Microsoft’s source code for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has leaked online. Torrent files for both operating systems’ source code have been published on various file sharing sites this week. It’s the first time source code for Windows XP has leaked publicly, although the leaked files claim this code has been shared privately for years.

It is time for Microsoft to show the world how much it really cares for software libre (and open source) and how much they really regret calling open source “cancer”.

While ago, when Microsoft announced that they won’t support Windows XP anymore, the Free Software Foundation sent them a hard drive and asked them to liberate the Windows XP so people would have the benefit of software freedom.

So far, Microsoft didn’t respond to FSF and refused to liberate the software. Now, after the source codes are leaked, Microsoft has the second chance to just give the OS a free license (such as GNU GPL) and show us how much they care about open source (and more importantly software libre).

Microsoft is one of the least favorite companies in software libre communities and by liberating the Windows XP operating system, it can make the situation and its public face better.

In 1969, Leila Khaled hijacked her first airliner, commandeering TWA flight 870 and becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane. The hijacking was undertaken in support of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State in 1997.

Today, a half century later, two faculty members at San Francisco State University had planned to host — via Zoom — a “roundtable conversation” and “Q&A discussion” with Khaled, described as a “Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader.” Critics of the event, however, argued that the discussion would be unlawful, even criminal. The planned discussion was condemned by dozens of pro-Israel organizations, including the Zionist Organization of America, which urged that the “program be cancelled immediately, since a violent terrorist has nothing of value to offer your students.”

Yesterday, Zoom refused to allow the university to use its service for the discussion — a cancellation praised by FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who said there was no “need to hear both sides.” It is not yet clear whether the organizers of the event will switch to another channel of communication.

Source: FIRE

Yesterday, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Thomas Massie introduced H.R.8336, the Unplug the Internet Kill Switch Prevention Act, which would prevent the President from using emergency powers to cut off America’s access to the internet and undermine Americans’ Constitutional protections.

The bipartisan, bicameral bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Rand Paul, Ron Wyden, and Gary Peters. “The oath that I took as a Soldier and as a Member of Congress was to support and defend our Constitution. The freedoms enshrined in our Constitution cannot be taken for granted. Our legislation would fix a WWII-era law that gives the president nearly unchallenged authority to restrict access to the internet, conduct email surveillance, control computer systems and cell phones.

No President should have the power to ignore our freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and violate our civil liberties and privacy by declaring a national emergency,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

“When governments around the world turn off internet access, they do significant harm to their national economies and their citizen’s civil rights,” said Rep. Thomas Massie. “This bipartisan bill will ensure that no future American president can unilaterally trip an ‘internet kill switch.’ Americans do not have to accept the premise that one person can deprive them of their 1st Amendment rights by flipping a switch.”

File: UnplugtheInternetKillSwitchActof2020.pdf

One thing I should mention is that we are surrounded with proprietary software and companies. Almost all of the major tech and publishing companies are proprietary ones. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM, and Amazon (GMAFIA) are constantly working to protect the proprietary software and patents of theirs.

Sadly, the majority of people use almost only proprietary software and these companies are benefiting from them. Now, what we do (supporting the free culture) is against their benefit so they have to advertise against it and target people with false accusations against software libre world.

For instance, the Google page about the AGPL details inaccurate (but common) misconceptions about the obligations of the AGPL that don’t follow from the text. Google states that if, for example, Google Maps used PostGIS as its data store, and PostGIS used the AGPL, Google would be required to release the Google Maps code. This is not true.

These companies don’t like software libre. This is actually one of the reasons that they use the term Open Source instead of software libre.

Now, if they have to pretend to like a software libre, they prefer the ones they can control, the ones like MIT that can be used proprietorially. An example is BSD. One of the major developers of BSD is Apple which benefits a lot from the weak BSD licenses.

Copyleft restricts big tech from benefiting and not giving back to community so these companies don’t like it and do everything they can to weaken the copyleft culture so they can survive on benefiting from our community and violating people’s freedom and rights.

Bloomberg has reported that Facebook is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras.

The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used.

Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras.

n the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi contends the app’s use of the camera is intentional and done for the purpose of collecting “lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”

By “obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes,” Instagram and Facebook are able to collect “valuable insights and market research,” according to the complaint.

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform.

While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet.

DuckDuckGo saw over 2 billion searches and 4 million app/extension installations, and the company also said that they have over 65 million active users. DuckDuckGo could shatter its old traffic record if the same growth trend continues.

Even though DuckDuckGo is growing rapidly, it still controls less than 2 percent of all search volume in the United States. However, DuckDuckGo’s growth trend has continued throughout the year, mainly due to Google and other companies’ privacy scandal.

Google has a long history of helping and obeying governments for benefit. For example, Google planned to help China to censor the internet. Now, there’s a report from Quartz that says Google Maps Street View blurred “fight for freedom” and “democracy” graffiti in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) first reported yesterday two separate instances of graffiti that had been blurred out. One read “[Chinese leader] Xi Jinping must die for the sake of the world,” and another read “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” a protest slogan that authorities have since banned under the new national security law. Both spray-painted slogans are revealed if viewed from a distance.

A Google representative told HKFP that the blurring was due to an algorithm error in its automatic blurring technology typically used to obscure faces and vehicle license plates, but did not provide further details. As of today, the two slogans remain blurred.

A recently published study conducted by three Mozilla employees has looked at the privacy provided by browsing histories.

Their findings show that most users have unique web browsing habits that allow online advertisers to create accurate profiles.

These profiles can then be used to track and re-identify users across different sets of user data that contain even small samples of a user’s browsing history.

Effectively, the study comes to dispel an online myth that browsing history, even the anonymized one, isn’t useful for online advertisers. In reality, the study shows that even a small list of 50 to 150 of the user’s favorite and most accessed domains can let advertisers create a unique tracking profile.

The Mozilla research paper is named “Replication: Why We Still Can’t Browse in Peace: On the Uniqueness and Reidentifiability of Web Browsing Histories” [PDF].