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Posted

http://www.oxm.co.uk/58530/microsoft-will-aggressively-challenge-any-government-attempt-to-spy-through-kinect/

 

Microsoft will "aggressively challenge" any government attempt to spy through Kinect

 

 

Microsoft's been in the news a fair bit lately on the strength of its supposed collaboration with the US National Security Agency - a Guardian report alleges that the latter is able to gather user data via Skype, Outlook and Hotmail with Microsoft's consent. The company has now released a formal statement on the matter, denying much of the report and calling on the US government to allow it "to share publicly more complete information about how we handle national security requests for customer information".

 

Microsoft has also rejected claims that it will allow the NSA to gather data via the Xbox One's Kinect sensor, which is required for the console to run. "Absent a new law, we don't believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data," reads a comment mailed to the Verge. "And we'd aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so."

 

Kinect's always-on status is a source of concern among those who worry that it could be turned into a surveillance device, but Microsoft insists that appropriate safeguards in place. For one thing, Kinect can be set to an "off" state, wherein it'll listen out for the activation phrase "Xbox on", and features a power light, so you'll know when it's operational. For another, the Verge reports that data is "anonymised" before being sent to Microsoft's servers, and it'll only be sent on with your explicit consent. Voice commands are converted to text before leaving the console, and biometric data is translated into numerical values.

 

Microsoft's policy guidelines urge that "you are in control of your personal data" - there will be "clear notifications" about how that data is used, and you can of course opt out of any potential data-sharing scheme if you choose. If that's not enough, you can also set the device to be completely unaware and unresponsive (presumably, you'll need to navigate to the console's settings using the controller in order to reenable voice commands and motion recognition).

 

So Microsoft just admitted that it is possible for the Kinect to spy on people, but that they would "aggressively challenge" it if the Government wanted to do that.... Until the NSA comes a knocking with a  general purpose FISA warrant or some similar and demand them to do something while forcing them to sign a gag order so Microsoft can't tell anybody.

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Posted

http://www.oxm.co.uk/58530/microsoft-will-aggressively-challenge-any-government-attempt-to-spy-through-kinect/

 

Microsoft will "aggressively challenge" any government attempt to spy through Kinect

 

 

So Microsoft just admitted that it is possible for the Kinect to spy on people

 

No they didn't.  Getting tired of people blowing this nonissue way out of proportion.

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Posted

No they didn't.  Getting tired of people blowing this nonissue way out of proportion.

 

Yes, they did. They said "And we'd aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so.". Key word here being "forced". If a secret FISA court ordered them to comply with the NSA, the same courts that permitted the NSA the general purpose warrants for Skype, Outlook and SkyDrive etc., then they would have no choice but to allow Government surveillance; and they wouldn't be able to tell anyone about it.

 

FYI, the FISA court just renewed the NSA surveillance program.

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Posted

Yes, they did. They said "And we'd aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so.". Key word here being "forced". If a secret FISA court ordered them to comply with the NSA, the same courts that permitted the NSA the general purpose warrants for Skype, Outlook and SkyDrive etc., then they would have no choice but to allow Government surveillance; and they wouldn't be able to tell anyone about it.

 

FYI, the FISA court just renewed the NSA surveillance program.

 

Yeah but you're acting like Microsoft is collecting raw voice and video when they aren't at all.  They collect data on usage that would be useful for them to help improve Kinect.  It's getting blown way out of proportion.  The government couldn't "spy through Kinect" if they wanted to because that's just not how it works.

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Posted

No they didn't.  Getting tired of people blowing this nonissue way out of proportion.

 

Privacy is never an issue these days. 

 

But yeah, those who fear privacy should buy a PS4.

The government couldn't "spy through Kinect" if they wanted to because that's just not how it works.

How confidently can you say that? Governments these days demand a backdoor given NSA and French security agencies.

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Posted

 

Privacy is never an issue these days. 

 

But yeah, those who fear privacy should buy a PS4.

How confidently can you say that? Governments these days demand a backdoor given NSA and French security agencies.

 

The government could demand it all they want but it wouldn't matter because it's literally technically not how it works.  It doesn't send raw voice and video data out to anywhere so there's nothing for them to get at.  They can't just magic a connection into your Xbox One and start watching you.

