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Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the references-replaced-with-fnord dept.

Spam 198

RemyBR writes with an excerpt from an article at El Reg: "Microsoft has confirmed that users of its instant messaging app will not be able to send each other links to popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, citing malware fears. 'We block instant messages if they contain malicious or spam URLs based on intelligence algorithms, third-party sources, and/or user complaints. Pirate Bay URLs were flagged by one or more of these and were consequently blocked,' Redmond told The Register in an emailed statement."

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algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints... (5, Insightful)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482445)

I know which of those three I'll bet on being responsible for TPB being blocked.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Insightful)

MasterMan (2603851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482607)

You may think that it is some grand anti-piracy conspiracy, but Microsoft is right. TPB is infested with torrents that contain malware. There are people who use it to spread viruses and malware. It makes sense too - it's quite easy method to infect peoples computers.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482691)

Why the fuck is this -1? Mods, please put your crack pipe down for a few seconds.

TPB is indeed infested with viruses and malware - I don't care, because I know how to take precautions. For me, it's a minor nuisance. Joe Sixpack, OTOH, will regularly screw up his machine. And people here are always moaning how insecure Windows is - yet when MS try to take action, they are lambasted for "blocking free speech".

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483321)

And people here are always moaning how insecure Windows is - yet when MS try to take action, they are lambasted for "blocking free speech".

That's because it's what they're doing. The wider internet is full of malware, that doesn't mean you block the whole internet. You just block the URLs that are known to contain malware. Which is, incidentally, what they almost certainly do on other sites -- download.com is probably full of malware too, do they block the whole site? What about RapidShare or the like?

It's very clear that this "Pirate Bay is unsafe" is just a pretense. There is no excuse for blocking an entire domain unless the entire domain contains nothing of value, and that isn't the case here.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483379)

So, essentially, you're saying, if we want to fight AIDS, it's better we outlaw prostitution and make access to them impossible instead of making sure everyone uses condoms?

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Informative)

scarboni888 (1122993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482827)

Out of the many many years I've been using TPB only once did I ever download a torrent that was an infection. It tunred out they were getting blasted with numerous ups by someone intending to infect others. All the infections from that particular campaign were taken down within 10 minutes of reporting them. So far as I've been able to see the moderating on that board is quite good considering what it is.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483073)

Part of the issue is that most users don't update their browser plugins. There has been a rash of Java exploits stemming from malicious code embedded in some banner ads (partly because users just don't update Java). The exploit causes redirection to another site and drive-by installation of malware.

TPB is serving whatever ads they get paid to serve and don't really care to identify and remove the malicious ones.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483245)

I'm not sure they're talking about torrents, just malware infected banner adverts.

In all the multi-years I've been in the scene, only twice have I downloaded dodgy files. First was off an anon-FTP dump, that contained the Chernobyl virus (CIH). The second was at TPB. It was a harmless scripted ASF file. Thanks Microsoft; not only did you create the method, you created the solution (MSE).

TPB is the least of my malware worries.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Interesting)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482831)

TPB is infested with torrents that contain malware.

That may or may not be the case, but don't you think it is funny that now that tpb is becoming a legitimate source of music and video from independent artists, corporations with creative industry ties have starting unilaterally blocking tpb without worrying about the law?

I guess they don't mind free advertising, but they HATE competition.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (4, Informative)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483353)

What do you think the whole MegaVideo take down was all about? (Hint. [digitalmusicnews.com] )

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482839)

Yes. It does contain some malware. So? It also contains legitimate (non-malware, I mean) content. I'm not sure I agree with the entire thing being blocked just because some of the content is malware and some people are too foolish to tell the difference.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483093)

You're right. And you know another site that is full of avenues for spyware and malware? Facebook. They should block all links to Facebook too. In fact, I'd contend that Facebook is an exponentially more threatening vehicle than TPB.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (1)

AnonyMouseCowWard (2542464) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483095)

And many direct download links may or may not contain viruses, urls may or may not point to websites with malicious scripts. I say we block all of these as well, what do you think?

