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Microsoft Windows Privacy Security IT

Even With Telemetry Disabled, Windows 10 Talks To Dozens of Microsoft Servers (voat.co) 583

An esteemed reader writes: Curious about the various telemetry and personal information being collected by Windows 10, one user installed Windows 10 Enterprise and disabled all of the telemetry and reporting options. Then he configured his router to log all the connections that happened anyway. Even after opting out wherever possible, his firewall captured Windows making around 4,000 connection attempts to 93 different IP addresses during an 8 hour period, with most of those IPs controlled by Microsoft. Even the enterprise version of Windows 10 is checking in with Redmond when you tell it not to — and it's doing so frequently.
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Even With Telemetry Disabled, Windows 10 Talks To Dozens of Microsoft Servers

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  • Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:32PM (#51452901) Homepage

    Is anybody surprised by this?

    Microsoft has pretty clearly telegraphed they don't give a shit about what the people who own the machines want, and they're going to do whatever the fuck they want.

    That Microsoft is doing this is surprising in no way to me.

    Microsoft simply can't be trusted to not just do what they please here.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      No I was surprised that they were able to stay in business after the launch of vista and the windows 8 disaster.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:41PM (#51452941) Homepage

        In fairness, with enough resources, Vista didn't suck nearly as bad as people said it did .. I ran it on a quad core machine with 8GB of RAM until a year ago, and it was just fine.

        But Microsoft has gone from "Vista sucks and Windows 8 was kind of annoying" to "actively not trustworthy" in this -- this is saying "we don't give a crap about what you are willing to let us do, we're going to do it anyway".

        Sorry, but, no way this is anything but Microsoft deciding they'll get your data no matter your opinion.

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:12PM (#51453129) Homepage Journal

          yeah difference with vista and 8/10(same fucking thing) is that vista they tried to make usable and with 8/10 theyre trying to use the customer.

          • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

            Yeah, that's a good way to put it. My grok of Win10 is that it's really an interface to the Windows Store. Basically an attempt to use the desktop to cash in on the smartphone "store" concept.

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:21PM (#51453207)

          Performance wise yes with enough resources it was fine. But the oem's never sold stock systems with "enough" for the entire time vista was on the market.
          The low end systems today with windows 10 still don't have the power to make vista work as intended.
          Plus i've never encountered a windows vista system with more than 4GB stock memory most came with just 2GB or less.
          Windows 7 handles it a bit better. However there is currently a bug with the windows update process and any system with less than 4GB of memory will page out to disk while trying to install the second set of 124 updates. Msft hasn't admitted to that yet either though.

          Imho no one anywhere should even have the option to buy a new windows system with less than 4GB.

          • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:52PM (#51453405) Homepage

            Performance wise yes with enough resources it was fine. But the oem's never sold stock systems with "enough" for the entire time vista was on the market.

            Well, was that Microsoft lying about minimum requirements, or OEMs ignoring them?

            Because, really, way back in the day with Windows 3.11 when machines were sold with 4MB of RAM ... it was still unusable with only one application running.

            Companies have been selling Windows machines with too damned little RAM for 25 years.

            • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @02:24PM (#51453557)

              Microsoft lying about minimum requirements.
              The question is why?
              It doesn't really cost msft anything to change the arbitrary requirements. They ought to have been upped to 4GB years ago.
              At the same time they could have written the system in such a way that it didn't use 2.7GB while updating.

              Vista was bad for performance and the UAC was extra naggy by default they even scaled UAC back by default in windows 7+
              8/8.1 has a terrible stock ui without a touch screen (should have been a system requirement if they were going to tell everyone else to gtfo) better with classic shell.
              10 is a compromise between 7 and 8 but the start menu is still screwed up.

        • Re: Surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @04:04PM (#51453987) Journal

          Alright let's stop and just look what you wrote?

          Now imagine what Joe Six pack owned in 2006? Probably a 1 core Pentium 4 with 512 megs of ram. Maybe a geek would own 1 gig and an athlonxp for a high end system middle 2000s as that is what I owned. I was helping an exgf reimage her laptop yesterday which was an AMD a4 1250 APU ssslllloooowww 1 gig netbook 1/3 the speed of an atom.

