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Microsoft Sued by a Beijing Student Over 'Privacy Violation'

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the guy-thinks-highly-of-himself dept.

Microsoft 157

freakxx writes "Xinhua report that a Beijing University student has sued Microsoft for allegedly gathering personal information via Windows Genuine Advantage. He has demanded a compensation of 1,350 RMB (around US$ 180) and an open apology printed in a national newspaper. The student has accused Microsoft of using WGA to gather information about his computer and himself, rather than solely checking whether or not the installed Windows XP system was genuine. A Microsoft spokesman has declined to speak on this issue and said that the matter is under investigation."

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Priceless (5, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595231)

Copy of Windows in China: $10

Settlement of legal dispute: $150

Suing Microsoft for collecting your personal info when you live in the People's Republic of China: Priceless.

There are some things you can blame on the government. For everything else, there's Microsoft.

Re:Priceless (2, Funny)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596339)

/me watches as Mastercard sends a takedown notice to /. regarding the parent post ;)

Outsource. This is not really funny. (1, Flamebait)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596529)

There are some things you can blame on the government. For everything else, there's Microsoft.

How do you tell the difference [slashdot.org] ? The severity of punishment for thought-crime in China makes privacy a very serious matter.

I'd like to make a joke about in how Communist China, you sue the BSA, but it's just not funny. People who look at the wrong web page are put in jail and executed for their organs. Technicians have testified before the US congress that prisoners were skinned alive to better preserve the skin. It should be a crime to do business with China.

I'm sure this is just PR and an attempt to shift blame to M$, but that's the kind of thing you expose yourself when you do business in a country like that.

Re:Outsource. This is not really funny. (4, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597037)

I would be careful about relying on the testimony of technicians. The United States was lulled into the first Gulf War partially on the testimony of a woman saying Iraqi troops were breaking into Kuwaiti hospitals and stomping infants in incubators to death. It later turned out the woman was a member of the Kuwaiti royal family, and made the whole thing up as part of a systematic Kuwaiti campaign to get America to attack their invaders.

That's not to say the charges against China are without basis. I'm just advocating some skepticism about people who may have a grudge against China, or have a good reason to lie about torture back home (so they can get asylum and citizenship here in the United States).

Re:Outsource. This is not really funny. (0, Redundant)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597095)

The US greatly surpass both Communist Soviet and WW2 Germany when it comes to propaganda. If you blindly believe things said by US authorities i have a bridge to sell you cheaply. Havent you asked yourself lately where all the WMD from Iraq is? China is does terrible things to its people but damn, how many people havent died in Gaza, Afganistan, Iran and Iraq because of direct involvment from the US? Atleast China maims and kills inside its own borders.

Re:Outsource. This is not really funny. (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597253)

Atleast China maims and kills inside its own borders.

Yeah, we should all be grateful for that. Most especially the people of Tibet.

Cool sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20597169)

People who look at the wrong web page are put in jail and executed for their organs. Technicians have testified before the US congress that prisoners were skinned alive to better preserve the skin.

M$, organ harvesting, chinese technicians and the US Congress. What might have sounded like paranoia before, starts to look like common sense.

... if you repeat it enough times.

Re:Outsource. This is not really funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20597971)

People who look at the wrong web page are put in jail and executed for their organs.

BWAHAHAHAHAH!!! You've been reading too much xenophobic propaganda my man.

Quote of the Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595233)

"What we can say is that Microsoft is fully committed to letting customers control their personal information."

Oh please, this is FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595251)

Spread by the Chinese. I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but this is just the Chinese government trying to make Microsoft look bad as a bargaining tactic.

Re:Oh please, this is FUD (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595493)

Spread by the Chinese. I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but this is just the Chinese government trying to make Microsoft look bad as a bargaining tactic.

Perhaps ... but then again, to be completely fair, you really don't have to work that hard to make Microsoft look bad.

Self worth (5, Funny)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595263)

$180? Where's the self-esteem, guy? They violated you!

Re:Self worth (5, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595559)

$180? Where's the self-esteem, guy? They violated you!
I know... I've never paid more than 75 to be violated...

Wait, what are we talking about?