I use Messenger with my friends, people I know. I've seen some of them get their accounts hijacked and send out scam links, but I've yet to see a Pirate Bay scam operation.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483199)

TPB is infested with torrents that contain malware.

I've been a Pirate Bay user for at least 5 years now, and must say, your statement is BS: tpb has an excellent community that actively comments on the torrents. tpb is probably the strictest torrent site out there. Only http://1337x.org/ [1337x.org] comes close in terms of the quality of the torrents that _remain_ on the site.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483229)

"TPB is infested with torrents that contain malware."

So are Google and Bing.

Out of Google, Bing, and TPB one of these sites has a trusted users flag from whom you can trust that content is unlikely to be infected. Guess which one of these sites it is.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483255)

>It makes sense too

ah stfu... Microsoft's instant messaging app is very dead now...

oh wait... you will come up with stats (from Microsoft) to prove that remark wrong? fail.

Microsoft should hire smarter people to do your work...

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483337)

You may think that it is some grand anti-piracy conspiracy, but Microsoft is right. TPB is infested with torrents that contain malware. There are people who use it to spread viruses and malware. It makes sense too - it's quite easy method to infect peoples computers.

It depends on what you call "right". I would expect a messaging app to send any message, not block something that it thinks won't be good for me. What if I work for a studio and want to let someone know that our latest blockbuster has been pirated? Or if I am researching antivirus software and want to tell someone of a zero-day virus I have discovered?

More importantly where does it end? When AI is good enough will I be prevented from discussing "dangerous" topics, like making explosives? Or dangerous political parties? Or making non-PC criticisms of religions? Will there be calls for email services to do the same? I want to be able to send any message and discuss any topic I want.

Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482865)

It won't make much difference, people will just type "www.theporitebay.org/xxxxxx" instead. Like all other MSN 'blocking' it will be just another Windows annoyance rather than an impediment.

They blocked one torrent site (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482451)

And there's 99999 more to go!

who cares (2, Insightful)

ooocmyooo (1426937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482465)

does anyone care for that company anymore? are there people still using MSN? o.O

Re:who cares (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482471)

A lot of those who were using MSN have since moved to Skype, which is now also owned by MS...

Re:who cares (1)

ooocmyooo (1426937) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482509)

i still prefer irc :)

Re:who cares (1)

bn-7bc (909819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482717)

Agreed, irc is better than most im platform, only problem is, you can never convince a noon geek (eg family abroad) to use irc, thei already have an messender account and don|t want another client.

Re:who cares (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482553)

A lot of those who were using MSN have since moved to Skype, which is now also owned by MS...

Allthough MSN is still surprisingly big in terms of usage, hundreds of millions of active users according to ComScore and the like (much bigger than Skype [softpedia.com] ), the real big trend is that the users moved to Facebook for what they used Messenger for (chatting and updates). And btw. Facebook Chat blocks Pirate Bay too. All the major IM services have been running automated malware blocks for a very long time. I'm surprised people are surprised that Pirate Bay is on the list (regardless whether you think it is "right" or not).

Re:who cares (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482853)

I wonder how many of those hundreds of millions are still actively using the instant messenger component, since I notice logging into Hotmail seems to log me into web messenger (at least by default) and I assume those instances also count towards this total.

Re:who cares (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483367)

Isn't MSN the default homepage for IE? So some possibly significant portion of those active users are just people who don't know or care how to change their homepage. I know when I still worked at a place with Windows servers, the older class of servers would open MSN as soon as you fired up IE to download some software patch, so I myself am probably responsible for hundreds of those "users" without ever even attempting to use MSN.

Re:who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482565)

Don't use Skype, Microsoft probably bought it solely to build in backdoors in it

Re:who cares (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482667)

Don't worry. Microsoft's backdoors will not work well until about the fifth version. :-9

Re:who cares (3, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482513)

MSN/Live Messenger, yes. It's incredibly popular in Asia, especially South Korea.

