Microsoft workers listening in on cortana/skype calls.

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
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Oct 4, 2007
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12,489
First, I was not aware anyone uses Cortana, that cannot be true. :D Secondly, that contractor is royally screwed since he or she walked out with information that were not supposed to posses outside of work. Guy says in the article that privacy is lax since he walked out with that information and I have to agree but, only because they hired him in the first place and cannot be trusted. Kiss his future prospects goodbye but, cat is out of the bag otherwise.
 

Dead Parrot

2[H]4U
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Mar 4, 2013
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I wonder if the NSA appriciates the competition

Saves the government a lot of money. 20 years ago, it took billions to collect meta-data on phone calls. Now with a few low cost FISA warrants, they can get the meta-data, call contents, GPS locations, who they are standing next to, travel track to get to current location, heart and respiration rates, list of recent purchases, list of recent bank transactions, number of sex acts participated in the last year, and who they are having affairs with.
 

Delicieuxz

[H]ard|Gawd
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May 11, 2016
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remember when people called other people tinfoil hatists because they believed all of this was going on?

pepperidge farm remembers.

Yup. Comes to my mind whenever these confirmation keeps popping up. So many people on tech forums argued arrogantly and feeling so smart about themselves because they didn't believe in these 'conspiracy theories', which were actually obvious facts to anybody with a half-functioning brain. And as the years have gone on, every part of what should have been obvious in the first place has been confirmed to be reality.

Where are all those smug, foolish people who were 'too smart' for conspiracy theories now, and what comments are they making when these reports come up?


PRISM hasn't ended, it's just been greatly expanded and been given a name-change.
 

MMitch

Gawd
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Nov 29, 2016
Messages
807
First, I was not aware anyone uses Cortana, that cannot be true. :D Secondly, that contractor is royally screwed since he or she walked out with information that were not supposed to posses outside of work. Guy says in the article that privacy is lax since he walked out with that information and I have to agree but, only because they hired him in the first place and cannot be trusted. Kiss his future prospects goodbye but, cat is out of the bag otherwise.

So if he was trust-able in the first place, privacy would be OK there ? I mean, they are listening in both scenarios... he leaks, they listen.. he doesn't leak, they listen.
Your reply seems to imply corporate would be OK if he didn't speak since they would roll on the "well nobody can prove it and why do you care ? Got something to hide bandwagon..."

Anyway, I'm pretty sure they do mention they will do wth they want with your precious data in their TOS if you agree so... (I hate those TOS since they basically say, you want to use 2019 tech, be in touch with family then agree to this and god forbid them to make it clear what they will do in this TOS lol)
 

seanreisk

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,711
... Now with a few low cost FISA warrants, they can get the meta-data ...

Warrants? Pffffft.... Try to keep up, Parrot, the NSA doesn't issue something as silly as warrants. Hell, the NSA was probably installed at the hardware level the moment the marketing wonks at Microsoft came up with the name 'Cortana'.

I'd be surprised if the NSA isn't hiding so high in the stack that Amazon employees are only allowed to listen to conversations that the NSA allows them to listen to.

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA has a branch of the Cortana-Echo-Siri listening service that corrects Amazon and Microsoft mistakes. People won't adopt a technology that doesn't work properly, so to encourage adoption I bet the NSA has a division that does nothing but fix translation errors:

"Man, did you see that? 434 Blaine Avenue just tried to order a case of baby diapers, and Amazon almost sent them a case of baby wipers."
"Good catch. Could have been worse, they could have had a stinky baby on the changing table and then found out that Amazon sent them a case of baby vipers."


Where are all those smug, foolish people who were 'too smart' for conspiracy theories now, and what comments are they making when these reports come up?

That's my point - you don't know where those people are. But the NSA probably does.

"Hey Bob, can you run me a report on all the people who didn't think we were listening to every form of electronic communication (domestic and foreign) and give me a quick bullet-list of what they're writing and talking about now?"
"Sure, Dan. Top Secret like always?"
"Yeah, and erase the minds of anyone who seems normal and rational and who's calling for an investigation after this latest leak."


P.S. I make custom tinfoil hats. I can even have them powder-coated in your team colors.

P.P.S. [Manager, Heimlich's Haus of Reptiles] "I'm serious, I have a ticket from the Amazon Fulfilment Center for a case of baby vipers, but the ticket has no address and no billing information!"
[Tech Support, Amazon Vendor Services] "I'm sorry, sir, I've looked through the entire transaction index for your account, and there is no entry for anyone requesting any vipers, snakes, serpents, adders, asps, or even a worm. Not even a skink."

P.P.P.S. /s
 
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caddys83

2[H]4U
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Feb 14, 2009
Messages
3,461
Whats wrong with them hearing my girl and I having rough sex in the living room? I'm sure some of those neck beards would like to beat his meat.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 6, 2010
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Whats wrong with them hearing my girl and I having rough sex in the living room? I'm sure some of those neck beards would like to beat his meat.

Because depending on the place incest is illegal and what if the person listening called the cops on you? :p

Seriously though, anyone else had echo chime in during sex with some awkward response to something you don't know what she heard?
 

