At 05:46 PM 8/15/2002 -0400, Matt Daggett wrote:

This was in response to a request for a source for the information given in 
a previous post:

>Also if anyone is thinking about installing Win2K SP3 better real the EULA
>very closely.  I basically gives Bill the ability to remotely install/remove

I've done two things.

(1) I went to the URLs given. They are references to articles asserting 
what Mr. Dagget reported. The language of the articles is not sober, they 
are polemic.

(2) Then I used Windows Update to obtain W2000 SP3. I read the user 
agreement carefully. It contained no provision similar to what was reported.

It is possible that it *did* contain such a provision, but that Microsoft 
removed it upon complaint. The provision itself, as reported, was rather 
vague in import. It could be interpreted to mean only that the software can 
do what it has long done, with user consent. This was the provision:

>"You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the 
>version of the OS Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and 
>may provide upgrades or fixes to the OS Product that will be automatically 
>downloaded to your computer."

with a few caveats and protections, I support, actually, that being part of 
the user agreement. Unpatched operating systems on computers connected to 
the internet are a security hazard that affects everyone, since these 
computers can be and have been used for DOS attacks, etc.

Yes, the same technology could be used for a sinister purpose. But the 
action agreed to is fairly narrow: "may ... check the version," and "may 
provide upgrades or fixes ... that will be automatically downloaded to your 

This does not allow Microsoft to, for example, check to see what other 
non-Microsoft software you have installed on your computer. And any user 
running firewall software can easily disable internet access for the update 

It is not explicit that such actions may be performed without immediate 
user notification. Maybe so, maybe not. Usually, however, OS patches 
require a system reboot to complete installation. Perhaps Microsoft would 
report the desireability of this reboot to the user.

I trust Microsoft in certain ways and not in others. I do not trust them to 
always act in my best interest. But I do trust them to -- not without error 
-- follow their own privacy policy and, obviously, to provide an operating 
system that does the job with reasonable safety and security. The provision 
described would help that.

If they have taken it out, that would probably mean that they will continue 
to warn and allow users to opt out, at least, of any update or update process.

* Tracking #: 49746EBDF829634A8114D18D1679FDF39DE4F533

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