Re:Self worth (3, Funny)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596663)

I don't know, my definition of prostitution is getting really blurred. You pay? She pays? I just don't know anymore...

In communist China.... (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596971)

1,350 RMB?

Seriously will buy you six hundred and seventy five 22oz beers here!

I think you guys are selling him short - he has this totally figured out......

Re:Self worth (5, Funny)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596023)

But just think - there goes 25% of Microsoft's Vista sales in China.

Re:Self worth (1)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596151)

It's just the beginning. Wait until the rest of the Chinese do the same....

If only... (5, Funny)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595265)

...He could do the same to his own government.

I'd rather Microsoft have my info (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595271)

I'd rather Microsoft have my personal info than the government. Any government.

Re:I'd rather Microsoft have my info (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595409)

I'd rather Microsoft have my personal info than the government. Any government.

If Microsoft had it they'd just sell it to the governent. Any government.

Re:I'd rather Microsoft have my info (2, Funny)

athdemo (1153305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595423)

You trust Microsoft, but not /.? Coward!

Re:I'd rather Microsoft have my info (0, Troll)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595429)

That explains why you posted as AC... Plush Balls and scared shitless!

Tin Foil Hat #132 (2, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595743)

I'd rather Microsoft have my personal info than the government. Any government.

You are assuming they are mutually exclusive...
             

Re:I'd rather Microsoft have my info (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595851)

I'd rather Microsoft have my personal info than the government. Any government.

How do you know Microsoft won't give the government your info? Wasn't MS one of those cited for giving the Chinese government data on people? Wasn't MS cited for sharing data with the US government, along with Yahoo while Google refused?

Falcon

Re:I'd rather Microsoft have my info (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597921)

They all do. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco are enemies of liberty. They are filthy collaborators.

M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to..... (0, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595313)

M$ should be able to force you to sing extra contract like Eula's on top of the ones at time you payed for XP for things like updates at are part of first contract / terms of sale.

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (5, Funny)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595333)

Only if they can also force people who can barely construct sentences to go back to school before posting on public forums as well........

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (5, Funny)

aevan (903814) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595521)

I don't know...forcing people to sing contracts when they agree, might severely cut back on their [EULA]length. I know my voice would.

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595557)

I don't know...forcing people to sing contracts when they agree, might severely cut back on their [EULA]length. I know my voice would.

You know, having only read the first half of this post, I was sure that you had transposed the "ng" in "sing."

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595585)

...and, now I see that the OP is where the "sing" came from.

Me == idiot.

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595609)

Perhaps he was using the Internet Explorer kelsey grammer and spull chigger ...

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (0, Flamebait)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595823)

Look at some of the parent's other posts here. English sucks as a second language.

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595359)

I completely agree with whatever you just said

Re:M$ should be abelto forceM$ should be able to.. (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595497)

M$ should be able to force you to sing extra contract like Eula's on top of the ones at time you payed for XP for things like updates at are part of first contract / terms of sale.
Yeah, but do you really think anyone would buy the recording?

- RG>

Oblig. Simpsons quote (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595317)

Mr. Burns: "Yes. But I have ten high-priced lawyers."

Customers. (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595321)

> "What we can say is that Microsoft is fully committed to letting customers control their personal information."

"Customers." They keep using that word. I do not think that word means what most of us think it means.

OEMs are the customer. The end user who purchases a PC from an OEM and finds himself dependent on Microsoft is not the customer, he is the product.

Re:Customers. (4, Funny)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596761)

Customer:
1) Person who potentially buys things. The one they buy from is known as a vendor.
2) (Microsoft dfn). Ugly bags of mostly water+some money. The idea is to get the money out of the bags and then be able to keep it. For some reason, the bags sort of hold on to it when it's being taken.

Re:Customers. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596791)

"Customers." They keep using that word. I do not think that word means what most of us think it means.

OEMs are the customer. The end user who purchases a PC from an OEM and finds himself dependent on Microsoft is not the customer, he is the product.


Oh, really. I really don't like when a Slashdotter pulls a one-bit logic on a painful issue.

How about a more realistic look: OEMs are the customer who buys the Windows licenses. And end-users are the customers of the hardware vendors who preinstall Windows on their machines to make them usable for the masses.