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Posted

The government could demand it all they want but it wouldn't matter because it's literally technically not how it works.  It doesn't send raw voice and video data out to anywhere so there's nothing for them to get at.  They can't just magic a connection into your Xbox One and start watching you.

Sounds like you have had part in the design of the Kinect.

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Posted

Yeah but you're acting like Microsoft is collecting raw voice and video when they aren't at all.  They collect data on usage that would be useful for them to help improve Kinect.  It's getting blown way out of proportion.  The government couldn't "spy through Kinect" if they wanted to because that's just not how it works.

 

But isn't that essentially the same argument that was used prior to the PRISM leak regarding Skype? That Microsoft did not collect voice and video data, change the peer to peer encryption or hand over the encryption key to the Government?

 

 

Not unlike Kinect, Skype had assured its users that wiretaps were technically impossible. "Because of Skype's peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques, Skype would not be able to comply with such a request," the company told CNET in 2008. And four years later, when hackers accused Skype owner Microsoft of changing the service's backend to facilitate government eavesdropping, the company categorically denied the accusations. Now, it seems like the company could have been lying, or at least had quietly changed its mind. Mind you, Microsoft is also denying last Thursday's Guardian report, but the denial is a lot less clear-cut. The company disavows having providing "blanket or direct access" to Skype, but doesn't deny that it provides Skype video or audio to the government upon request.

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Sounds like you have had part in the design of the Kinect.

 

No, I just read the entire article which details the data that's sent and I don't wear a tinfoil hat.

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Posted

The government could demand it all they want but it wouldn't matter because it's literally technically not how it works.  It doesn't send raw voice and video data out to anywhere so there's nothing for them to get at.  They can't just magic a connection into your Xbox One and start watching you.

 

They literately said the same thing about Skype. Microsoft said that it was technically unable to comply with the Government surveillance request. "Because of Skype's peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques, Skype would not be able to comply with such a request,"

 

That was not true at all.

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But isn't that essentially the same argument that was used prior to the PRISM leak regarding Skype? That Microsoft did not collect voice and video data, change the peer to peer encryption or hand over the encryption key to the Government?

 

They could - the difference is that Skype is already a video calling service that sends raw voice and video out to another person.  Kinect is not that.  It's a fancy camera that captures your movements and listens for voice commands to be used on the console, not sent to some other party to watch (unless of course you're using the Skype app).  The infrastructure is different.

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They could - the difference is that Skype is already a video calling service that sends raw voice and video out to another person.  Kinect is not that.  It's a fancy camera that captures your movements and listens for voice commands to be used on the console, not sent to some other party to watch (unless of course you're using the Skype app).  The infrastructure is different.

 

Correct, but since Microsoft changed Skype's encryption from peer 2 peer to peer 2 server; couldn't they essentially "flip the switch" and do the same with Kinect and allow the Governments to collect the Kinect data; the voice and video? Are you saying that is not possible? 

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Correct, but since Microsoft changed Skype's encryption from peer 2 peer to peer 2 server; couldn't they essentially "flip the switch" and do the same with Kinect and allow the Governments to collect the Kinect data; the voice and video? Are you saying that is not possible? 

 

Yes, because Kinect doesn't collect voice and video data.  It collects voice commands converted to text, and other numeric data points based on voice and video.  It would take much more than just flipping the switch to turn Kinect into a useful spy tool.

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Never seen a company lie before.

 

If you can't see the potential for abuse, there's no way you're going to get this conversation.

 

Tin hatter or not, the recent information that has come to light with regards to secret compulsions and warrants would give the average person pause.

 

Just because it doesn't do it by default doesn't mean that they can't trigger it or make it happen via other means.

 

Given the console requires an online connection and feeds ads to the console, I'd say that shows already that they can pipe things to the XBox.

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If you can't see the potential for abuse, there's no way you're going to get this conversation.

 

Tin hatter or not, the recent information that has come to light with regards to secret compulsions and warrants would give the average person pause.

It doesn't matter.  Abuse would tank sales in and get the item banned in every country the offending government wasn't part of.

 

The government isn't this stupid, whatever you might believe.

 

And if it wasn't the US government, MS would very likely decide it wasn't worth selling the item in that country in the first place.

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Never seen a company lie before.

