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<h2>Proprietary Sabotage</h2>

<a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Other examples of proprietary malware</a>

<div class="infobox">
<hr class="full-width" />
<p>Nonfree (proprietary) software is very often malware (designed to
mistreat the user). Nonfree software is controlled by its developers,
which puts them in a position of power over the users; <a
href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">that is the
basic injustice</a>. The developers and manufacturers often exercise
that power to the detriment of the users they ought to serve.</p>

<p>Here

<p>This typically takes the form of malicious functionalities.</p>
<hr class="full-width" />
</div>

<div class="article">
<p>Some malicious functionalities mediate sabotage, i.e. abusive
interference of the developer into the use of the software, with harmful
consequences for the users. Examples of such situations are listed below.</p>

<div class="important">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>

<div class="column-limit" id="proprietary-sabotage"></div>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M202105040">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2021-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>A motorcycle company named Klim is selling airbag
    vests with different payment methods, one of them is through a <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/93yyyd/this-motorcycle-airbag-vest-will-stop-working-if-you-miss-a-payment">proprietary
    subscription-based option that will block the vest from inflating if
    the payments don't go through</a>.</p>

    <p>They say there is a 30-days grace period if you miss a payment
    but the grace period is no excuse to the insecurity.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M202011120">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2020-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple has <a
    href="https://sneak.berlin/20201112/your-computer-isnt-yours">implemented
    a malware in its computers that imposes surveillance</a> on users
    and reports users' computing to Apple.</p>

    <p>The reports are examples even unencrypted and they've been leaking this
    data for two years already. This malware is reporting to Apple what
    user opens what program at what time. It also gives Apple
    power to sabotage users' computing.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M202011060">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2020-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>A new app published by Google <a
    href="https://www.xda-developers.com/google-device-lock-controller-banks-payments/">lets
    banks and creditors deactivate people's Android devices</a> if they
    fail to make payments. If someone's device gets deactivated, it will
    be limited to basic functionality, such as emergency calling and
    access to settings.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M202010120">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2020-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Samsung is forcing its smartphone users in Hong Kong (and Macau) <a
    href="https://blog.headuck.com/2020/10/12/samsung-phones-force-mainland-china-dns-service-upon-hong-kong-wifi-users/">to
    use a public DNS in Mainland China</a>, using software update released
    in September 2020, which causes many unease and privacy concerns.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M202008182">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2020-08</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Oculus headsets <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/18/21372435/oculus-facebook-login-change-separate-account-support-end-quest-october">require
    users to identify themselves to Facebook</a>. This will give Facebook
    free rein to pervasively snoop on Oculus users.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M202007270">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2020-07</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The Mellow sous-vide cooker is
    tethered to a server. The company suddenly <a
    href="https://www.slashgear.com/mellow-sous-vide-owners-get-unwelcome-subscription-surprise-27630842/">
    turned this tethering into a subscription</a>, forbidding users from
    taking advantage of the “advanced features” of the cooker
    unless they pay a monthly fee.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201912090">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-12</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>iMonsters and Android phones,
    when used for work, give employers powerful <a
    href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90440073/if-you-use-your-personal-phone-for-work-say-goodbye-to-your-privacy">
    snooping and sabotage capabilities</a> if they install their own
    software on the device.  Many employers demand to do this.  For the
    employee, this is simply nonfree software, as fundamentally unjust
    and as dangerous as any other nonfree software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201910071">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Adobe has <a
    href="https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/adobe-to-ban-users-from-venezuela-due-to-us-executive-order/">
    cancelled the software subscriptions of all users in
    Venezuela</a>. This demonstrates how a requirement for subscription can be
    turned into a tool for sabotage.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201909160">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Tesla users claim Tesla <a
    href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-battery/tesla-owner-lawsuit-claims-software-update-fraudulently-cut-battery-capacity-idUSKCN1UY2TW">force-installed
    software to cut down on battery range</a>, rather than replace the
    defective batteries. Tesla did this to avoid having to run their
    warranty.</p>

