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Torrent trackers bring down the ban hammer on Windows 10 users

Ms. Smith | Aug. 24, 2015
A BitTorrent tracker banned Windows 10 users over privacy concerns; other private torrent trackers may follow suit. Some Russian lawmakers and lawyers want the Windows 10 operating system banned.

Ban hammer
Credit: Dustin Gaffke

Even before Microsoft’s updated Privacy Statement and Services Agreement kicked in on August 1, privacy advocates from the European Digital Rights group warned the new privacy policy was “bad news for privacy.” Then Windows 10 default settings proved to be skewed toward spying on users by default. The fact that users are opted in unless they take steps to opt out is so bad for privacy that people who do not normally bother to read Microsoft’s Services EULA (end-use license agreement) started doing so.

Some news sites warned that if you use Windows 10 then Microsoft’s EULA could allow the company to disable counterfeit games and illegal hardware. The portion (7b) that freaked folks out states:

We may automatically check your version of the software, which is necessary to provide the Services and download software updates or configuration changes, without charging you, to update, enhance and further develop the Services, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.

As that blew across the digital wires, Microsoft responded to “Windows 10 built-in piracy kill switch” accusations by claiming its EULA had always given it the power to remotely disable pirated games on PCs.

The Microsoft Services Agreement allows Microsoft to change or discontinue certain apps or content where we deem your security is at risk,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GamesBeat. Ah, less privacy for the sake of security.  Microsoft added, “This section of the Microsoft Services Agreement is consistent with language in former Terms of Use agreements, which carried over with the introduction of the unified services agreement on August 1. Software that is pirated or botted places the safety and security of our customers at risk, including a higher risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of personal information, and poor performance or feature malfunction. We remain committed to protecting our customers from the risks of non-genuine software and protecting the intellectual property of developers of all types of content.”

Some torrent trackers ban Windows 10 users

Torrent Freak reported that some BitTorrent trackers banned Windows 10 over privacy concerns. Torrent tracker iTS banned Windows 10 users and now redirects those users to a video called “Windows 10 is a tool to spy on everything you do.” Admins for iTS also issued the following statement:

Many of you might have heard or read about the terrible privacy policy of Windows 10 recently. Unfortunately Microsoft decided to revoke any kind of data protection and submit whatever they can gather to not only themselves but also others. One of those is one of the largest anti-piracy company called MarkMonitor.

 

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