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Direct practical problems with using Microsoft Github

  1. A survey shows that a significant number of bug reports are withheld when the bug tracker is inside a restrictive or politically controversial walled-garden like MS Github or gitlab.com. This ultimately hinders the quality of software in the commons.
  2. Github is Tor-hostile according to Tor project. GH has started forcing Tor users through an extra email verification step that effectively discourages bug reports: github-tor_hostility
  3. Github takes a hostile posture toward burner accounts, and they enforce it. Burner accounts are important for privacy because aggregation of pseudo-anonymous identities enables adversaries to identify someone. Even notwithstanding doxxing, aggregation blocks someone from working on something like "a design for a better marijuana bong" while also working on a project like "business critical infrastructure" for his boss. The bong project might ruin the user's reputation from the standpoint of a commercial job. Burner accounts protect users so they can work on multiple projects, and Microsoft bans that protection.
  4. MS failed to secure Github, which was breached to the tune of 500gb of private projects. Then security was breached again in July 2020 when OAuth tokens were stolen from both Github and Gitlab.com. Security incompetence is further showcased by an MS-imposed requirement to create and account and sign in to report an MS security bug. And for those not discouraged by that, the sign-in page is also broken.
  5. MS suppresses democracy by blocking Github access to a project that facilitates protests in Catalonia. MS also banned the account of an anti-censorship developer.
  6. In 2021 1st quarter, MS sabotaged the deCloudflare project, a charitable humanitarian project that gives the general public tools and knowledge to avoid Cloudflare. MS did that silently and without warning or discussion. The user account was also suspended: github-ban
  7. Free software projects that rely on non-free software "put everyone at the whim of the groups and individuals who produce the tools they depend on," and it puts free software developers in a position of hypocrisy.

Ethical problems with using Microsoft products and services

  1. Microsoft harms the environment by serving the two most destructive oil companies in the world: ExxonMobil and Chevron.
    1. (#ExxonKnew) Exxon notoriously knew about climate change since 1977. They not only kept it secret from the public, but they also financed a disinformation campaign.
    2. Microsoft and Chevron were caught each paying $100k to "the Cloakroom", a project to hide bribes going from large corporations to republican politicians.
    3. Chevron's right-leaning stance is further pushed through its membership with ALEC, which doubles as a superPAC and bill mill that lobbies and writes policy for U.S. republicans.
  2. Microsoft is a notorious privacy abuser:
    1. MS is a PRISM corporation prone to mass surveillance.
    2. MS supported CISPA and collaborates with the NSA.
    3. MS paid $195k to fight the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
    4. MS drug tests its employees, thus intruding on their privacy outside the workplace.
    5. MS finances other privacy abusers:
      1. In 2012 Microsoft spent $35 million on Facebook ads and in 2015 Microsoft was the third biggest spender on Facebook ads in the world.
      2. MS proxies through Accenture to make Sweden cashless. The war on cash is war on privacy.
    6. MS supplies Bing search service which gives high rankings to privacy-abusing CloudFlare websites.
    7. MS owns and operates Outlook Email and the LinkedIn social media site, both of which are exclusive walled-gardens that limit participation to those who have a phone number and the will to share it with Microsoft.
      1. MS supplies hotmail.com email service, which uses vigilante extremist org Spamhaus to force residential internet users to share all their e-mail metadata and payloads with a corporate third-party.
    8. MS unlawfully used people's images without consent to train their facial recognition products
    9. MS distributes a nonfree operating system, Microsoft Windows, which is jam-packed with malicious functionalities, including surveillance of users, DRM, censorship and a universal back door.
    10. MS was caught surreptitiously recording Xbox users and paying contractors to listen to the recordings.
    11. Dutch government commissioned a study which found Microsoft to have several GDPR violations. E.g. Office 365 violates GDPR article 51.c, GDPR article 17, and stores the data outside the EEA (may also be a GDPR breach).
  3. Microsoft is detrimental to human rights and democracy
    1. Microsoft finances AnyVision to produce facial recognition technology that the Israeli military uses as a weapon against the Palestinian people who they oppress in their occupation. Note that Israeli snipers murdered an unarmed civilian Palestinian medic (in breach of the Geneva Convention) then edited the video to deceive the public for PR damage control.
    2. Microsoft supports ICE in a variety of ways in the course of ICE's implementation of Trump's xenophobic border policies. Microsoft services an ICE contract worth $19.4 million dollars despite protest from employees. In addition to MS Office products, Microsoft has renewed a Github contract and also supplies cloud computing through its Azure platform.
    3. MS partnered with FedEx, an NRA-supporting ALEC member as well as JP Morgan Chase, the most evil bank in the world.
    4. MS conceals US military contracts to bias PR and dodge social accountablity. They have a much bigger piece these contracts than the rest of MACFANG, they lack Google's AI principles, and unlike Google they ignore employee protest and petitions.
  4. MS is among the top 15 recipients of Trump's corporate tax breaks, a benefit of $128 billion. Microsoft sacked hundreds of employees immediately after receiving the tax breaks in February 2018.
  5. MS is anti-consumer and anti-competitive
    1. MS tricked users into "upgrading" to Windows 10, which sabotages users in a variety of ways, one of which is to prevent cloud-free accounts.
    2. MS strong-armed nearly all PC manufacturers charge every buyer for an MS Windows license regardless of whether the user actually wants Windows.
    3. MS hoards software patents and uses them to fight free software.
    4. Github has an F rating by the FSF.