    <p>This means that proprietary software can potentially be a way to
    commit perjury with impunity.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201908130">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-08</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>When Apple suspects a user of fraud, it
    judges the case secretly and presents the verdict
    as a fait accompli.  The punishment to a user found guilty <a
    href="https://qz.com/1683460/what-happens-to-your-itunes-account-when-apple-says-youve-committed-fraud/">is
    being cut off for life, which more-or-less cripples the user's Apple
    devices forever</a>.  There is no appeal.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201904041">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Microsoft has been  <a
    href="https://borncity.com/win/2019/01/17/windows-10-update-kb4023057-re-released-1-16-2019/">
    force-installing a “remediation”
    program</a> on computers running certain
    versions of Windows 10. Remediation, in Microsoft's view, means <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/kb4023057-update-for-windows-10-update-service-components-fccad0ca-dc10-2e46-9ed1-7e392450fb3a">
    tampering with users' settings and files</a>, notably to
    “repair” any components of the updating system that users
    may have intentionally disabled, and thus regain full power over
    them. Microsoft repeatedly pushed faulty versions of this program to
    users' machines, causing numerous problems, some of which <a
    href="https://www.windowsmode.com/microsoft-suspends-windows-10-october-2018-update-rollout-due-to-critical-bugs/">
    critical</a>.</p>

    <p>This exemplifies the arrogant and manipulative attitude
    that proprietary software developers have learned to adopt
    toward the people they are supposedly serving. Migrate to a <a
    href="/distros/free-distros.html">free operating system</a> if you
    can!</p>

    <p>If your employer makes you run Windows, tell the financial
    department how this wastes your time dealing with endless connections
    and premature hardware failures.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201904040">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Ebooks “bought” from Microsoft's store check that
    their DRM is valid by connecting to the store every time their
    “owner” wants to read them. Microsoft is going to close
    this store, <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47810367">
    bricking all DRM'ed ebooks it has ever “sold”</a>. (The
    article additionally highlights the pitfalls of DRM.)</p>

    <p>This is another proof that a DRM-encumbered product doesn't belong
    to the person who bought it. Microsoft said it will refund customers,
    but this is no excuse for selling them restricted books.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201903250">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-03</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The British supermarket Tesco sold tablets which were tethered
    to Tesco's server for reinstalling default settings.  Tesco <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/25/tesco-hudl-tablet-support-kill-fix">
    turned off the server for old models</a>, so now if you try to
    reinstall the default settings, it bricks them instead.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201902041">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2019-02</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Twenty nine “beauty camera” apps that used to be
    on Google Play had one or more malicious functionalities, such
    as stealing users' photos instead of “beautifying” them, <a
    href="https://www.teleanalysis.com/these-29-beauty-camera-apps-steal-private-photo/">
    pushing unwanted and often malicious ads on users, and redirecting them
    to phishing sites</a> that stole their credentials. Furthermore, the
    user interface of most of them was designed to make uninstallation
    difficult.</p>

    <p>Users should of course uninstall these dangerous apps if they
    haven't yet, but they should also stay away from nonfree apps in
    general. <em>All</em> nonfree apps carry a potential risk because
    there is no easy way of knowing what they really do.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201811020">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Foundry's graphics software <a
    href="https://torrentfreak.com/software-company-fines-pirates-after-monitoring-their-computers-181102/">
    reports information to identify who is running it</a>. The result is
    often a legal threat demanding a lot of money.</p>

    <p>The fact that this is used for repression of forbidden sharing
    makes it even more vicious.</p>

    <p>This illustrates that making unauthorized copies of nonfree software
    is not a cure for the injustice of nonfree software. It may avoid
    paying for the nasty thing, but cannot make it less nasty.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201810240">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple and Samsung deliberately <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/24/apple-samsung-fined-for-slowing-down-phones">degrade
    the performance of older phones to force users to buy their newer
    phones</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201810150">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Printer manufacturers are very innovative—at blocking the
    use of independent replacement ink cartridges. Their “security
    upgrades” occasionally impose new forms of cartridge DRM. <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/pa98ab/printer-makers-are-crippling-cheap-ink-cartridges-via-bogus-security-updates">
    HP and Epson have done this</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201807050">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-07</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The Jawbone fitness tracker was tethered to a proprietary phone
    app.  In 2017, the company shut down and made the app stop working. <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/05/defunct-jawbone-fitness-trackers-kept-selling-after-app-closure-says-which">All
    the existing trackers stopped working forever</a>.</p>

    <p>The article focuses on a further nasty fillip, that sales of the
    broken devices continued. But we think that is a secondary issue;
    it made the nasty consequences extend to some additional people.
    The fundamental wrong was to design the devices to depend on something
worse than
    else that didn't respect users' freedom.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201806250">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The game Metal Gear Rising for
    MacOS was tethered to a back door.</p>