But wait, that doesn't sound shocking now, it sounds like the normal business it is.

Re:Customers. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20597245)

> How about a more realistic look: OEMs are the customer who buys the Windows licenses. And end-users are the customers of the hardware vendors who preinstall Windows on their machines to make them usable for the masses.

The problem with Microsoft is they're no longer working this way. Their business model is much more like that of RIAA/MPAA.

The guy watching Battlestar Galactica isn't the customer of the Sci-Fi Channel. He's the product. Sci-Fi's customer is the advertiser, who purchases the product (us). BSG is merely the means by which Sci-Fi delivers the product (us) to the customer (advertiser).

Similarly, Microsoft's installed base is the product. OEMs are the customer, users are the product, and the operating system is the means by which Dell gets to monetize its investment in Microsoft OEM licenses.

Re:Customers. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597713)

Sci-Fi's business model and Microsoft's have nothing in common.

Microsoft doesn't hand out free copies of Windows with embedded ads in them. But I enjoy your circular logical nonsense nonetheless. Enjoy.

He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1, Troll)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595329)

Hear me out. If he truly didn't want to be spied on, have his details collected, he should be getting the hell out of china, not using it's legal system to sue a company for doing what the government does to everybody everyday.

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (2, Insightful)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595381)

If he lives in China, where the government censors a hella lot of information, how do you expect him to know that the government is spying on him?

- RG>

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595623)

I doubt its that easy to just "get the hell out of China." Living and working in foreign countries can be quite difficult, even (especially) if you're a skilled laborer.

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597017)

I doubt its that easy to just "get the hell out of China." Living and working in foreign countries can be quite difficult, even (especially) if you're a skilled laborer.

...and that's before you even take into consideration the lengths to which most communist countries go to keep people from escaping.

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595797)

So basically, if I catch M$ spying on me, I should get the hell out of the US?

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1)

kennygraham (894697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596947)

$ure you $hould.

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (1)

deets (1072072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596245)

The difference here is that Microsoft won't kill you if you try to stop them from spying on you.

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (4, Insightful)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596279)

And, er, which country would you suggest he move to? Are you under the impression that there are any countries that don't collect personal data on their inhabitants and conduct surveillance on them? (I omit wiretaps, of course, as there are lots of countries that don't do that.)

Re:He's Chinese He Has No Rights! (3, Funny)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597677)

And, er, which country would you suggest he move to? Are you under the impression that there are any countries that don't collect personal data on their inhabitants and conduct surveillance on them? (I omit wiretaps, of course, as there are lots of countries that don't do that.)
Sealand!

Let him sue his government first (-1, Redundant)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595351)

He can not possibly claim that his privacy has been violated in any way which is meaningful in China.

Re:Let him sue his government first (2, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595479)

Same could be said about us USians.

Re:Let him sue his government first (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595681)

He can not possibly claim that his privacy has been violated in any way which is meaningful in China.
Or, you could look at it this way: A guy in China is claiming that his privacy has been violated by Microsoft. It sounds much more severe that way, doesn't it?

Re:Let him sue his government first (1)

SpeedDevil (1103763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595833)

PATRIOT Act ..... It will probably be extended again. 'nuff said

solidarity begins at home. (5, Insightful)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595361)

to those living in United States. before you start making fun of China, think of the situation with privacy in your homeland. Love, PPJ.

Re:solidarity begins at home. (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595551)

At least I, as an American, am allowed to think of such things.

Re:solidarity begins at home. (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595711)

Yes, to think freely and even to post freely on Internet. Let us all make sure that won't disappear one day.

Re:solidarity begins at home. (3, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595757)

At least I, as an American, am allowed to think of such things.
So are the Chinese. The problem is, how much are you practically able to express these things publicly? Recent events have shown that to be rapidly eroding in America.

Re:solidarity begins at home. (2, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596895)

The problem is, how much are you practically able to express these things publicly? Recent events have shown that to be rapidly eroding in America.

Such as what? What are you not able to express publicly in America?

A guarantee you that somewhere in America right now someone is standing on some street corner with a megaphone (covered in and-written cardboard signs probably) shouting that Bush did 9/11, that he's a war criminal, and should be tried and found guilty of treason. And if the police are doing anything, they're protecting him from the more sensible people who would like to smack him around.