Re:who cares (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482517)

I'm pretty sure that's StarCraft - not messenger

Re:who cares (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482535)

OTR.

Seriously, they should be using OTR within a non-retarded client. All these problems magically go away, and you get privacy out of it!

Re:who cares (4, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482559)

In Sweden it is, AFAIK, the most popular IM client (although a lot of people have recently taken to using Facebook's built-in XMPP-based chat).

You see, ICQ used to be king of the hill. Then in the very late 1990s and early 2000s lots of kids with no knowledge of computers or how horrible MSN Messenger was compared to the competition were going online and using the, at the time, IM client included with Windows. The ICQ users mostly switched to MSN or used a multi-protocol client to stay in touch with everyone. Eventually everyone stopped using ICQ and what was left was a country of MSN users.

So why wasn't it AIM or one of the other services popular in the US that became popular? Well, AIM came from AOL which never really operated anywhere but in the US. ICQ was popular but was beaten by MSN since MSN came pre-installed with Windows. This btw, explains why MSN is "popular" outside the US, early adopters used other services but when the "regular people" came online the one IM client they saw was MSN. ICQ was "for geeks" and AIM and YIM had pretty much no chance since neither AOL nor Yahoo! had much market presence.

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482741)

Well, ICQ also had the spam annoyance.

Re:who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482841)

The bundled Windows Messenger and the downloadable MSN Messenger weren't quite the same thing.

Re:who cares (3, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482859)

True, but they could both connect to the same network.

Re:who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482873)

MSN Messenger was never included with Windows. You always had to download it separately. There was a messenger app included with Windows but no one ever used it.

People gravitated towards MSN because it kicked usability ass compared to ICQ. While many have fond memories of ICQ, few really miss it. MSN Messenger has no serious problems, nor did it ever. There's no sense in which it's "horrible" compared to the alternatives, and plenty of people with *lots* of knowledge of computers used MSN as soon as it appeared. It depends what you mean by "knowledge" though. The word is often used here to mean "agreement with me on OS choice".

Re:who cares (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483109)

One small factor: having a username, rather than a user number.

Re:who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482911)

Before the likes of Steam got their built in messengers working properly (back in the days when you tried to squeeze every last bit of power out of your system), lots of gamers used Messenger over ICQ as it seemed less resource intensive and more friendly to alt+tabbing. Of course that didn't last for long, MS decided the way to proceed was function creep and bloat, but by then lots of gamers had turned their non-gaming friends onto MSN and it stuck.

Re:who cares (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482967)

Well, AIM came from AOL which never really operated anywhere but in the US.

Just a few points to add: AOL was fairly widespread in Germany, and with it the AIM. Also, when AOL acquired ICQ, they connected the networks.

It's probably all WhatsApp and Facebook IM these days, although I stopped using IM networks.

Re:who cares (1)

Zeromous (668365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482987)

And now....In Soviet Russia,

I C Q!

Re:who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483029)

No... In Soviet Russia, Q Cs I. /facepalm

Re:who cares (2)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483123)

a lot of people have recently taken to using Facebook's built-in XMPP-based chat

Facebook is no more XMPP-based than the iPod is dock connector-based. The XMPP interface is just for external access, they don't even route stanzas (the XMPP packets) properly between two users using this interface (all the parts the internal chat system doesn't support are stripped out).

MSN also has an XMPP-interface now, btw. It's pretty similar in functionality to Facebook's.

Re:who cares (1)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483237)

The cause of ICQ's downfall was that each subsequent version got bloatier and bloatier. MSN messenger now is bloaty too but when it first came out it was a very lean and practical messenger like google talk is now. Early versions of MSN messnger were good and didn't have any of the junk gimmicks, giving even people with knowledge of computers good reasons to jump over to it. MSN messengers crapware started around v4 as I recall but before that it was a decent im. ..that was back in the day when microsoft was complaining about there being ten billion im protocols and that they would support a standard. Once they had pole position they went awfully quiet about it.