          No kidding. But here is the kicker I sent to cpuboss.com to see how slow that thing was if 3 of them are as fast as a cell phone. The Pentium IV was slower. Literally opening a webpage took 100 cpu and 20 seconds to load if it had ajax. Outlook com is what slowed it.

          That my friend was what people experienced Vista on??! Also the kernels got smaller and lighter since. 7 to 8 ran better.

          Needless to say I put gwx control panel to block 10 and put 8.1 with classic start. I told her not to upgrade as her identity was stolen once and 10 was more bloated for such limited hardware.

          Windows 7 was a much better OS and could sleep properly with only using 2 gigs instead of 4.

      • There's a strange type of inertia that applies to large companies. Even when they completely screw the pooch, they tend to hang on for years and years after the fact. RIM (or BlackBerry since they renamed themselves) are still around even though they haven't do anything relevant in years. Hell, even Real Networks is still around, seemingly stuck in some endless buffering state where they just can't die, and AOL still has 2 million dial-up subscribers. [qz.com] The technology graveyard is full of zombies.
        • I had one of those is-it-1997-again moments today when I discovered that a colleague still has an '@aol.com' address for his personal email.

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @02:42PM (#51453651)

          There's a strange type of inertia that applies to large companies. Even when they completely screw the pooch, they tend to hang on for years and years after the fact.

          The bigger and more hierarchical the company, the greater the power of groupthink. It gets so that nobody who tells the truth and talks about the real facts and figures can survive within about five levels of management of the executive suite. Anyone who does immediately gets the bum's rush: incompetence, insubordination, bad judgement, blamed for someone else's incompetence or malfeasance, face doesn't fit, socially inept, politically incorrect... the list goes one for ever.

          Hence the top management never gets to hear the truth; everything they do is praised to the skies. And they start to think they are wonderful, too, until they hit the wall at 90 mph. Sorry to Godwin, but Hitler was one of the all-time classic examples. For years he kept firing the best generals until he was surrounded by mediocre yes-men; then he probably wondered why nobody could get anything done.

          If the truth were known, our corporations are infested by thousands of would-be Hitlers who lack what it takes even to be a petty tyrant.

          • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:38PM (#51454391)
            Anyone who does immediately gets the bum's rush: incompetence, insubordination, bad judgement, blamed for someone else's incompetence or malfeasance, face doesn't fit, socially inept, politically incorrect... the list goes one for ever.

            It's not just big companies where this happens, and it's not limited to the C-levels and their minions. In my experience, there are far too many in management at all levels that can't deal with the blow to the ego of being told that choices that they've made aren't good ones. Rather than actually think about what they've been told, they perceive it as unwarranted personal criticism even in the face of overwhelming objective evidence.
          • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Informative)

            by fnj ( 64210 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @08:24PM (#51454933)

            For years [Hitler] kept firing the best generals

            I'm afraid you need a citation for this. At least up until the 20 July plot at which point defeat was inevitable anyway, the only significant case that comes to mind is the dismissal of Gerd von Rundstedt, and that was at least 50% a resignation. And Hitler quickly recognized his mistake and restored von Rundstedt.

            Now, Stalin was the real example. Shortly before WW2 he purged 5 of his 7 Field Marshalls, 13 of his 15 Army Commanders, 50 of 57 Corps Commanders, 154 of 186 Division Commanders, 16 of 16 Army Commissars, 25 oi 28 Corps Commissars and 8 of 9 Admirals. This was part of a great reign of terror that ripped through the USSR, in which 680,000 persons were executed by being shot in the head. Counting deaths in vicious "detention" in the Gulag and other consequential deaths, it is estimated that 1.2 million died.

            There was another purge in 1941, right during the German invasion.

            Many of those purged were "executed" - basically murdered.

            This insanity was one of the chief reasons why in the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa the Germans cut through the USSR like a knife through butter, despite USSR superiority in numbers and advantage of defense.

      • Say hello to the Xbox One screen saver fiasco [uservoice.com].
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:28PM (#51453259) Homepage Journal

        No I was surprised that they were able to stay in business after the launch of vista and the windows 8 disaster.

