Windows 10 for free? New Zetatalk on Gigantic Snooping Operation and how to protect yourself from snooping even if using the soon to be released Windows 10

NB: the following is advice on how to help cut down on any snooping by Microsoft if you already have or plan to upgrade to Windows 10 - the firm advice of this Ning is to avoid upgrading to Windows 10 at all!

There is no guarantee that the methods listed below will ensure that you are not being snooped on, nor will they guarantee that you will avoid any other negative consequences of upgrading to Windows 10.

The tips below apply to any operating system should you wish to take steps to protect your privacy


In light of the new Zetatalk regarding the new Windows 10 set to arrive for free to users, I'm posting this information for people to help evade or "get around" any snooping activity by Microsoft and others if they end up using Windows 10 or any Windows for that matter.  Hackers and crackers have been getting around spying and snooping activities for years now so that should tell you that no matter what, where there is a will there is a way to protect yourself on the internet from spying- especially with the Internet being fairly uncontrollable for many reasons that the Zetas have already explained.  Using Windows 8.1 or even the new 10, there are many things people can do to protect their online activity from snooping regardless of any secret backdoor access built into Windows 10.  

With the copyright infringement legal mess stemming from a lot of greed from corporations and the government spying activities detailed by Snowden, many people over the last couple of years have turned to what is called a VPN service for some degree of privacy while surfing the internet.  There are now many VPN providers available, some free, others charge.  A VPN is a Virtual Private Network.  Essentially it creates a new IP address identity that all of your internet activity is filtered through so that your real IP address and location are hidden.  Many VPN services even offer even stealthier protection in the form of a fully encrypted VPN connection.  This is just one way to help protect your privacy.  

Another way, and one that can be combined with a VPN, is by utilizing Virtual PC created on top of your original OS (Windows).  It essentially creates an operating system of your choosing built into utilizing Virtualized Hardware technology - like a PC within or on top of your primary PC OS that you can boot up many different types of Operating systems including many Linux Operating systems and older versions of Windows even.  Personally I like using Ubuntu due to its ease of use but there are a ton of Linux OS's out there that are very secure due to the fact that hackers typically do not target them as much as there are not a lot of people using them... kind of how Apple's OSX is more secure in that it is less of a target as well.  So a virtual machine created with Linux is kind of like a separate sandbox where you increase some levels of privacy for yourselves by running an operating system on top of and within Windows 10 as it is separated virtually from the Host OS.  

Now if using Windows 10 you can combine some of these options to become a lot more private even while using Windows 10.  A VPN is good, but if not an option, another one is to use what is called the Tor Browser Network - an anonymizing network and browser that uses anonymous proxy connections while you are surfing the web.  

So in theory and likely in practice, an ultra secure way to browse and work on your Windows PC would be using a virtual machine OS such as Ubuntu or Redhat Linux or many other flavors of Linux distros, a VPN of some kind, and surfing the web with the Tor browser network all at the same time.  

These are just suggestions that will help privatize your activities, but to what degree they work against the power snoopers out there, I don't know for certain as I do not know the full capabilities of what the NSA has access to, but... I do know that in general and in theory all of these options will add to your overall level of privacy on any Windows OS.  If you would like to know more, do some googling on these things and find out how exactly they work.  The links below can help you get started in protecting your privacy regardless of what version of Windows used.  While there may not be a 100% anonymous privacy solution for people, I hope these suggestions help. From what I understand, they do.  To what degree, that is hard to determine with the NSA's secrecy on tactics and operations.  I utilize many of these solutions myself from time to time and find them to, at the very least, ease my mind a little and know for a fact that it raises the bar of privacy on any PC.  There are certainly different levels of internet as the Zetas have described.  The "official" levels and then other parts that are much more hidden.. like the Deep Web, of which the creator of it, was recently thrown in prison for life for creating it.  One thing to Add here is... IMHO; you simply cannot trust the cloud for securing your personal data and information. Just look at what happened when Apple's cloud servers got hacked... lots of private information and notorious personal photos got stolen.  Practice KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Don't store your personal information ONLINE!  Store it offline on a personal encrypted storage device- AND KEEP IT OFFLINE :)

