Russians terrified by Microsoft snooping

Vladimir Putin - Wikimedia CommonsThe Russian Kingdom of Tsar Putin is bothered by the fact that Windows 10 makes no bones about its snooping prowess.

A top Russian politician, Nikolai Levichev, has written to the country’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, calling for government departments to be banned from using Windows 10.  Normally when stories like this come out of Russia, Putin’s politicians are worried that strong Russian men will become weak homosexuals by using the technology, but in this case it is real concern about Windows 10 phoning Redmond all the time.

Levichev is deputy speaker in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, and leader of “A Just Russia,” the third-largest party there.

All software used by government agencies has to be certified in Russia, and this has not happened yet for Windows 10.  This usually takes six months from the launch of a new product, but since Windows 10 was a free upgrade people installed it.

Levichev also wrote to the head of Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, asking him to investigate whether Microsoft is in compliance with Russian laws given the way that Windows 10 can gather and transmit personal data.

Two weeks ago, the Russian member of parliament, Vadim Solovyov, asked the country’s attorney general to investigate (translated) whether Windows 10 violates Russian privacy laws. He said that  some of the information gathered by the latest version of the operating system when running on government computers would be classified.

He dubbed Vole’s activities “espionage.” In response, Microsoft said that data was only gathered with the user’s consent.