Goog.gl (2)

dataxtream (1292440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482475)

I guess Microsoft has never heard of goo.gl [slashdot.org]

--
PressTV [presstv.ir] - The News Channel the UK Government doesnt want you to watch

Re:Goog.gl (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482507)

A lot of these applications resolve the address's through url shortening services and check where they really point to.

Re:Goog.gl (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483223)

Here's how you fix that: http://trick.ly/ [trick.ly]

Skype Next? (4, Interesting)

Martz (861209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482477)

Now Microsoft owns Skype, I wonder if they'll be applying the same intelligent algorithms to voice and video conversations.

Messenger usage must be diminishing, a lot of people seem to use Facebook for IM these days. Anyone more serious about IM who doesn't use Facebook probably uses a different network/client anyway. One which they do control.

Re:Skype Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482501)

Not that it will be hard to get around.

pirate bay.se/links/here/dot.jpg will likely fly right past their filter.
This is Microsoft here, remember.

Or, you know, just paste the directories and tell them it is on TPB. Those directories could be for any website. Blocking them would be like blocking basic sentence structure because it can be used to attack people.
So, Microsoft, stick, candle, lit, butt up, a, your.

Re:Skype Next? (4, Informative)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482579)

Not that it will be hard to get around.

pirate bay.se/links/here/dot.jpg will likely fly right past their filter.
This is Microsoft here, remember.

Yeah, I remember using MSN a long time ago. We would have to change the file extensions in order to send .exe's and .mp3's. Fun times, when it took so little to feel like a hacker.

Re:Skype Next? (1)

iosq (1084989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482603)

And when file sending frequency made that annoying, you could just set HelloWorld.exe as the virus scanner.

Re:Skype Next? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483017)

We would have to change the file extensions in order to send .exe's and .mp3's. Fun times, when it took so little to feel like a hacker.

It is still the same for Outlook and .exe at my place of work. When we developers need to send someone an .exe, it usually goes out in an encrypted .zip file (Outlook will scan the contents of non-encrypted .zips).

Such crap is one of the reasons I prefer non-Microsoft products @home (except for Windows - I'm still tooo much of a gaming junkie to do without Windows).

Re:Skype Next? (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483269)

Fun times, when it took so little to feel like a hacker.

Obligatory printer beatdown [youtube.com] ;)

Re:Skype Next? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482551)

you cant just take text-based algorithms and "apply them" to voice and video ;) the domains are completely different.

let's face it...all text communication on the internet is basically being recorded, and text-based data mining techniques are sufficiently advanced by this point that microsoft can succeed at this sort of blocking.

the only way to retain any measure of privacy on the 'net is to communicate via voice and/or video. not only is voice and video orders of magnitude more costly to store and analyze, but current algorithms, while having made significant progress, still fail miserable at discerning anything meaningful from arbitrary data streams.

Re:Skype Next? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482955)

OTR [wikipedia.org]

Re:Skype Next? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483265)

you cant just take text-based algorithms and "apply them" to voice and video ;) the domains are completely different.

I believe the grandparent was talking about Skype's IM component, not the voice / video conferencing capabilities. I was quite surprised recently to discover that a lot of my non-geeky friends were completely unaware of instant messaging until they encountered it via Skype and Facebook - the IM was the main feature that they said they liked about Facebook, and when I asked what made it better than other IM systems it became clear that they thought that Facebook was the first thing to provide this kind of functionality.

Re:Skype Next? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483271)

so.. when will someone do "IP over skype-video" with a smartphone acting as the proxy?

the point in that thought experiment is that as long as you can do cheap video calls, you can do relatively wide bandwidth file/data transfers and there's nothing the jackasses can do about it.