Popular Virtual Machine Software: 

Note: Many older PC's, a decade or more older, may not have the built in hardware technology to support creating and using a virtual machine.  In this case, a good alternative is dual-booting your PC between one OS and another.  Multi-booting NOTE:  Virtual Machine Software like VMWARE Workstation can also run on LINUX!  This means you can create a virtual machine sandbox to run Any version of Windows (XP, 7, 8, etc.) right from within your booted up main LINUX OS!  There is EVEN A WAY TO RUN MAC OSX on a PC!  Google HACKINTOSH - VPN's can be used on the main host OS and/or within the Virtual Machine Sandbox you are running.  So if you are running a version of Linux on your PC but need Windows XP or 7 to run say Adobe Photoshop, you can create a Virtual Machine VM to boot up Windows from within your Linux OS and from there install Photoshop on Windows.  When done using Photoshop, you simply shut down the Virtual PC of Windows and go back to using your primary Linux OS!  So many options today if you know where to look.  To learn, one has a vast knowledge base at their fingertips that IS the INTERNET :)  However, as is often stated in this BLOG, a TRUE Hacker believes that anything is hackable given time and energy to hack it whether it truly is or not.  A great new TV show on the USA network called "MR ROBOT about a team of hackers similar to ANONYMOUS is really good.. it doesn't go into a lot of details, but you can get the idea of how easy information can be accessed by someone that knows how to get it.  So with that mentality, you can never be too safe in trying to protect your privacy, personal information, and identity! 


A Windows PC with nearly all of the best and highest rated Linux Operating Systems installed and running great.  Any of them can be booted up at will and used with ease.  Most of these Linux OS's also install and run great natively on many PC's out there.

UBUNTU (A classic favorite for many with distributions based on Debian and also a GNOME based version)

LINUX MINT:  For People needing something to transition from Windows.  Similar interface and built in Windows emulation by installing WINE emulation app for running many Windows programs natively. 




KALI Linux:

VPN services: 

  1. PCMAG - The Best VPN Services for 2015
  2. PCMAG PIA VPN review
  3. Private Internet Access VPN
  4. VPN HARDWARE ROUTERS: Hardware Firewall routers to be used with a VPN Service For the Ultimate Protection including the best known connection encryptions available to the public.


The TOR Browser network:

As always a good Antivirus program, Firewall, AND and Anti-Malware program, can help from catching trackers and bugs out on the internet.  The other good thing about using a virtual machine on top of your main Operating system, is that any infections will likely never be able to escape the "sandbox" virtual machine and infect your main operating system.  So infections can be kept safely away from your main (host Operating System) entirely.  

Good luck and be safe out there.  Couple other small tips:  

  1. Browse in private (incognito mode) Google Chrome,  
  2. Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history

And if anyone else has any tips, suggestions, methods to keep safe on the Internet, Please feel free to post anything.  



They are giving the upgrade away for free to all Windows 7 and 8 users, which means 70% of all desktops in the world. This should in and of itself should start alarm bells ringing when you consider that the cost of developing an MS operating system will be many billions of dollars;  why for free - this has never been done before - and at a time when we are expecting the announcement any moment?  Then, if you read the system requirements, you see that you need an internet connection and a Microsoft account to use the OS and you will not be able to stop it from updating itself with anything that Microsoft pushes out - no option to choose which updates to install for yourself any more. It would seem that anyone upgrading would be handing complete power of their computer usage to Microsoft, who can decide remotely whether to delete your accounts and stop you using your PC if you start causing trouble, ie. after the announcement, and install nefarious software without your knowledge, yet I have been unable to find anyone on the internet sounding a warning over this.
[and from another]
[and from another]
Yes, free! This upgrade offer is for a full version of Windows 10, not a trial. 3GB download required; standard data rates apply. To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

We have repeatedly been asked if the Internet will survive and continue to be open, and our response has from the start of ZetaTalk been that we anticipate that the establishment will NOT be able to shut it down. The reason is that commerce and industry, government business as well as private, use the Internet extensively and to simply shut it down would create too much havoc for those in power. Their approach has instead been to try to get the populace to use VERSIONS of the Internet, connecting to floating platforms like the Outernet or Project Loon.
These provide information to the populace but don’t allow updates or email from the populace, but an Internet that is no more than an interactive TV did not generate interest from the public. 

