widely known, just not a secret).
                  * If they don't mind, then what's the problem? Either it has sufficiently adverse consequences on people and they mind, or not, and they don't.
                  * Monopolies are bad, big news. Yes, under a monopoly, a corporation can forces things on the market. Not limited to privacy or anything. That's why there are laws against it. And again, competition cannot act in the same way if it is not profitable, on the contrary, the competition would advertise the fact that they don't do it to get the concerned consumers faster.

                  And again, it's really not a new trend. The first french law regulating consumer data computer files dates back to 1978..
                  And I still can't find significant examples of these promised behavior among the million of companies that keep private data.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by erendorn View Post
                    * It cannot be a business with the general population not aware of it. Your government can get data without you knowing (and already does), but your random employer or other business cannot, because as soon this trade reaches any kind of scale it becomes public (not widely known, just not a secret).
                    How do you figure? There have been cases where corporations have gathered data in secret for years until getting found out pretty much by chance. For example, that situation with the spyware in Android phones installed by teleoperators in the US (one reason why I'm never going to buy a phone with a contract from a telecom company, no matter how "cheap" it is). How do we know there aren't more of these kinds of things happening? Ethical concerns are a laugh to corporations, if there is no (or minimal) risk of getting caught, and even when they do get caught, the legal system often just gives them a slap on the fingers.

                    * If they don't mind, then what's the problem? Either it has sufficiently adverse consequences on people and they mind, or not, and they don't.
                    Or the consequences aren't widely known to the people. Perceptions matter, and if the only people who are concerned about the consequences are people who can easily be painted as "nutcases" with some targeted PR, propaganda and astroturfing, then the public perception can easily be swayed to accept almost anything.

                    * Monopolies are bad, big news. Yes, under a monopoly, a corporation can forces things on the market. Not limited to privacy or anything. That's why there are laws against it. And again, competition cannot act in the same way if it is not profitable, on the contrary, the competition would advertise the fact that they don't do it to get the concerned consumers faster.
                    The problem is when the laws are toothless. Look at how much anti-competitive crimes microsoft gets away with.

                    And again, it's really not a new trend. The first french law regulating consumer data computer files dates back to 1978..
                    And I still can't find significant examples of these promised behavior among the million of companies that keep private data.
                    Then you're not looking very closely. Google and Facebook are gathering massive amounts of data and selling them to 3rd parties. There are little to no ground rules to this thing. I recommend using DNTMe browser plugin to block tracking.

                    Fortunately, there's some legislation being drafted in the EU to lay down some rules about how private data can be gathered and stored, and how transparent corporations should be about gathering data. Let's hope it won't get too diluted by corporate lobbying...

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by dee. View Post
                      How do you figure? There have been cases where corporations have gathered data in secret for years until getting found out pretty much by chance. For example, that situation with the spyware in Android phones installed by teleoperators in the US (one reason why I'm never going to buy a phone with a contract from a telecom company, no matter how "cheap" it is). How do we know there aren't more of these kinds of things happening? Ethical concerns are a laugh to corporations, if there is no (or minimal) risk of getting caught, and even when they do get caught, the legal system often just gives them a slap on the fingers.
                      Because the example given and the very case I've been discussing was one corporation with data, not keeping it to itself (which can be hidden, depending on how the data is actually used), but selling it to other corporations. Which is obviously much harder to keep secret.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by RahulSundaram View Post
                        Well, not quite. XMPP for client to client is still supported for text chats and this is an important piece for interoperability with other clients like Pidgin and Adium. What has been dropped is server side federation. Unfortunate, but not the end of the world.
                        Or in other terms:
                        XMPP has been deprecated and is only kept for legacy reasons and only for the time being.

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                        • #42
                          no 64bit skype

                          ... and still no 64bit skype, only 32bit binaries.

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