        Given the alternatives, I am not surprised people have stayed with them. Not, because the alternatives are bad, but because of the investment in terms of money and human skill sets.

        The real alternatives are MacOS and Linux, but they have their own issues. MacOS limits your hardware choice to one company, even if some may argue it is the 'more user friendly OS' and Linux still doesn't feel like it has the user facing polish it could have, then add to the fact that there doesn't seem to be a desktop UI that seems to have a strong continual investment in improving the experience that the lowest common denominator of uses would appreciate.

        The way I see it:
            - Linux is a great server OS, but weak on the desktop
            - MacOS is strong on the desktop, but weak on the server
            - Windows is average everywhere

        The above also indicates why I believe many companies choose Windows: it may not be the best at anything, but works well enough for must general use cases and allow companies to deal with one vendor and not need a high level of expertise.

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @02:58PM (#51453737)

          I want a UI that looks like it was ripped out of windows nt.
          and is light weight enough to handle 10 file windows in under 100MB of ram.

          I want my os to run my programs and work with my existing equipment.

          I don't however have any need for the os to have pretty graphics and flashy transitions.

          At work our machines run one program only the mouse is only used twice a day once to start the program and once to shut the computer down at the end of the day.
          The program runs full screen so all of the terminals look identical regardless of the underlying os.

          If we actually closed at the same time each day with minimal scripting we could eliminate the mouse entirely.

          If your at home and you play a game most of those run full screen too so all the ui needs to be is easy to use, stable and lightweight.

          Last I looked at ubuntu they had switched to this flashy graphic designed for touch screen gnome ui.
          I don't feel that's better than win 7. Gnome didn't used to look flashy that was KDE's thing but now they both look flashy what happened?

          Keep in mind walmart largest retailer in the country is still today using IBM checkout systems. Why? because K.I.S.S

          • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            No not KISS.... CHEAP.

            Walmart still uses those out of date IBM systems because they will have to rip out the IBM backend as well. changing over to something newer means millions of dollars.

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2016 @03:09PM (#51453773)

          > Mac OS limits your hardware choice to one company, even if some may argue it is the 'more user friendly OS'

          I believe we can say Apple is not user's money friendly.

          Perhaps they don't want to risk their end-user business model; if they could create a separate company for the enterprise market, maybe that could work.

          > and Linux still doesn't feel like it has the user facing polish it could have

          Well, things can be improved, for sure, but I feel it's already on par with Mac OS. And it has been ahead of Windows for some time already...

          > then add to the fact that there doesn't seem to be a desktop UI that seems to have a strong continual investment in improving the experience that the lowest common denominator of uses would appreciate

          Unity is the classical counter-example here, but I must recognize Gnome serves LCD uses very well, though I'm really more a KDE|Xfce user.

          KDE has been shown to unsuspecting users as the new Windows interface and has been praised to no end. As I work with Windows 7, I must cringe everyday about how less friendly it is -- even if compared to Xfce.

          Recently, I've been testing KDE Plasma and found it _very_ good looking and polished; for comparison with Windows 10, I didn't try it yet, but from Youtube videos, Deepin looks on par if not better than W10 experience.

          > - Linux is a great server OS, but weak on the desktop

          Not really. I've been using since many years and it has constantly improved by leaps and bounds. I'm willing to admit it has some distance to cover regarding games, but that doesn't mind at all on the enterprise and I'd say most end-users are not gamers -- they really want to make homework, create pdfs, use spreadsheets, watch Internet videos, watch multimedia created with their smart phones... lots and lots of things which don't really require Windows.

          Linux has some really nice offerings on the desktop besides Ubuntu.

          > - MacOS is strong on the desktop, but weak on the server

          They seem not interested in servers. For the prices they charge, they also seem not interested in desktops; for them, it appears, it's a post-PC world.

          > - Windows is average everywhere
          > The above also indicates why I believe many companies choose Windows: it may not be the best at anything, but works well enough for must general use cases and allow companies to deal with one vendor and not need a high level of expertise.

          A valid point, no doubt. And therein lies the source of our problems: whatever Windows does, someone does that better. It's hard to live with a product perceived as inferior. But most know no other alternative. So Linux and BSD (Mac OS included) are not to blame, in fact...