Re:Skype Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482945)

Um, duh, MSN has been replaced by free BBM and free texting. It still sees some use though. I use it to communicate with my clients most days, as text lag is widely variable when sending from UK to France :) Facebook IM is unusable for anything more than a quick hello. Out of hours, I might use Facebook to flirt, but MSN is way better for cybering :p

I noticed the blocks. (5, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482491)

They also block all posts containing the string 'no-ip.org' - I've ran into it myself, as I use my home server on a no-ip.org dynamic IP to host the occasional game and transfer files via HTTP. I just have to specify it by IP instead to get around the block. I don't know exactly why Microsoft blocks mention of no-ip.org, but it is concieveable that it might be used to host malware downloads which are then advertised via IM-spamming, so there is grounds for some legitimate reason there. Even if it does inconvenience me personally.

In the case of TPB though, there is no such excuse. If TBP hosts malware (And I'm sure there are a few files, given the volume there), it'll have to be something that requires downloading a torrent(/magnet) - and if you can't get infected just by visiting a browser-exploiting website, it fails as malware. Besides, anyone uneducated enough to follow IM spam links isn't going to know what a torrent client is. It seems far more likely that Microsoft are just doing a corporate favor for either an external company they want to maintain a good relationship with or one of their own divisions concerned about piracy.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482545)

Because what I *really* want in an Instant Messaging provider when I could use ANY of the dozens there are in the world (including a roll-your-own using Jabber), is for them to start reading my messages, deciding if they are appropriate and censoring links automatically.

Fortunately, I use Pidgin, which lets me use any of the others right alongside it in the same program and not even care. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used an MSN connection (it's possible, because some of my contacts also use Pidgin and have 5+ accounts on different servers, but it wouldn't have been a deliberate choice on my part).

And if I really HAD to use MSN to do that, then it's not hard to obscure or encrypt the conversation to bypass their pathetic filtering effort here. So all they've really achieved is to inconvenience their own customers (especially if no-ip is blocked too) at the behest of (presumably) some organisation that disapproves of a certain website, or some stupid algorithm that they don't appear to want to override.

Fortunately, I don't trust these people with my IM or email any more, though I did for years. Seems a silly thing to do as IM is so competitive and in change at the moment (e.g. BBIM, etc.). Nice way to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482589)

Because what I *really* want in an Instant Messaging provider when I could use ANY of the dozens there are in the world (including a roll-your-own using Jabber), is for them to start reading my messages, deciding if they are appropriate and censoring links automatically.

Fortunately, I use Pidgin, which lets me use any of the others right alongside it in the same program and not even care. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used an MSN connection (it's possible, because some of my contacts also use Pidgin and have 5+ accounts on different servers, but it wouldn't have been a deliberate choice on my part).

And if I really HAD to use MSN to do that, then it's not hard to obscure or encrypt the conversation to bypass their pathetic filtering effort here. So all they've really achieved is to inconvenience their own customers (especially if no-ip is blocked too) at the behest of (presumably) some organisation that disapproves of a certain website, or some stupid algorithm that they don't appear to want to override.

Fortunately, I don't trust these people with my IM or email any more, though I did for years. Seems a silly thing to do as IM is so competitive and in change at the moment (e.g. BBIM, etc.). Nice way to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Well, they are "reading your messages" in the same way GMail is, that is; reading is perhaps not the righ word for what automated search algorithms do. All the big brand IM services (MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Facebook) have been running automated malware link block solutions for a very long time (also how they stopped the viral IM virus links that were a big problem once). I'm not saying it is right, but I'm more surprised Pirate Bay only recently got added to MSN blocklist (if it really is recent and not just a recent discovery), Facebook chat have already been doing this.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482675)

Including Google Talk? I've never seen from such tactics there, and XMPP is much more resilient to spam in the first place being default is no messages from users without presence notification. Finally the Google Talk clients from Google even have OTR built in.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (1)

ix42 (222898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483097)

Unless Google has changed the meaning of its "Off The Record" button since I last used it, that just means they won't save the conversation for later viewing in the gmail interface (or in the gmail interface of the person you're talking to).