Aireoth

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 12, 2005
Messages
5,667
Seriously though, anyone else had echo chime in during sex with some awkward response to something you don't know what she heard?

I will never understand why people who KNOW BETTER (I know you do) will just give it all away for a little convenience. I don't use that crap, and never will, I can turn on lights, open doors, unlock rooms, and everything in between all by myself.
 

Darunion

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 6, 2010
Messages
4,186
I will never understand why people who KNOW BETTER (I know you do) will just give it all away for a little convenience. I don't use that crap, and never will, I can turn on lights, open doors, unlock rooms, and everything in between all by myself.

Oh because part of me is stupid. I had everything in the house on smart control at one point. But as this technology evolves it seems to get dumber. It got to the point where it took much more effort to turn a light off than it did just walk across the house and flip the switch. All that is left of my system are the echos. The echos i use mostly for hands off music playing. Most cases I have no idea where my phone is during the day
 

Aireoth

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Oh because part of me is stupid. I had everything in the house on smart control at one point. But as this technology evolves it seems to get dumber. It got to the point where it took much more effort to turn a light off than it did just walk across the house and flip the switch. All that is left of my system are the echos. The echos i use mostly for hands off music playing. Most cases I have no idea where my phone is during the day

I can understand that, I too can fall for shiny things.
 

DeathFromBelow

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jul 15, 2005
Messages
7,316
I will never understand why people who KNOW BETTER (I know you do) will just give it all away for a little convenience. I don't use that crap, and never will, I can turn on lights, open doors, unlock rooms, and everything in between all by myself.

I will say it's great for older/disabled people. Back before my Dad died I put in a few Google Home minis along with smart bulbs, door deadbolts, and a Logitech Harmony hub for the TV/stereo. He really appreciated being able to call people and control things around the house even when he couldn't see or get around very well.

If the bulbs didn't all phone home to China I'd try them out at my place.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 9, 2003
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I will say it's great for older/disabled people. Back before my Dad died I put in a few Google Home minis along with smart bulbs, door deadbolts, and a Logitech Harmony hub for the TV/stereo. He really appreciated being able to call people and control things around the house even when he couldn't see or get around very well.

If the bulbs didn't all phone home to China I'd try them out at my place.

There are solutions for this, especially if you're [H]ard (or at least know someone who is for the install and setup). All of what I recommend is open source....

OpenHAB - https://www.openhab.org/ - Smarthome control of all the various smart IoT junk, but managed locally instead of just throwing it out to the cloud with proprietary apps by default. Works with a very large variety of IoT/smarthome hardware.

Mycroft - https://mycroft.ai/ - Open source, privacy respecting voice assistant. Roll it on your own desktop/server or even make a purpose-built system off a RaspberryPi. Eventually, they'll even have user controlled SERVERS which is unprecedented in this level of voice-assistant software, so they can offer whitebox platforms for companies like healthcare and others who don't want to send voice queries out of house. Even using the standard client, it does NOT listen in or study any of your interactions unless you opt-in manually, and even if you do and then opt out later it purges your data. Still in development, but usable and built on lots of great open source tech. They will sell prefab "smart speakers" for the standard public use in the future, as the first gen smart speakers were more for tech-adepts but 2nd and beyond will be more polished. While there are a few other open source voice assistant projects, this one seems the most ambitious and privacy respecting (ie one of the others out there has no plans for open sourcing or user independent server hosting ) .

The crux of the issue here is that the powers that be (and more importantly the moneyed interests that control them) have convinced everyone that you HAVE to give up your privacy/data/personal information etc... in order for these services to work. Thats just plainly untrue. Its a pity watching a lot of the "world of tomorrow" style tech not serving the interest of the user, but instead the manufacturer or megacorp software/app owner. You could easily have a Ring doorbell that instructs you to set up an (open source - after all, they're selling hardware!) application on your local PC on the same WiFi network to connect... but they choose to have to go to the cloud exclusively with no 1st party local way to tap into the hardware. Its possible to have voice assistants that have policy to ONLY use your information to provide services you ask for and nothing else, but the big names don't want you to even consider that. Some of this will only be fixed with 21st century privacy legislation revamping the whole thing sadly, tossing out TOS and EULAs that vacuum up data as they wish and use it however they want so long as there's legalese clicked through. However, we can and should also look into complimentary technical solutions, such as using better alternatives like those listed.

I mentioned it another recent post but Skype is a known insecure mess. The very first thing that Microsoft did upon buying it was centralize it and remove the few flimsy privacy protections and peer-to-peer elements there were. Use Signal, Wire, or Matrix (with Riot.im being one of the more full featured Matrix clients; its Discord like, but open source and federated!). Move away from major social media and switch to "Fediverse" alternatives if you don't want to give it up entirely. Any questions, I'll try to assist.
 

dgz

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
5,838
Relax. All they want is to improve their service... to the NSA.

Seriously, though. Most people I know would laugh at me for sharing such information with them. It's amazing how many people in IT don't give a shit about topics this important.

I am not important
You're not important
No one cares about me
No one cares about you
They don't have the tech
They don't have a reason
So what if they have all that info, it's useless

The only reason I am still using Skype is work. A lot of companies have switched to that. They even make the profile for you. How convenient is that
 
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