          Another point is that companies really need someone to talk to. Apple has a lot of ground to cover on that regard (and I believe they probably should start a division if they ever want to be relevant here), Linux has some companies which don't care about the desktop (Red Hat), some that care (Canonical) and are slowly becoming relevant and others IMHO who are too small or somewhat undecided (e.g. SuSE).

          In my country, if I were a company, I bet I could easily hire someone for in-premises Windows desktop support; not so sure with Canonical. For servers, I bet it would be easy to get contacted by Red Hat, SuSE or Oracle.

          For end-users, things are surprisingly easier because: a. nobody gets good Windows support anyway and b. Linux support on the Internet is first-quality.

          • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Informative)

            by HiThere ( 15173 ) <charleshixsn@earthlink. n e t> on Saturday February 06, 2016 @04:25PM (#51454083)

            Well, Linux is not only weak on the desktop, it doesn't even have one. Now KDE, Gnome, Mate, xfce, etc., they have desktops. The problem is that there are too many for a new user to wrap their mind around. I find that KDE is the best general desktop, with xfce next. Gnome used to be right up there, and for awhile Gnome2 was ahead of KDE4, but Gnome3 I find totally useless. (Some people seem to like it.) xfce works well in low resource environments, though if you've got a really low resource environment, there are other options...but they aren't suitable for a new user.

            The problem is desktop applications. This has largely been well addressed, but not totally. There are still niches that are not well served by Linux based programs. And sometimes the problem is that people just don't want to learn a new program...which can be the real problem even though it may manifest as complaints about missing features that aren't really used.

            FWIW, after decades of redoing work, I decided that proprietary file formats were totally unacceptable. So for me Linux is the far superior system.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ttucker ( 2884057 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @02:25PM (#51453563)

        During the Windows 8 disaster, the Linux community was making the same mistake of forcing their users into a new UI paradigm that they didn't want....

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          Did they want the UI change of Windows version to Windows version? My guess is no. People in general do not want change, unless they request it themselves AND are involved in the change process.

          Windows is forcing change to users and it works. I believe XFCE and LXDE looks more like Windows than Windows.

          The difference? Pre-installation. That makes people use Android. It makes people use MacOS and it makes people use Windows version whatever comes with their machine.

          Except for the few elite here, people go to

    • Agreed. It seems like this is becoming a trend everywhere. Is Apple doing similar things? I hate that it's called "telemetry" now. It makes it sound legit to a lot of people.

      I recently learned that my vehicle was sending A TON of information to BMW and to a bunch of other places with no way to turn it off. There are laws about things like that in my state. I called them and they said there was nothing they could do about it. Next I'm checking my Ford.
      • by v1 ( 525388 )

        afaik, Apple has zero examples of software that phones home. A few of their products do or did collaborate over the network to enforce licensing restrictions. (Server and ARD are good examples, enterprise software)

        It does get pesky about wanting to run software updates, but that can be completey turned off and stays off. There are a few software titles that will still check for new versions when launched though, (iTunes and Configurator) that cannot be turned off. That has to do with them being a bit man

      • I recently learned that my vehicle was sending A TON of information to BMW and to a bunch of other places with no way to turn it off.

        My '95 Mazda doesn't send shit to anyone. Of course, it only starts on dry days that are over 40 degrees, but at least it's not spying on me.

      • by armanox ( 826486 )

        Well, I'm pretty sure that my Fords (an '88 and a '99) aren't doing anything of the sort.

    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:01PM (#51453069)

      Microsoft has pretty clearly telegraphed they don't give a shit about what the people who own the machines want, and they're going to do whatever the fuck they want.

      And this is it in a nutshell. Microsoft is going to do whatever they want with your PC, and that's that.

      I just installed Linux Mint as a test to see how it works, and so far I'm liking it a lot. I was driven to do this by the near-certainty that MS will force Win 10 on home users like me no matter what they do or don't want, and no matter what we "opt-out" of.

      It's only a matter of time, and short of completely disconnecting my PC from the net, I don't see how I can prevent them from doing a stealth or forced upgrade. If I manage to completely block all their servers (unlikely) my guess is that my 100% legal copy of Win 7 will just stop working one day and won't function again until I "upgrade".