The Internet was designed to be able to function despite blockages, flowing like water
around them. Even if the media, TV and radio, were tightly controlled, the Internet allows the public to provide information to others and learn what is happening around the world. If this cannot be stopped, how can the elite control this? Disinformation is designed to COUNTER the facts, but is most effective when used early so it does not look like a reaction. The facts themselves then are cloaked like a reaction, as they arrive second. To achieve this, Windows 10 will be a gigantic snooping operation, given away free with lots of goodies so hopefully installed on a massive number of personal computers and mobile devices. 


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Comment by SongStar101 on February 14, 2016 at 12:08pm

GCHQ hacking does not breach human rights, security tribunal rules

Investigatory powers tribunal says computer network exploitation, such as activating cameras on devices without permission, is legal

Hacking of computers, networks and smartphones in the UK or abroad by GCHQ staff does not breach human rights, a security tribunal has ruled.

A panel of five members of the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT) decided on Friday that computer network exploitation (CNE), which may involve remotely activating microphones and cameras on electronic devices without the owners’ knowledge, is legal.

In a lengthy judgment, the IPT, which deals with complaints about surveillance and the intelligence services, found in favour of the Cheltenham-based monitoring agency and the Foreign Office. It dismissed complaints brought by the campaign group Privacy International and seven internet service providers from around the world.

The case, which was heard last year, was the first in which GCHQ admitted to carrying out “persistent” hacking in the UK and overseas. Some sessions of the IPT are closed and held in secret.

The surveillance bill is as big a threat to state security as to pe...

Part of the legal dispute focused on whether such activity is permissible under thematic warrants that do not identify targeted individuals. Responding to the decision, Privacy International said it would “challenge this undermining of the fundamental right that a warrant should identify a specific property or person”. There is no right of appeal to any higher UK court, but cases can be taken to Europe.

In the course of the hearing, GCHQ admitted that it carries out CNE within and outside the UK, that in 2013, about 20% of its intelligence reports contained information derived from hacking, and that it undertakes “persistent” – where bugs are left implanted on a targeted device – as well as “non-persistent” operations.

The IPT judgment said: “The use of CNE by GCHQ, now avowed, has obviously raised a number of serious questions, which we have done our best to resolve.

“Plainly, it again emphasises the requirement for a balance to be drawn between the urgent need of the intelligence agencies to safeguard the public and the protection of an individual’s privacy and/or freedom of expression.

“We are satisfied that with the new [equipment interference code] and whatever the outcome of parliamentary consideration of the investigatory powers bill, a proper balance is being struck in regard to the matters we have been asked to consider.”

The judgment concluded that the legal regime under which warrants are issued for the agency to carry out equipment interference in the UK is compatible with the European convention on human rights.

In relation to the authorisation of actions outside Britain, the IPT ruling said there might be circumstances in which an individual claimant may be able to claim a breach of their rights under articles 8 or 10 of the convention, which relate to the right to private and family life and freedom of expression. However, it said this does not lead to a conclusion that the regime is non-compliant with the articles.

The Foreign Office said the ruling made it clear that the legal regime under which GCHQ carries out equipment interference “is, and has always been, compatible with human rights law”.

The foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, welcomed the ruling “and its judgment that a proper balance is being struck between the need to keep Britain safe and the protection of individuals’ privacy”.

“The ability to exploit computer networks plays a crucial part in our ability to protect the British public. Once again, the law and practice around our security and intelligence agencies’ capabilities and procedures have been scrutinised by an independent body and been confirmed to be lawful and proportionate.”

