Windows 10 Users Banned by Torrent Tracker

The private torrent tracker iTS (In the Shadows) has banned users of Windows 10. The ban is based on the fear that Microsoft collects significant amounts of data from its users and sends them to its ...
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Windows 10 Users Banned by Torrent Tracker

by NewsEditor_ on August 24th, 2015 in Industry and Security News.

The private torrent tracker iTS (In the Shadows) has banned users of Windows 10. The ban is based on the fear that Microsoft collects significant amounts of data from its users and sends them to its partners, including a company used by content providers to monitor copyright infringement. A torrent tracker is a computer server which keeps track of file locations on user machines and facilitates transmission of torrent files, such as movies or software programs. In a statement, an administrator of the tracker wrote, “Unfortunately Microsoft decided to revoke any kind of data protection and submit whatever they can gather to not only themselves but also others. One of those is one of the largest anti-piracy company called MarkMonitor.” 

Microsoft’s partnership and data sharing with MarkMonitor are of particular concern based on the history of the latter company. MarkMonitor has been used by corporations in the past to enforce US copyright laws. Back in 2012, it was used by the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association to target individual users of file-sharing websites for alleged copyright infringement. Additionally, MarkMonitor is involved in active monitoring and detection of suspected copyright infringement activity for private corporations as part of the Copyright Alert System. The ban is based on the fear that the data Windows 10 collects from users will be used to monitor and combat torrents. 

This particular privacy concern is in keeping with the provision in Microsoft’s End User License Agreement (EULA) which states that “We may automatically check your version of the software…to update, enhance and further develop the Services, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.” This part of the license agreement has been referred to as Microsoft’s “piracy kill switch" by users and media outlets .

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