      So I may be switching to Linux Mint sooner that I thought, but so far Mint seems to be great, super simple to install and it runs like a champ. And with Wine I can use some of the little Windows apps that I've grown dependent on until I find replacements for them.

      So keep pushing Microsoft, you'll push me right over to Linux.

    • The next interesting experiment would be to block all the Microsoft IP ranges and see how Windows 10 behaves. Will it shut down? Will it post annoying pop ups asking to talk to the mother ship? Inquiring minds want to know....
    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Saturday February 06, 2016 @03:14PM (#51453795) Homepage

      I read TFA, the guy is an idiot and screwed up the test.

      He configured the router to drop all connections. So Windows tries to access Windows Update, and it fails. So it tries the next server on the list, which fails. Strange, the interface has an IP address, try the next one...

      Windows also has this thing called the Out Of Box Experience. It's been there since at least 98, probably before. The first time you log in, it runs a few things so you can choose your preferences and set important stuff up. If you ignore it, it will carry on looking for updates from the Windows Store, updates for live tiles in the start menu etc.

      Every OS enables a load of crap by default. This is not surprising at all.

      Unlike the guy in TFA, I bothered to do this properly. If you disable everything and don't use Windows Store apps then the only traffic is to Windows Update.

      This is what happens when your source is a Reddit knock-off full of people who found Reddit too civil.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Informative)

        by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @04:32PM (#51454115)

        This is indicative of a more serious problem - the fact that Linux and FOSS zealotry is so great that they can't be bothered to learn anything about the systems they're attacking. Half the people I run in to who are like this think Windows 10 is just Windows 98 with a new skin.

        Windows has faults - I think we can all agree on that. However if you're going to attack something at a fundamental level, you really should know that something well enough to understand what you're talking about. I find it doubtful that you can have that deep understanding if you've spent the last decade actively avoiding it.

        As a community, we need to actively discourage FUD in all its forms - even when it's FUD that is attacking something we may not like.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by encad ( 4448511 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @05:38PM (#51454403)

        Your probably right, but all this wouldn't happen, if Microsoft would clearly (and hopefully auditable) state, what they actually transmit and how to stop it (in every version).
        Most of this FUD is allowed to spread, because everyone, with the exception of very large enterprise customers, is left in the dark.
        The stuff with retrofitting the invasive telemetry into 7/8/8.1 and pushing every private customer very hard to updates wasn't helpful either.

        So for me personally this W7 machine will be the last with windows, running as long as somehow possible. I don't want cloud stuff (not working on 1 Mbps connections), I don't want telemetry I can't control or shut off and, last but not least, I still have no freaking idea on the future use of a W10 license (rebuild of maschine, failing parts, yadda yadda yadda).

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Read the article, temetry wasn't disabled.

      If I read the actual article correctly, it was just a Vanilla install of Windows 10 enterprise. There was no active attempt to disable or block any of the actual telemetry features at all. He did go through the customized install and turned off the 'cloud/personalization/sync options there', but that's it.

      The actual telemetry features would still have been on.

      Not to mention all the usual windows features that phone home:

      Everything from windows update, to time sync,

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:34PM (#51452907)

    For the enterprise version we really need it predictable so it can be managed. Even if talking to MS is harmless and overall a good thing, it means you are having your computer talk to something you may not want too.

    At work we are still on Windows 7 with little chance going over to 10 because of stuff like this. (I would prefer Linux, but our management is stuck in the 1990s)

    • by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:48PM (#51452977)

      Can't wait until the DoD moves forward with Windows 10 and defense contractors have to disable this telemetry reporting.

      There will be a way, at that point, or there will be problems.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @02:10PM (#51453489) Journal

      I think being open about what is being transmitted would help. I concede that in modern operating environments, there's a lot of checking for updates and patches, and while we do run a Windows Update Server at the main office (mainly to save some bandwidth and give us more granular control over updates), many of our road warriors and people at the branch offices still have their computers being updated directly by Windows own update services. That means data on software installed is going to Microsoft's servers, but the trade off is we keep our systems up to date.