Scarlet Kim, a legal officer at Privacy International, said: “We are disappointed by the IPT’s judgment, which has found government hacking lawful based on a broad interpretation of a law dating back to 1994, when the internet and mobile phone technology were in their infancy.

“Until we brought this case, GCHQ would neither confirm nor deny that they were engaging in mass hacking of computers, mobile devices and entire computer networks.

“During the course of the proceedings, the government sought to create law ‘on the hoof’, changing anti-hacking laws [the 1990 Computer Misuse Act] through an addition to the 2015 Serious Crime Act and producing a code of practice for hacking. Hacking is one of the most intrusive surveillance capabilities available to intelligence agencies.

“The IPT has decided that GCHQ can use ‘thematic warrants’, which means GCHQ can hack an entire class of property or persons, such as ‘all phones in Birmingham’.

“In doing so, it has upended a longstanding English common law principle that such general warrants are unlawful. Allowing governments to hack places the security and stability of the internet and the information we exchange on it at stake.”

The seven internet service providers involved in the case were GreenNet, Riseup, Mango, Jinbonet, Greenhost, Media Jumpstart and Chaos Computer Club.

Comment by Ryan X on February 4, 2016 at 7:43pm
Comment by Mark on February 4, 2016 at 3:47pm

it has now happened folks so make sure your windows update settings will not automatically update your pc to windows 10.

Look out: Microsoft shifts Windows 10 to ‘Recommended’ update, automatic download

Microsoft has been increasingly aggressive in its attempts to push consumers to download Windows 10. Starting today, the company is upping the ante once again. As of now, Windows 10 is now classified as a “Recommended” update, which means many Windows 7 and 8.1 users will download and begin the installation automatically.
Microsoft made this change to the Windows 10 GWX application, in a patently obvious attempt to shove more users towards upgrading. The company’s opt-out for Windows 10 installation is unlikely to be much better. Even if it is, however, there’s still a larger issue — specifically, the people this upgrade is going to hit are those who are the least likely to know it’s coming.

There’s no way this doesn’t create headaches for at least some Windows users, as well as Microsoft. Some drivers won’t update properly. Some people will misinterpret the installation as malware, since Microsoft hasn’t historically updated its operating systems in this fashion. Some will click on “Get Windows 10″ without realizing that it’s an entirely new operating system that makes significant changes to how basic system functions work. Resetting system defaults to MS programs is going to leave some people thinking their previous browser settings or customizations are gone.

All of these issues are issues with any OS upgrade, but OS updates are typically something the user initiates. Microsoft clearly wants its entire user base on Windows 10. But think about it: This move targets use who don’t know enough to disable Recommended updates, but have also rejected Microsoft’s previous offers. This could create a nasty snarl of blowback if the upgrade push starts making life difficult for large numbers of people.

Microsoft has published a KB article detailing how end-users can control the upgrade prompts and disable them in the future, available here.

Comment by SongStar101 on December 1, 2015 at 11:39pm

This a small major development,  yet Windows 10 has not been addressed?  The article summed up:

"It is a first step but a modest one. The problem – and it is a major one – is the reform applies only to phone records. The NSA can continue to harvest bulk communications from the internet and social media."

"But a privacy and civil liberties review body set up by Barack Obama found no evidence that bulk data collection had made a difference in a single case."


The NSA's bulk metadata collection authority just expired. What now?

Saturday 28 November 2015

The modest change guaranteed by the USA Freedom Act means that the NSA can no longer directly store Americans’ phone data – a victory for Edward Snowden

The language in the US Justice Department statement is far from inspiring, written in bland legalese, but it still represents an important victory for the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained

The statement, dated 28 November 2015, says: “Final temporary reauthorization of the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata data program in the US expires.”

What that means is that from Saturday, the National Security Agency will no longer directly hold information about the phone calls of millions of US citizens.

The USA Freedom Act, passed in the summer, allowed the NSA a 180-day transition period to sort out arrangements. That period expired on Saturday.

It is modest change but it is at least a change, raising public awareness of the scale of government surveillance and opening the way for privacy campaigners to chip away in hopes of further reforms.