They don't provide http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/ [cypherpunks.ca] as far as I can tell.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482547)

Do your talking via OTR and all these issues disappear. You'll have to abandon MS's own failclient and grab Pidgin, or some other that works with OTR.

Re:I noticed the blocks. (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482959)

This is why no-ip.org has a couple dozen alternative domains to choose from. Same idea with mailinator with sites that try to block you using mailinator e-mail addresses.

i use linux for my pirating needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482519)

And don't have MSN even on my dual boot XP. Yeah, XP, who needs newer?

URL shorteners, anyone? (5, Informative)

Polizei (1782856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482527)

So they block URLs, marking them as spam. Use a URL shortener, like t.co / bit.ly / what.ever, so you can bypass the scheme.

Re:URL shorteners, anyone? (5, Interesting)

oldlurker (2502506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482617)

So they block URLs, marking them as spam. Use a URL shortener, like t.co / bit.ly / what.ever, so you can bypass the scheme.

No you don't, they actually resolve the target links, at least for the common URL shortener services. That said, it is not difficult to get past the block, and I don't think they even tried to make it hard, original intent was to protect normal users from getting malware, which was a big problem with IM earlier.

since when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482577)

was MSFT concerned about malware, really? phttt!

evil (5, Insightful)

ebonum (830686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482601)

msn messages are between sender and receiver. Microsoft has a duty to encrypt these messages so that no one else can read them. No one includes Microsoft.

What next? Microsoft will start auto correcting my grammar? So that the receiver gets messages with everything spelled correctly and with correct grammar? Why not just start sending messages with what Microsoft thinks I want to say?

Really. This should be the same as the post office. Stay the fuck out of my personal correspondence. If you can't do that, there should be a law saying you are spying and should be in jail.

Honestly people. How can you tell China that deleting content is bad when an American company is setting this type of example? I'm tired of "Do as we say, not as we do."

Re:evil (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482641)

Microsoft has a duty to encrypt these messages so that no one else can read them. No one includes Microsoft.

lol.. what duty? they are a private company. they can do whatever they want.

Stay the fuck out of my personal correspondence. If you can't do that, there should be a law saying you are spying and should be in jail.

so stop using microsofts servers and they'll stop bothering you. use some other service. or setup your own jabber or irc server. Who exactly are you to tell them what to do with the data that you send to their servers?

man.. you entitled fucks are really annoying. why dont you kill yourself?

Re:evil (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482769)

I think the blocks are client-side and can be bypassed with some hacking so Microsoft doesn't read your messages.

Re:evil (3, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482815)

From experience with no-ip.org being blocked in the same way, even when neither side is using the official MSM client (Does anyone?) the message is still blocked - so, no, it isn't client-side.

Re:evil (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482943)

How can you tell China that deleting content is bad when an American company is setting this type of example?

Because saying they can't is an example of the appeal to hypocrisy fallacy.

But they still aren't very good role models...

Re:evil (1)

Pandur77 (1172799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483007)

MSN Messenger is about as personal as postcards. I don't trust the postal service not to sneak a peak on those.

Of course it's evil (2)

coder111 (912060) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483085)

Unless your messages are GPG or PGP encrypted when they leave your PC, you cannot be sure they are not intercepted, read, spied on, modified, data-mined and used to target ads, etc. It doesn't matter which company handles them. If you want your messages to be between sender & receiver- use proper encryption. There is no other way and there never was. Small shop Linux admins can cat /var/mail/ebonum just as well.

Now Microsoft has no duty to do anything. They provide messaging service for their own benefit & profit, not yours, with features they think benefit THEM most. Even if they include some encryption, it will be closed-source, lame and with backdoors. If you want to use their service, you have to accept these terms. If you don't- use something else. Jabber is still there, and so is IRC.

Ugly thing is that 99% of people using MSN will not know about these issues nor care about them. But that's just people. Unless it affects their salaries or pensions or benefits or religious sensibilities or beer prices, 99% percent of people will not care about it.