      However, we have a number of government contracts that require safe storage of data, including assuring that no confidential data is transmitted to unauthorized third parties or out of the country. At that point it gets iffy, and I'm trying to put my head around whether "telemetry" data puts us at risk in the breach of contract department. Particularly now as we just got a three year extension on contract which will take us through 2019, we are preparing for large scale upgrades. We've already updated our Windows servers to 2012 R2, and are now in the process of deciding whether to go through the irritation of Windows 7 licenses, or just jump to Windows 10, which has been working fairly well in our test environment.

      Microsoft needs to come clean here, and explain what exactly is being sent to their servers.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:37PM (#51452929) Journal

    I'm not sure how any company or business that deals with information that requires security by law could be using Windows 10. It would seem that defense contractors, law enforcement, financial and tax services as well as anyone subject to hippa laws would be in default automatically because what is sent is not documented.

    Maybe it is time for a class action or something to get it turned off for real.

    • by Canth7 ( 520476 )
      Does anyone work for a defense contractor or otherwise secure institution that's using Windows 10? If this data leakage does end up resulting in lost sales for Microsoft, then that would be the biggest factor in changing their minds. So far, I'm not sure that there's been any downside to Microsoft for their choices in end user privacy.
    • by hawkinspeter ( 831501 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:03PM (#51453091)
      Additionally, I wonder how this is treated under EU privacy laws. Is the data staying within EU borders (from machines running in the EU) because if not, it could be breaching those laws.
      • AFAIK EU privacy laws apply to data pertaining to an "identified or identifiable natural person". What such data is being transmitted, what even _could_ be transmitted from a clean installed system (in TFA) that has never been logged into?

        Unless you can answer that question, there is no evidence of any breach of law.

        Further, the data only needs to stay within EU borders if it originates there, where was the test system? MS has extensive server and CDN presence within the EU, it is unlikely that the OS wou

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:39PM (#51452937)

    The Microsoft shills normally go down one of these paths:

    1)- "You can turn it off if you pay for it"
    (this ignores that you can't really buy enterprise and is malicious behavior in general, ignores that you can't turn stuff off in pro- but now it ALSO ignores that EVEN ENTERPRISE HAS NO TOGGLES!)

    So it's BIG news because it means that even Enterprise is tucked into their botnet.

    2)- "But google does this on their phone OS"
    (this ignores that a phone OS isn't the same as a desktop OS, ignores that phones are pretty terrible at privacy and that this is due to several vendor lock-ins that don't have good outs, ignores that there's phones that DON'T do this, and is just generally so full of false equivalences that it's ludicrous on the face of it)

    3)- "I have nothing to hide / you're old if you care"
    (this is something a marketer would say, not a rational person- no one actually wants to buy or use spy tech)

    4)- 'You can turn it off"
    (this article is the latest showing that NO YOU CANNOT- someone will post one of the scripts or spybots or whatever that purports to disable it, and might even, but if you need some crazy tech solution to get your OS to MAYBE not spy on you ludicrously, it's a terrible OS)

    So finding it in Enterprise destroys (1) even further, and is interesting for (4) as well.

    I'm sure it won't stop them shills shilling though.

    • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @12:52PM (#51453003) Homepage Journal

      3)- "I have nothing to hide / you're old if you care"

      I, and I'll easily assume that many, many others, are getting pretty damned sick and tired of hearing that line from idiots who have been so thoroughly indoctrinated, that they probably don't even consciously know that they're parroting it. It is a fact that, after a certain point in the development of a human being, desiring privacy is a normal, natural, healthy thing for a person to want. Not wanting or caring about your private life being private is an abberation, a sign that something is wrong. This whole faux culture of 'sharing everything with everyone' is some sort of a sickness and it needs to stop.

      By the way, cfalcon, just to be sure you understand me: I'm agreeing with you on all counts, not attacking you.

    • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:15PM (#51453149)

      3)- "I have nothing to hide / you're old if you care"

      Response: "I may have nothing to hide, but my personal information is none of your gorram business."

      If my information is valuable to you, you need to compensate me for it, if I'm interested in selling it. You have no right to take what is mine.

    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Hi. I'll be the new type of shill and say that this is not a very detailed research on what Windows is doing and how it was set up.