What prompted the change?

The reform under the Freedom Act can be traced directly back to a document leaked by Snowden and reported in the Guardian in June 2013 by Glenn Greenwald.

The document was a top secret court order showing the NSA was collecting the phone records of citizens both in the US and overseas in bulk and indiscriminately. The order was granted by a secret government body, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.

It contradicted a statement only months earlier by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, to a Senate committee claiming there was no such collection of the records of US citizens.

Did this amount to mass surveillance?

The intelligence agencies hate the description “mass surveillance” and insist what they are doing is bulk collection of data. They argue that although they gathered all this material, they only looked at a small part of it and, crucially, did not look at content.

Privacy campaigners counter that just by having access to such huge volumes of data on every individual citizen amounts to mass surveillance and an invasion of privacy. They also argue that even if the agencies are not looking at content – listening to phone calls – they can build up a detailed profile of an individual just on the basis of who was called, the location, time and length of call.

What does the Freedom Act do?

Instead of being held directly by the NSA, phone data will remain with the telecom companies. The NSA will have to go to the Fisa court to get access.

There is also a change to the Fisa court, which will become a little less secret, being forced to declassify some information about its rulings and to allow, in some cases, outside bodies to mount challenges.

How important is this reform?

It is a first step but a modest one. The problem – and it is a major one – is the reform applies only to phone records. The NSA can continue to harvest bulk communications from the internet and social media.

Snowden called the act historic but identified some of the changes as cosmetic. The American Civil Liberties Union described it as a “milestone” but cautioned about the wide range of surveillance powers the NSA and other agencies still enjoy.

Have terrorist attacks such as the one in Paris forced privacy campaigners into a rethink?

Congress passes NSA surveillance reform in vindication for Snowden

Privacy campaigners have argued they are not opposed to targeted surveillance, in which suspects are monitored. Their complaint is with bulk data collection and its indiscriminate nature.

The argument of the intelligence agencies is that if there is a terrorist attack or a kidnapping, they have to be able to quickly access all the data in order to see if they can find any communications that might be related. If they have one name, they want to see who that individual has been in contact with.

That seems, at first glance, a reasonable request. But a privacy and civil liberties review body set up by Barack Obama found no evidence that bulk data collection had made a difference in a single case.

“We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation,” it reported.

In terrorism case after terrorism case since 9/11, at least some of those involved were already known to intelligence agencies, being treated as suspects or appearing on watch lists as individuals of concern. This was the case too in the Paris attacks, in which some of the killers were already known to the French intelligence agencies.

What is happening elsewhere around the world?

Modest though the USA Freedom Act is, it is an improvement on what is happening elsewhere. Governments in France and the UK have introduced – or are in the process of introducing – legislation that gives even more surveillance powers to intelligence agencies.

The UK has a proposed bill that enshrines all the surveillance powers it has been employing in the dark since at least 2001 and adds a few more. Unlike the US, the bill permits bulk collection of phone records.

Comment by SongStar101 on November 4, 2015 at 9:54pm

UK Investigatory Powers Bill: what you need to know

The UK government has put forward a bill today that forces internet service providers (ISPs) to keep a record of the websites their customers have visited for up to 12 months. These "internet connection records" (ICRs) could then be requested by law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to identify which services a person or device has been accessing. It would not reveal every webpage they've browsed -- the current understanding, as set out in David Anderson's recent review of surveillance laws, is that it would cover or, but nothing beyond the first forward slash.

The proposed measure is a significant extension of the UK's surveillance powers. Since the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, providers have been required to retain data that could link specific devices and their usage to IP addresses. In practice, this includes communications data related to internet access services -- home broadband, mobile internet and WiFi -- and internet-enabled communication services, such as email and IM. The retention of so-called "web logs," however, is currently prohibited.

If the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill is passed, ICRs will be treated as communications data; a term used to describe the circumstances (who, when, where and how) of your messages. It's contextual information, rather than the content of the messages themselves -- so it doesn't cover what you actually wrote or said. At the moment, communications data can be requested by around 600 organisations (local authorities make up much of this number) for various reasons, such as national security, detecting crime and safeguarding the British economy. The new bill states, however, that ICRs will be off-limits to local authorities.