Hyperbole is one thing, but when it becomes a paranoid fantasy-land where all statements are absurdities, it just takes us that much further from having rational debate and therefore rational policy.

Re:solidarity begins at home. (2, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597813)

And if the police are doing anything, they're protecting him from the more sensible people who would like to smack him around.

Keep dreaming [yahoo.com] ...

situation of privacy in the usa: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595579)

bad

getting worse

still a couple of orders of magnitude better than it is in china

this stunt is more of a nationalistic chest thumping exercise. were microsoft a chinese company and this guy had done what he did, he would be ignored, reprimanded, harasssed, or arrested. but being an american company, the authorities probably approve of it

and who said i found the situaiton in china, or the usa, funny?

Re:solidarity begins at home. (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597105)

Okay, thought about it. Yes, it is pretty laughable that the US Military has to now go to a judge before spying on a suspected member of a foreign terrorist organization. As goofy an inept as that makes us look, I still want to make fun of China. China's problem isn't exactly goofiness.

At that price... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595399)

I'd imagine MS has a tough decision to make... just pay up as going to court would be a lot more expensive (but perhaps set a precedent allowing others to sue them or threaten suit), or go to court and spend a lot more to hopefully prevent a precedent (assuming the guy wins).

Re:At that price... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595849)

They cannot settle. $180.00 times 1 Billion people...

Re:At that price... (1)

l3mr (1070918) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596061)

Oh, but they can. As a rough guess, there may be as many as 5000 legal windows copies in China. What's the problem? :)

Free Software? (0, Flamebait)

sweetandy (1051830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595415)

It's like Catholicism! Why have your computer controlled by some remote, powerful entity rather than by yourself?

Re:Free Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595965)

It's like Catholicism! Why have your computer controlled by some remote, powerful entity rather than by yourself?
A PC + Holy Water = Holy Smoke

Re:Free Software? (1)

killdozer3k (779295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596025)

No. In Catholicism they reveal that your computer has already been controlled by an evil entity that hates you but that a good entity loves you and wants to install beneficial software that will help you.

You can keep using the evil software for free and keep paying hidden fees or you can get a new install of the good software that someone else has already paid for.

Re:Free Software? (1)

killdozer3k (779295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596055)

In case you don't get the parallels: bad software=M$/Devil and the good software =God/Jesus/Linux/Unix/*nix all of which run on the AnthropOS

Just fighting against spyware (1)

Creamsickle (792801) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595457)

I applaud this person for taking a principled stand against spyware that has been forced upon him.

The fact it's made by Microsoft should be irrelevant, just analyze the behavior of the application and judge it on that.

WGA communicates unique information at any time to an American based advertising company (msn anybody?) with you the user having no idea of what data and what the implications are of giving this company that data.

Can your business really risk an application like this on your systems? Are you prepared for the consequences of letting this program run unchallenged inside your companies infrastructure?

Re:Just fighting against spyware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595933)

Shut up retard. It notifies you that it's collecting this information when it does its thing. It doesn't tell you what it is, presumably if it is that important to you you can switch to Red Flag Linux or the like. More over the information cannot be used to identify the user, so unlike every other transaction or interaction in China, the user in question has a guarantee of complete annonymity.

Re:Just fighting against spyware (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597481)

presumably if it is that important to you you can switch to Red Flag Linux or the like.

      I already have.

Why Doesn't Someone Do It In the U.S.? (4, Insightful)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595489)

WGA works the same here as it does in China. The notion that they collect "no personal information" is very clever, but untrue.

Microsoft can easily associate your pc with a record in their backend because each pc generates a unique signature. They don't have your name at the moment, but that doesn't mean they don't know who's using their OS when and where. Given the number of times a windows box phones home when it goes online, I'd say there's plenty they know about you.

This is exactly like the story some months ago where AOL gave out search data that was supposedly private. Same situation, bigger fish.

BTW, if you are still married to a microsoft OS, your software firewall should be good enough to alert you when it attempts these connections. My Kerio firewall at work does it. And marriage is the right word for it because sometimes you wonder what the hell you got yourself into.