<ul>
  <li>
    <p> server.  The company <a
    href="http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/400087-metal-gear-rising-mac-unplayable-drm">
    shut down the server, and all copies stopped working</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201805310">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2018-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple has <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/31/17412396/telegram-apple-app-store-app-updates-russia">blocked
    Telegram from upgrading its app for a month</a>.</p>

    <p>This evidently has to do with Russia's command to Apple to block
    Telegram in Russia.</p>

    <p>The Telegram client is free software on other platforms, but not on
    iThings. Since <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html#apple">they
    are jails</a>, they don't permit any app to be free software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201711080">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Logitech will sabotage
    all Harmony Link household control devices by <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/11/logitech-to-shut-down-service-and-support-for-harmony-link-devices-in-2018/">
    turning off the server through which the products' supposed owners
    communicate with them</a>.</p>

    <p>The owners suspect this is to pressure them to buy a newer model. If
    they are wise, they will learn, rather, to distrust any product that
    requires users to talk with them through some specialized service.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710044">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>MacOS High Sierra forcibly reformats SSD boot drives, and <a
    href="https://www.macworld.com/article/3230498/apple-file-system-apfs-faq.html">
    changes the file system from HFS+  to APFS</a>, which cannot be
    accessed from GNU/Linux, Windows or even older versions of MacOS.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710040.1">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The Canary home surveillance
    camera has been sabotaged by its manufacturer, <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/10/4/16426394/canary-smart-home-camera-free-service-update-change">
    turning off many features unless the user starts paying for a
    subscription</a>.</p>

    <p>With manufacturers like these, who needs security breakers?</p>

    <p>The purchasers should learn the larger lesson and reject connected
    appliances with embedded proprietary software. Every such product is
    a temptation to commit sabotage.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201709090">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Tesla used software to limit customers to using just <a
    href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/09/tesla-flips-a-switch-to-increase-the-range-of-some-cars-in-florida-to-help-people-evacuate/">part
    of the battery of some cars</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201708230">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-08</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Sonos <a
    href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/sonos-accept-new-privacy-policy-speakers-cease-to-function/">
    told all its customers, “Agree”
    to snooping or the product will stop working</a>.  <a
    href="https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/sonos-holds-software-updates-hostage-if-you-dont-sign-new-privacy-agreement/">
    Another article</a> says they won't forcibly change the software, but
    people won't be able to get any upgrades and eventually it will
    stop working.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201706060">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple will stop <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/06/iphone-ipad-apps-games-apple-5-5c-obsolete">fixing
    bugs for older model iThings</a>.</p>

    <p>Meanwhile, Apple stops people from fixing problems themselves;
    that's the nature of proprietary software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201705180">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Bird and rabbit pets were implemented for Second
    Life by a company that tethered their food to a server.  <a
    href="https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/05/19/second-life-ozimals-pet-rabbits-dying">
    It shut down the server and the pets more or less died</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704194">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Microsoft has made Windows 7
    and 8 cease to function on certain new computers, <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012982/the-processor-is-not-supported-together-with-the-windows-version-that">effectively
    forcing their owners to switch to Windows 10</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704134">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Microsoft <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/new-processors-are-now-blocked-from-receiving-updates-on-old-windows/">
    has dropped support for Windows 7 and 8 on recent processors</a>
    in a big hurry.</p>

    <p>It makes no difference what legitimate reasons Microsoft might
    have for not doing work to support them. If it doesn't want to do
    this work, it should let users do the work.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704120">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Anova sabotaged users' cooking devices
    with a downgrade that tethered them to a remote server. <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170415145520/https://consumerist.com/2017/04/12/anova-ticks-off-customers-by-requiring-mandatory-accounts-to-cook-food/">Unless
    users create an account on Anova's servers, their cookers won't
    function</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704070">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2017-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p id="iphone7-sabotage">The
    iPhone 7 contains DRM specifically designed to <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en/article/kbjm8e/iphone-7-home-button-unreplaceable-repair-software-lock">
    brick it if an “unauthorized” repair shop fixes it</a>.
    “Unauthorized” essentially means anyone besides Apple.</p>