A 'double-lock' safeguard for intercept warrants

The draft bill is designed to explain and simplify the patchwork of existing surveillance laws, including the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. Many of the definitions surrounding data types, for instance, are now outdated, so this is a chance to clarify what they mean and exactly what's accessible to different parts of the government. The home secretary Theresa May also wants to introduce new safeguards recommended in Anderson's review. Under the proposals, the government will create a new Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) to keep its actions in check. It will be a senior judge supported by judicial commissioners, who will be responsible for approving interception warrants -- requests to uncover the content of people's messages. At the moment, only a sign-off from the Secretary of State or a Scottish Minister is required. The proposals would therefore introduce a "double-lock" mechanism to ensure that each request is necessary and proportionate. Exceptions would be allowed for "urgent cases," but most of these would still require an authorisation from a judicial commissioner within five working days.

Clarifying existing surveillance powers

May's proposed legislation also clarifies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ's bulk data collection capabilities for the first time, as well as their ability to use "equipment interference powers" -- hacking computers, phones and other devices. These are covered in previous laws, such as the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994, but this new bill proposes additional safeguards -- bulk warrants, for instance, would be limited to the security and intelligence agencies, and authorised only for national security reasons.

The draft bill is seen by many as a spiritual successor to the Draft Communications Data Bill, commonly known as the Snoopers' Charter, that was introduced in 2012. The legislation never came to pass, and while web logs were part of its proposals, there were other elements that aren't in today's draft bill. These include, for instance, a requirement for ISPs to retain third-party data -- in other words, messages sent over a network, covering services (usually outside the UK) which have refused to hand over its users' data.

Regardless, privacy advocates will see this new bill as a worrying expansion of the government's powers. For now it's a draft, and there will be a consultation period in the coming weeks and months. A revised bill will be introduced sometime in the new year, so critics have until then to voice their concerns and rally support from the public.

Comment by Ryan X on November 3, 2015 at 5:24am
Comment by Mark on October 30, 2015 at 5:26pm


I see that this has been posted below but given the serious nature of the news, perhaps needs emphasising more.

If you do not check your settings and make sure that updates are NOT installed automatically, then you will be upgraded to windows 10 without being asked as it will be added as a recommended update and by default most poeple have recommended updates set to install automatically.  This appears to be something that will happen 'next year' whenever that means exactly.  So check your settings now!! 

My choice is to set them to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them"  - that way the upgrade is not downloaded in the background either, which would take up quite a few Gb of disk space.


Windows 10 will automatically download on to Windows 7 or 8 PCs

Microsoft’s efforts to entice users to upgrade to Windows 10 will soon see it automatically downloaded on to users computers without their knowledge.

The company announced that Windows 10 will become a “recommended update” starting next year, which means anyone with Windows 7 or 8 that has automatic updates activated – the default and the best way to keep a computer protected against security bugs – will have Windows 10 automatically downloaded without asking.

What’s more, the installer for Windows 10 will start once it has been downloading, presenting users with a popup. Users will be able to decline the update, once the installer has started, or prevent the update from being downloaded by manually blocking it in Windows update.

But the propensity of users to simply hit “OK” or accept when faced with a prompt in the middle of doing something else, will likely see users just blindly hit OK and unknowingly installing Windows 10, preventing access to the computer while the instalment completes.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group said: “If you choose to upgrade (our recommendation!), then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version if you don’t love it.”

Windows 10 automatically downloads on to the computers of those running Windows 7 or 8 who have registered interest in the new version of Windows.

Optional first, recommended later
Windows 10 will imminently be upgraded to an “optional” update, which could also see it downloaded automatically if a user has manually set Windows update to automatically install optional updates as well as recommended updates.

While Windows 10 has seen good reviews and one of the best launches for a Windows version since Windows 98 in terms of compatibility with existing devices and software, automatic downloads may cause issues, particularly for those short of storage space or on metered internet connections.

