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Who Owns Your PC? New Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update "Phones Home" to Microsoft Every 90 Days

Feb 12, 2010, 20:03 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lauren Weinstein)

"Greetings. Sometimes a seemingly small software update can usher in a whole new world. When Microsoft shortly pushes out a Windows 7 update with the reportedly innocuous title "Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033)" -- it will be taking your Windows 7 system where it has never been before.

"And it may not be a place where you want to go.

"Imagine that you're sitting quietly in your living-room at your PC, perhaps watching YouTube. Suddenly, a pair of big, burly guys barge into your house and demand that you let them check your computer to make sure that it's "genuine" and not running pirated software. You protest that you bought it fair and square, but they're insistent -- so you give in and let them proceed.

"Even though you insist that you bought your laptop from the retail computer store down the street many months ago, and didn't install any pirate software, the visitors declare that your computer "isn't genuine" according to their latest pirated systems lists, and they say that "while we'll let you keep using it, we're modified your system so that it will constantly nag in your face until you pay up for a legit system!" And they head out the door to drop in on the eBay-loving grandmother next door.

"You then notice that the wallpaper on your PC has turned black, and these strange notifications keep popping up urging you to "come clean."

"Ridiculous? Well, uh, actually no."

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