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Originally posted by rectangle
Even if I assume Norton is not riddled with spyware from US Department of Homeland Security, we can assume the DHS has a version of all kinds of things that you will probably help them to install on your computer in some way or the other.
Several years ago it was reported that hushmail, who runs an encrypted email service which they claimed they would not keep a copy of your private key (meaning that if you lost you PassWord, you could not login ever again), had two different versions of its software. The Java program which did the encryption work had the usual version and one they would hand a user, if the right government agency asked hushmail to, which would hand the government agency the PassWord. I also presume the government agency would be allowed to use the PassWord on a private citizens account without leaving any footprints.
Therefore I think it a good presumption that almost any popular software has another DHS version that they will try to slip in to a target computer.
We know that Java is extremely insecure and can be used to download all kinds of things onto target computers. Java is infuriating because no one seems concerned about fixing it, while nearly every website insists on using it.
Likewise Adobe has security issues with Flash, PDF and its own downloader program which they are not very motivated to fix. Like Apple CEO Steve Jobs implied, we can do without Adobe altogether when HTML5 is the standard.
The problem with Microsoft (M$) is that the security problem is not just a problem of the OS, it is that we have the wrong design for the hardware. We, as a society are not willing to pay for the hardware design that will make a more secure computer. How the hardware needs to change is not a secret, it just costs money. When we buy computers, we buy for price, not for quality.
We know that the "authorities," both government and those in charge of computer systems must surely have implemented a means to trace almost anything across the internet so they can catch malware instigators.
Like a privacy expert said in an interview, "privacy is already dead, it does not exist, it has not existed for quite a while." Anonymity does not exist.
We can not simply get lost in group by trying not to stand out. it is too easy for the computerized government to keep files on so many. They are now collected automatically by computers. Trying to live off of the grid is likely to start a surveillance.
As the most basic firmware of computer, BIOS and such is now written in India and China, what are the odds that we do is hidden from them either. Seems that China has not used such a resource to track down Chinese dissidents, so maybe not yet.