“If you are on a metered connection on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then you have the option of turning off automatic updates. We strongly discourage this in today’s connected world because of the constant risk of internet threats,” said Myerson.

The automatic Windows 10 download has been shown to take up between 3.5GB and 6GB on a user’s computer. Some metered connections provide as little as 40GB of data allowance a month. Some Windows 8 computers have as little as 32GB of storage space.

Should the user decline the installation of Windows 10 after it has been downloaded the update will not be automatically deleted, meaning it will sit on a user’s computer taking up storage space.

Windows 10, which is free when upgrading, had been installed on 75m computers by the end of August, accounting for 4.9% of desktop internet users according to data from web analytics firm StatCounter. Windows 7 still held a 48.1% share of global internet users.

Comment by SongStar101 on October 29, 2015 at 8:47am

PTB hands in the cookie jar again...

Senate passes CISA, strikes down four pro-privacy amendments

The Senate on Tuesday passed CISA, a controversial bill encouraging companies to share private user data with the government that is worrying to civil liberties advocates. Four amendments were proposed to address privacy concerns, but they all died on the floor.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) in June 2014 following several high-profile cyber-attacks targeting major US corporations. It would purportedly protect user data from falling into the wrong hands. After debating the merits of the bill, it passed the Senate in a 74 to 21 vote.

The bill now goes to a conference committee between the House of Representatives, which previously passed its own version, and the Senate. If or when that is approved, the bill would head to President Barack Obama.

Under the bill, companies would have increased liability protection when collecting and sharing user person information that could potentially be related to security threats. The proposed legislation also makes it easier to share that data with government agencies and with each other.

This caused the concern of privacy advocates, leading to delays in the bill’s journey through Capitol Hill. Several amendments to address privacy concerns were added to the bill, but they were all voted down.

One of the defeated amendments was proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), a critic of the privacy violations that he says the bill would facilitate. The Wyden amendment would have inserted language to protect personally identifiable information by making companies remove it “to the extent feasible” because personal information doesn’t provide information about cyber threats. The default language in CISA gives companies leeway to only remove personally identifiable information if companies “know” that it is not directly related to a cybersecurity threat.

Wyden also criticized the fact that CISA’s information sharing is promoted as voluntary, even though it is only voluntary for companies ‒ not customers. Even if users sign privacy agreements with companies, the businesses can break those agreements and remain protected from legal recourse.

“[They say] that the most important feature of the legislation is that it’s voluntary. The fact is, it is voluntary for companies. It will be mandatory for their customers,” Wyden said about the bill earlier in October. “And the fact is the companies can participate without the knowledge and consent of their customers, and they are immune from customer oversight and lawsuits if they do so.”

Comment by casey a on September 11, 2015 at 12:10am

MICROSOFT HAS CONFIRMED that Windows 10 is being downloaded to computers whether or not users have opted in.

Comment by SongStar101 on September 1, 2015 at 9:32am

Participation in Microsoft's CEIP is related to the Windows 7, 8 Updates (previous post).  The procedure below should improve overall CPU and PC performance also.  See the article URL for more.

Disable the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

Disabling the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program and the related Task Scheduler tasks that control this program can improve Windows 7 and Windows 8 system performance in large View desktop pools.


1 In the Windows 7 or Windows 8 guest operating system, start the control panel and click Action Center > Change Action Center settings.

2 Click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings.

3 Select No, I don't want to participate in the program and click Save changes.

4 Start the Control Panel and click Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler.

5 In the Task Scheduler (Local) pane of the Task Scheduler dialog box, expand the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows nodes and open the Application Experience folder.

6 Disable the AITAgent and ProgramDataUpdater tasks.

7 In the Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows node, open the Customer Experience Improvement Program folder.

8 Disable the Consolidator, KernelCEIPTask, and Use CEIP tasks. What to do next Perform other Windows 7 or Windows 8 optimization tasks. See Optimize Windows 7 and Windows 8 Guest Operating System Performance.

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