Oh, and even if you have GPG, you can still have a trojan or a hardware keylogger on your PC, so you'll never be 100% safe & secure. But you can tilt the odds somewhat in your favour.

--Coder

Re:evil (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483089)

msn messages are between sender and receiver. Microsoft has a duty to encrypt these messages so that no one else can read them. No one includes Microsoft.

Not really - all their obligated to do is what is in the TOS - if you don't like that, don't use their service. It's that simple.

What next? Microsoft will start auto correcting my grammar? So that the receiver gets messages with everything spelled correctly and with correct grammar? Why not just start sending messages with what Microsoft thinks I want to say?

I hope not, based on my experiences with Word's spell and grammar checking...

Really. This should be the same as the post office. Stay the fuck out of my personal correspondence. If you can't do that, there should be a law saying you are spying and should be in jail.

Honestly people. How can you tell China that deleting content is bad when an American company is setting this type of example? I'm tired of "Do as we say, not as we do."

Maybe because in China it's a government that is doing the censoring; whereas with MS it's a private company that offers a service and associated terms of service you can accept and use the service or reject and go elsewhere? You have no right to an expectation of privacy with a commercial service; beyond that in the TOS.

All 8 people were obviously upset about this (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482611)

All of the users, who also owned Xboxes, claimed "Microsoft is a dick" for doing this.

So now they do domain blockings too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482625)

The official client also randomly blocks urls with .php? in them, aside from generally being a bloated piece of crap full of ads.

Facebook too (5, Interesting)

firefrei (2569069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482629)

Facebook also blocks TPB links, and has for ages.

Microsoft and Facebook can do what they want - people can't complain too much, they are the company's networks after all, they can do what they want. But at least it's good in reminding people that their messages aren't private, and that there is going to be at least some automated checking of the contents before it's granted clearance to be sent through unaltered. If you really want to use an IM platform that's completely under your control (and not at the risk of censorship), then host your own XMPP server.

Re:Facebook too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482857)

... or use IRC with DCC, encrypted if you wish.

Re:Facebook too (5, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483039)

Microsoft and Facebook can do what they want - people can't complain too much, they are the company's networks after all, they can do what they want.

Would people have the same attitude as you if the phone company started beeping out words that they objected to? Or if the postal service started throwing away mail because they objected to the recipient? After all, the phone and the postal network belong to those companies, so they should be able to do whatever thay want?

Re:Facebook too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483193)

Microsoft and Facebook can do what they want - people can't complain too much, they are the company's networks after all, they can do what they want.

Would people have the same attitude as you if the phone company started beeping out words that they objected to? Or if the postal service started throwing away mail because they objected to the recipient? After all, the phone and the postal network belong to those companies, so they should be able to do whatever thay want?

Courts have held up again and again that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy over the phone and through the post office. The courts haven't caught up with digital messaging but they are slowly and methodically getting there. Of course you could do like the parent suggests and run your own XMPP service until the courts do catch up.

Re:Facebook too (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483325)

With Facebook there is an expectation that all your information is public, even your private chats. With MSN it's always been implicit that private conversations are between just the two users despite passing over their networks. The fact they are tampering with your messages is rather a big deal. Once they have broken that barrier of trust, which they now have, a significant share of that market will now move to an alternative. Which is not really a problem for Microsoft, they aren't making any money out of providing the MSN service, and the users will fragment rather than going to any of their rivals which as pointed out aren't any better.

Phillip.

Es tu, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482645)

What's wrong with Slashdot these days?
Recent articles: This one, Apple's free-to-use nano-sim patent, airline food tasting bad, probes of FB passwd sharing rumors...
I've already seen them all on general news site nu.nl before they appeared here.
A general, dutch news site. Reports on /.-style news faster than /..

Seriously: what happened? Is a general news site deeper into tech news nowadays than /.?
It can't be update frequency: after I read the story there, I see plenty of stories added here before the same story is finally posted.