Re:Why Doesn't Someone Do It In the U.S.? (1)

sweetandy (1051830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595577)

I think nobody does it in the US because here in the US we're all talk and no action. That, and we're also much more afraid of the corporations and their power than we say we are - in major part because we buy everything they feed us and we're afraid of what will happen if that hand suddenly doesn't come out for lunch. I may live hand-to-mouth with my computers, but at least it's my hand.

Can not mix person and non-personal info ... (3, Informative)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595943)

The notion that they collect "no personal information" is very clever, but untrue. Microsoft can easily associate your pc with a record in their backend because each pc generates a unique signature.

I have some experience in this area. According to our attorneys, but being informally paraphrased by myself, it was important to never mix personally identifiable information (PII) and non-personal information. Any mixing or linking would cause the non-personal to become PII and therefore under the jurisdiction of US and international legislation, with more legislation on the way given the new found importance of this topic. So to make life simple, I may collect the operating system version for demographic reasons but I can not record an account name, IP number, or other PII with that information, nor could I have some common key to associate records in PII and non-personal databases.

Common key? (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596183)

Wait a minute.

I may collect the operating system version for demographic reasons but I can not record an account name, IP number, or other PII with that information

I still don't see how that should make Windows users feel secure.

History has repeatedly shown it's quite easy for Microsoft to argue in court they don't "collect" PII despite the fact they most likely do. Anecdotes abound of Judges and cases where technical fiction often passes as fact.

Judging by the number of times my windows box phoned home on a daily basis, I'd say they have an excellent idea who I am and what I'm doing. The rest is arbitrary legal fiction.

Re:Common key? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20596227)

Being able to do something and actually doing something are quite different things.

So much for the... (0, Offtopic)

Skiron (735617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595555)

... great firewall of China.

under investigation? (1)

varkman (818678) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595671)

A Microsoft spokesman has declined to speak on this issue and said that the matter is under investigation.
What I mean is, when you install the "WGA" it says personal information is _not_ sent to microsoft, so why is there any need to investigate, as they are NOT doing it?

On a more funny note : the spell checker (of course) thinks i should write microsoft with a capital; wasn't really expecting that :)

Re:under investigation? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597469)

when you install the "WGA" it says personal information is _not_ sent to microsoft, so why is there any need to investigate, as they are NOT doing it?

      Because "we will investigate" is the standard, canned answer for ANY corporation. It sounds real pro-active and nice and all that.

Can you say, "settle out of court?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595679)

Drop a couple thousand to avoid the bad PR of the newspaper apology and we never hear from him again.

Or just ask the government for a favor and _nobody_ hears from him again.

We're doomed (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595719)

They are gaining in space, have cheaper manufacturing, out-hacked us (pentagon penetration last week), and finally they are taking our last remaining comparative advantage away: law-suits.
     

Re:We're doomed (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597155)

Are you kidding? The Chinese are not catching up at all!! A weesy beesy $180?? What about punitive damages?? On a serious note, asking for a reasonable amount of money and a public apology does make people think that he's doing this out of principle and conviction, not motivated by greed. If the Chinese civic legal system continue to evolute this way, who knows? Maybe in 50 years, it won't be so bad after all.

Probably the most important lawsuit this year (5, Insightful)

SpeedDevil (1103763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595721)

I truly hope he wins. And I am glad that he is not asking for much. I'm pretty sure Microsoft will try to settle out of court but I am also pretty sure this guy is not really doing this for the money. The Chinese government has been trying to reinforce the people's trust in their legal system so I don't think they will just push the case aside, especially after it being covered on Slashdot. I really hope this case gets the attention it needs because this case could be the answer to protecting the privacy of all of us. Setting the precedent in China will make way for more precedents elsewhere. Lu Feng ... we are with you!!! K PS: I'm pretty sure somebody in Microsoft is going nuts right now ... hehe

Re:Probably the most important lawsuit this year (1)

SpeedDevil (1103763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596139)

I might have got the guy's name wrong ... Sorry

Re:Probably the most important lawsuit this year (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597187)

I am sure all Chinese high level legal officials are faithful /.er's.
After all, there are many US bashers here.