 

If you can't see the potential for abuse, there's no way you're going to get this conversation.

 

Tin hatter or not, the recent information that has come to light with regards to secret compulsions and warrants would give the average person pause.

 

Just because it doesn't do it by default doesn't mean that they can't trigger it or make it happen via other means.

 

Given the console requires an online connection and feeds ads to the console, I'd say that shows already that they can pipe things to the XBox.

 

Then show where there's any technical data to support your point, all the technical data we have no points to it not being possible, and skype is not the same as Kinect, people need to loosen their tin foil hats a little

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Yes, because Kinect doesn't collect voice and video data.  It collects voice commands converted to text, and other numeric data points based on voice and video.  It would take much more than just flipping the switch to turn Kinect into a useful spy tool.

 

Preposterous, absolute nonsense. if the NSA is capable of collecting the Skype data through Kinect(voice and video) on the Xbox One then it will be possible just to collect the Kinect data. It's absurd to believe that it otherwise would'nt be possible. Microsoft themselves are saying that they would fight attempts by the government to force them to do it, meaning that it is possible if they were forced.

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These companies like Microsoft want to hide their ass due to the current NSA embarrassments. They will always publicly deny such Kinect spying. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you take their word for granted. Their EULAs are carefully worded.

If you are not a terrorist or child rapist, etc,etc, you need not be worried about a camera spying on you 24x7. But determined hackers can take control of that camera too you know.

Kinect should not be compulsory.

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It doesn't matter.  Abuse would tank sales in and get the item banned in every country the offending government wasn't part of.

 

The government isn't this stupid, whatever you might believe.

 

And if it wasn't the US government, MS would very likely decide it wasn't worth selling the item in that country in the first place.

Yeah, and those lovely FISA documents the US government is throwing about will allow them to talk about the abuse..

 

We wouldn't have known about it at all if Snowden hasn't stepped up: The Americans of course admitted they got it wrong and swore to stop all the bull**** and have chosen not to prosecute Snowden. As you well know, the American Government would never lie to you or keep a secret. They are, after all, the water boarding good guys.

 

Ironically, I don't doubt Microsoft on this one, I just doubt they'll have a choice in the matter.

 

Then show where there's any technical data to support your point, all the technical data we have no points to it not being possible, and skype is not the same as Kinect, people need to loosen their tin foil hats a little

What technical data is there to show.

 

"Technical data relating to SECRET spying" <- Unfortunately, not going to be given out.

 

When an XBox live account signs in, it can be issued with a directive to do whatever the **** MS decide to code and or want to do. No-one will ever be the wiser if MS isn't forced into targetting security researchers.

 

The issue isn't what MS' chooses; it's that they have no choice.

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Yeah, and those lovely FISA documents the US government is throwing about will allow them to talk about the abuse.

Every country with any reasonable intelligence network will be checking what data the machine phones home and whether or not they need to outright ban the thing.

 

If anything is sent out that shouldn't be they'd stop sales to their country and be done with it.

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Every country with any reasonable intelligence network will be checking what data the machine phones home and whether or not they need to outright ban the thing.

 

If anything is sent out that shouldn't be they'd stop sales to their country and be done with it.

Oh I see.

Glad to see we've finally worked out a way to break public key encryption/SSL/STL and Diffie-Hellman.

 

If you're going to jump into this conversation, at least think about it first. If it's meant to be SECRET, they aren't going to send it in clear text are they..

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Oh I see.

Glad to see we've finally worked out a way to break public key encryption/SSL/STL and Diffie-Hellman.

 

If you're going to jump into this conversation, at least think about it first. If it's meant to be SECRET, they aren't going to send it in clear text are they..

It's easy to break SSL when you've got the private key.

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It's easy to break SSL when you've got the private key.

Which isn't actually breaking it >.>

 

The point there was that the "government intelligent agencies worth a damn" aren't that "damny"

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Posted

Just put a sticker in the kinect lens and problem solved.

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Posted

Except that it's both infra-red and sound enabled.

 

On top of that, if the system doesn't detect you, I'll put money on it stopping the game until you are back in view.

 

Even if it were that simple, it's still not an issue that should be so readily dismissed. This is a serious social issue, just so happens it's happening in the context of a gaming console.

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