I dunno about you all, but I liked it when /. gave me news ahead of it hitting general news. Trailing... not so nice.
</whine>

Re:Es tu, slashdot? (1, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482669)

Maybe other sites are interested in tech news these days too. In 1997, your average joe didn't care about passwords, OSs, or other nerd stuff. Now, there's lots of people who want to know. So slashdot isn't the only tech news site anymore. Go have some more cheese.

Re:Es tu, slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483069)

Can't really think of a time it's been faster since Digg and Reddit came out. Editor moderation and keeping stories to one or two per hour adds like 12-24hrs to the process of publishing a submission.

But in exchange you get a comment area that's mostly literate and with people who still put thought and time into their posts, and then maybe a couple hundred other posts on top of that.

Makes sense. (3, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482751)

Let's face it people, TPB isn't exactly a shining example of virtue. They do not give a shit who's ads they serve.

Re:Makes sense. (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483045)

So: Microsoft censoring TPB is bad, but TPB censoring ads would be good?

Re:Makes sense. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483355)

Well. Making sure their site doesn't become a mine field of bullshit browser hijacks would be great.

Windows 8 (2)

Taantric (2587965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482771)

I worry about Windows 8 with the tight integration with all your personal email, data everything sitting on the Microsoft Live cloud. Your Live email, Skydrive, Photos, Windows 8 IE history, bookmarks, apps, the desktop settings everything is on the MS Cloud and transiting through their network. What is there to stop them from giving the same treatment to the your entire computing.

Re:Windows 8 (2, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482895)

What is there to stop them from giving the same treatment to the your entire computing.

Easy: Linux, Mac OSX, Open/FreeBSD. It's not like MS is the only choice nowadays.

So they block mentioning their own products too? (0)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482785)

"Microsoft has confirmed that users of its instant messaging app will not be able to send each other links to popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, citing malware fears. 'We block instant messages if they contain malicious or spam URLs based on intelligence algorithms, third-party sources, and/or user complaints. Pirate Bay URLs were flagged by one or more of these and were consequently blocked,' Redmond told The Register in an emailed statement."

The worst malware I ever encountered is from microsoft (specifically windoze 95 and 98), I can remember the days, it took hours to get rid of all the problems and stuff it installed that I didn't want. I suppose they are also blocking all mentions of windoze 95/98?

Re:So they block mentioning their own products too (1)

Pandur77 (1172799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483051)

Windows ME = Worst malware I've ever had on one of my computers.

ooops (1)

gciochina (1655025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482833)

I know who will remain last in the instant messaging usage statistics :)

Magnet Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39482867)

Can't users just send the magnet links through the chat interface? Or god-forbid, email?
They are just pure text, so no need for html's, right?

Pointless Censorship (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39482961)

The obviousness oozes out of this article... for starters, who uses MS IM anymore? FB and gtalk have pretty much squeezed those out with mass appeal unless you have a multi-client and are holding onto it for legacy reasons. Secondly, much like anything else that has made national headlines for 'the solicitation and is a hub of means to access of copyrighted material' should probably be abandoned and use something else people.

I'm surprised and shocked... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483081)

....that anyone still uses MSN Messenger.

It occurs to me... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483249)

That it would probably be simple as hell to circumvent that blocking.
Either use one of the many alternative domains for TPB or use one of those url shortening services.

Alternatively, don't use messenger or find other way of referring to TPB via it.

Or as someone else mentioned, just copy and paste the magnet links, it's not like TPB actually USES the the torrent files anymore.

antitrust anyone? (1)

stewsters (1406737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483253)

Next we should block torrent outright. That should put a kabosh on those guys trying to download Linux via torrent.

Does Pirate Bay also serve legal content? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483291)

Does Pirate Bay also serve legal content? If so, by what authority can Microsoft block legal access to legal content? While I guess it is possible that people are spreading malware through Microsoft Messenger, only a fool would follow a link from someone they didn't know or who was anonymous. Even so, do people really need Microsoft to be big brother and protect us from the chance of accessing something containing malware? Censorship is censorship.

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