Re:Probably the most important lawsuit this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20597959)

I agree with almost everything you say except, I don't think the Chinese government really cares or not what appears on Slashdot. I think if you compare the Slashdot reader demographic with the Chinese population demographic you might notice some differences. Remember Lei Feng!

Why so stingy (4, Funny)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595731)

Dude, it's Microsoft. You need to move that decimal place at least six more places to the right.

Re:Why so stingy (3, Funny)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20595779)

You need to move that decimal place at least six more places to the right.

Not a problem. If he wins, millions of other Chinese will follow suit. I don't think that China has class actions, so Microsoft will have the fun and expense of defending each suit separately if they don't settle.

Re:Why so stingy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595821)

No, this is perfect, Microsoft will have to pay many times that to defend themselves or settle. This is less than chump change, it's quite brilliant and in China I bet it goes a long way for a student. Maybe they'll settle.

Re:Why so stingy (1)

SpeedDevil (1103763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596045)

"Your Honor, are you saying I have less right to privacy than somebody in China!!!"

Re:Why so stingy (3, Insightful)

zen-theorist (930637) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596417)

i'd say its a bit of a gamble. maybe if MS fess up to this one and pay it instead of contesting (why not?) it could set legal precedent, and then the amounts could be much higher..

Treshold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20595907)

I think Microsoft is getting really close to the threshold both at personal and corporate level where consumers will simply refuse their products, because of the continuous, repeated bad taste Windows leaves behind.

Microsoft...what absolute & complete CRAP! (0, Troll)

MS Bleauxs (1156513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596201)

Having used Apple computers for the past 5 years, I thought it might be interesting to try a new MS-based laptop to run MS Flight Simulator. What a MISTAKE! I cannot believe the people put up with such idosyncracies & illogical operating environments such as Vista Home Premium. This is the WORST computer system I have used since the first 386sx hit the market over 10 years ago. I will return this computer to Dell this week. Nothing particularly wrong with the hardware, it's just that Microsoft has this machine choked with ridiculous interactions that are beyond my tolerance. When people first use an Apple computer, they are pleasantly surprised. It just works! And Apple computer's software makes sense. On the other hand, as "pretty" as the shell is for Vista, I cannot honestly believe that a team decided to field this poor software to the public. Microsoft Vista is like a machine with adjustable knobs hanging off its sides, but get in the way all the time, and interfere with the use and function of the actual software. It's sad that Microsoft apparently only focused on the external appearance of Vista, rather than getting "inside" the software and actually making it user-friendly. But with Microsoft, that will (apparently) never happen. Viva Apple Computer.

Re:Microsoft...what absolute & complete CRAP! (1)

SpeedDevil (1103763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596241)

If the dude wins the case I might reconsider dual booting Windows again. Well, I said I might reconsider, I'm too lazy to reboot Lenny so I can't really see myself going through the trouble. :D

Sneaky :) (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596235)

Yup, once the Chinese legal system settles in this guys favor, the Chinese government will no doubt use a ruse such as this to ban WGA checks within their borders. For Privacy... Yeah. Not to get free access to all those patches on Windows Update without the check... Oh no, they would never do that... :)

I wonder if Canadians can do the same thing? (0, Flamebait)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596909)

Unlike the US, Canada has strong privacy rights, as Google is finding out, and which belong to all their citizens ... hmmm.

Re:I wonder if Canadians can do the same thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20597899)

"Canada has strong privacy rights"

It doesn't matter though since private companies have more quite a lot of clout in government via lobbying, etc. I mean really short of doing a full on thorough investigating microsoft buildings and personel with the right people, how is the government going to know what they are doing?

Why We're The Only Superpower (0, Offtopic)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#20596959)

$180? Dude, YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT. Until other countries get some lawyers who know how to properly sue multinational corporations, America's supremacy in the world will never be challenged.

Lacking details? What information? (1)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597485)

Nowhere in TFA does it mention what information he claims it collects, or how it collects it. Until I see some details, I'm calling BS on this.

He obvously forgot... (0, Offtopic)

grilled-cheese (889107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20597937)

He obviously forgot to wear his tinfoil hat.
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