      The author states:

      Aside from installing Windows 10 Enterprise, and verifying the internet connection through ipconfig and ping yahoo.com, I have not used the Windows 10 installation at all (the basis for the first part of this analysis)

      and

      I have installed Virtualbox on the Linux Mint laptop, and installed Windows 10 EnterprisePNG on Virtualbox. I have chosen the customized installation option where I disabled three pages of tracking options.

      The connections to Bing, MSN and Akamai can be explained by Windows Update and by built-in apps that may update a news feed. My work PC has W10 Enterprise and while there aren't as many of these apps compared to Home edition, there's Weather, Maps, Cortana and I don't know if Skype was pre-installed or added later. "Disabling 3 pages of tracking options" is

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      #5: I don't give a shit.
  • In true Slashdot fashion, I didn't read TFA just the TFS. Assuming that the source is capable (ie, did everything practical to disable telemetry, including any weakly published registry settings, etc) and is accurately counting firewall hits (how many of these are one telemetry source retrying relentlessly?) and not attempting to be an anti-MS shill, this really sucks that disabling it per MS instructions doesn't actually disable it.

    That being said, does it affect functionality? Does stuff not work (for a

    • by NormHome ( 99305 )

      My question is: If you're running a small business with 20-50 computers running 10 Pro and each machine is phoning home even 1,000 times a day, how much is that effecting your internet connection? How much more traffic is your network having to handle? What kind of performance hit are your computers, network and internet taking?

  • Love to filter out posts which merely contribute variants of "No surprise here" or "Blah does this too" or "Who cares about privacy".

    How about a -2, since it is sort of a spam-comment?

  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:07PM (#51453103) Homepage
    Has anyone analyzed the data being sent? Or is this a big assumption? Could this be other apps that were installed by default 'calling home'? I'm not doubting that MS might do this, but in all fairness, this seems example seems like unsubstantial speculation....and a pretty weak 'test to boot. Remember that high school class who put sprouts by a wifi router and found the 'closer plants died'? I did the same thing for fun, and found the closer sprouts actually grew faster and more abundantly, probably since they were warmer. Shouldn't we suspend judgement until further tests and confirmation is made...?
  • ...this is legal?

  • by enosys ( 705759 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:22PM (#51453219) Homepage
    If you block connections, what would have normally been one successful connection can become many connection attempts. It's also possible that retries for the same thing would use different IP addresses. Someone needs to try an experiment like this without the blocking. A log of the data being transmitted would also be interesting. A lot of that is probably encrypted, but https monitoring via wildcard certificate MITM could capture some in decrypted form.
  • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @01:44PM (#51453359)

    One problem with the approach used is that the firewall is configured to drop all connections. This is not a realistic picture.
    An analysis of the content would also be interesting because even with telemetry disabled, there are plenty of reason for connecting to Microsoft servers such as software updates. Most of them are port 80 and port 443. Port 80 is normal http traffic and is easy to analyse, port 443 is encrypted so it is a bit harder but if you can add your own certificate authority to the windows install, you can try doing man-in-the-middle. There is also UDP port 3544 which is related to IPv4 - IPv6 transition, which in itself is probably harmless but may hide other connection attempts (that's one of the reasons why you won't get a realistic picture by dropping everything).

    The only thing this experiment tells us is that Windows communicates with MS servers even with telemetry disabled. It smells but without further analysis, it is not very useful information.

  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @03:17PM (#51453805) Homepage
    Are we to the point of a class action lawsuit or a Congressional investigation?

    If all we're talking about is everybody here boycotting Microsoft, it's not going to work. We're a very tiny percentage of computer users.

    What realistically can be done about it?
  • by cohomology ( 111648 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @03:24PM (#51453847)

    [ I can't tell if others have commented on this ]

    The kind of traffic matters. Some external communication is reasonable.

    NTP, to synchronize clocks.
    Checking for certificate revocation.
    Checking for the existence of security updates.
    Downloading lists of sites known to be malicious.

    You can take responsibility for these functions, but servers need to get them done.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Saturday February 06, 2016 @06:10PM (#51454507) Homepage Journal
    Only use Microsoft to play computer games on. Keep that AV updated and use real OS's for other tasks.

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