    <p><small>(The article uses the term “lock”
    to describe the DRM, but we prefer to use the term <a
    href="/philosophy/words-to-avoid.html#DigitalLocks"> digital
    handcuffs</a>.)</small></p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201612200">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-12</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The developer of Ham Radio Deluxe <a
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161220/12411836320/company-bricks-users-software-after-he-posts-negative-review.shtml">sabotaged
    a customer's installation as punishment for posting a negative
        review</a>.
    </p>
    review</a>.</p>

    <p>Most proprietary software companies don't use their power so
    harshly, but the point it is an injustice that they all <em>have</em> such
    power.</p>
  </li>

  <li>

  <li id="M201609200">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>HP's firmware downgrade <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/20/hp-inkjet-printers-unofficial-cartridges-software-update">imposed
    DRM on some printers, which now refuse to function with third-party
    ink cartridges</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li>

  <li id="M201606270">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p id="windows10-forcing">In its efforts to trick users of Windows
    7 and 8 into installing all-spying Windows 10 against their
    will, Microsoft forced their computers to <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/11/microsoft-downloading-windows-1">
    silently download… the whole of Windows 10</a>! Apparently,
    this was done through a <a
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html#windows-update">
    universal back door</a>. Not only did the unwanted downloads <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/03/windows_10_upgrade_satellite_link/">
    jeopardize important operations in regions of the world with poor
    connectivity</a>, but many of the people who let installation proceed
    found out that this “upgrade” was in fact a <a
    href="http://gizmodo.com/woman-wins-10-000-from-microsoft-after-unwanted-window-1782666146">
    downgrade</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606080">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/14/uninstall_quicktime_for_windows/">
    stops users from fixing the security bugs in Quicktime for Windows</a>,
    while refusing to fix them itself.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606010">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Once Microsoft has tricked a user
    into accepting installation of Windows 10, <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/01/windows_10_nagware_no_way_out/">they
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/01/windows_10_nagware_no_way_out/">they
    find that they are denied the option to cancel or even postpone the
    imposed date of installation</a>.</p>

    <p>This demonstrates what we've said for years: using proprietary
    software means letting someone have power over you, and you're going
    to get screwed sooner or later.</p>
  </li>

  <li>

  <li id="M201605040">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>The Apple Music client program <a href="https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/">scans
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20170520213355/https://blog.vellumatlanta.com/2016/05/04/apple-stole-my-music-no-seriously/">scans
    the user's file system for music files, copies them to an Apple server,
    and deletes them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
    <p>Apple

  <li id="M201604050">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Revolv is a device that managed “smart home”
    operations: switching lights, operate motion sensors, regulating
    temperature, etc.  Its proprietary software depends on a remote server
    to do these tasks.  On May 15th, 2016, Google/Alphabet <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160608183145/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/14/uninstall_quicktime_for_windows/">
stops
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/nest-reminds-customers-ownership-isnt-what-it-used-be">intentionally
    broke it by shutting down the server</a>.</p>

    <p>If it were free software, users from fixing would have the security bugs in Quicktime for
      Windows</a>, while refusing ability to fix make it
    work again, differently, and then have a freedom-respecting home
    instead of a “smart” home. Don't let proprietary software
    control your devices and turn them itself.</p> into $300 out-of-warranty
    bricks. Insist on self-contained computers that run free software!</p>
  </li>

  <li>

  <li id="M201602050">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-02</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>iOS version 9 for iThings <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/05/error-53-apple-iphone-software-update-handset-worthless-third-party-repair">sabotages
    them irreparably if they were repaired by someone other than
    Apple</a>. Apple eventually backed off from this policy under
    criticism from the users. However, it has not acknowledged that this
    was wrong.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
  <p>Phillips

  <li id="M201601310">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2016-01</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>FTDI's proprietary driver
    for its USB-to-serial chips has been designed to <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/">sabotage
    alternative compatible chips</a>
    so that they no longer work. Microsoft is <a
    href="http://it.slashdot.org/story/16/01/31/1720259/ftdi-driver-breaks-hardware-again">installing
    this automatically</a> as an “upgrade”.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201512140">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-12</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Philips “smart” lightbulbs had initially been
    designed to interact with other companies' smart light bulbs, but <a
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151214/07452133070/lightbulb-drm-philips-locks-purchasers-out-third-party-bulbs-with-firmware-update.shtml">
    later the company updated the firmware to disallow
    interoperability</a>.</p>

    <p>If a product is “smart”, and you didn't build it,
    it is cleverly serving its manufacturer <em>against you</em>.</p>
  </li>

  <li>
    <p>Microsoft
    is <a href="http://gizmodo.com/woman-wins-10-000-from-microsoft-after-unwanted-window-1782666146">
    forcibly
    pushing</a> <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/3012278/microsoft-windows/microsoft-sets-stage-for-massive-windows-10-upgrade-strategy.html">Windows
    update to its version 10</a>, ignoring the flag on Windows 7 or 8
    that you could set to not upgrade.  This reaffirms the presence of
    a <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html">universal
    back door in Windows</a> 7 and 8.</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Windows 10 “upgrades” <a
      href="http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/24/beware-latest-windows-10-update-may-remove-programs-automatically/">
      delete applications</a> without asking permission.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p>Google

  <li id="M201511244">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Google has long had <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/24/google-can-unlock-android-devices-remotely-if-phone-unencrypted">a
    back door to remotely unlock an Android device</a>, unless its disk
    is encrypted (possible since Android 5.0 Lollipop, but still not
    quite the default).</p></li>
<li><p>
Users report default).</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511240">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-11</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Windows 10 “upgrades” <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/article/2993490/windows/windows-10-upgrades-reportedly-appearing-as-mandatory-for-some-users.html#tk.rss_all">
Microsoft is forcing them to replace Windows 7 and 8 with
all-spying Windows 10</a>.</p>

<p>
This seems to involve use
    href="http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/24/beware-latest-windows-10-update-may-remove-programs-automatically/">
    delete applications</a> without asking permission.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201510020">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple forced millions of a back door in Windows 7 and 8.
</p></li>

<li><p> iThings to <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2984889/windows-pcs/lenovo-collects-usage-data-on-thinkpad-thinkcentre-and-thinkstation-pcs.html">
    href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7256669?tstart=0">download
    a system upgrade without asking the users</a>. Apple did not
    forcibly install the upgrade but the downloading alone caused lots
    of trouble.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201509220">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2984889/lenovo-collects-usage-data-on-thinkpad-thinkcentre-and-thinkstation-pcs.html">
    Lenovo stealthily installed crapware and spyware via
    BIOS</a> on Windows installs.  Note that the specific
    sabotage method Lenovo used did not affect GNU/Linux; also, a
    “clean” Windows install is not really clean since <a
    href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html">Microsoft puts in its
    own malware</a>.
</p></li>

<li><p>Vizio malware</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201504300">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Vizio <a
    href="http://boingboing.net/2015/04/30/telescreen-watch-vizio-adds-s.html">
    used a firmware “upgrade” to make its TVs snoop on what
    users watch</a>.  The TVs did not do that when first sold.
</p></li>

<li><p>Amazon
<a href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150321/13350230396/while-bricking-jailbroken-fire-tvs-last-year-amazon-did-same-to-kindle-devices.shtml">
downgraded the software in users' Swindles</a>
so that those already rooted would cease to function at all.</p></li>

<li><p>Apple <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/04/apple-deleted-music-ipods-rivals-steve-jobs">deleted
from iPods the music that users sold.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201504090">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-04</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Mac OS X had got from internet music stores
that competed with iTunes</a>.
</p></li>

<li><p><a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130622044225/http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/06/how-can-any-company-ever-trust-microsoft-again/index.htm">Microsoft
informs the NSA of bugs in Windows before fixing them.</a>
</p></li>

<li><p>
<a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/nintendo-updates-take-wii-u-hostage-until-you-agree-new-legal-terms">Nintendo
remotely sabotaged all Wiis, making them refuse to work unless the
user agrees to a new EULA.</a>
</p>
<p>We can be quite sure this EULA is is unjust because injustice is
the only motive for imposing an EULA.
</p></li>

<li><p>
FTDI's proprietary driver <a
    href="https://truesecdev.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/hidden-backdoor-api-to-root-privileges-in-apple-os-x/">
    intentional local back door for its USB-to-serial chips has been
designed 4 years</a>, which could be exploited
    by attackers to
<a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/">sabotage
alternative compatible chips</a> so that they no longer work. Microsoft is <a href="http://it.slashdot.org/story/16/01/31/1720259/ftdi-driver-breaks-hardware-again">installing this automatically</a> as an
“upgrade”.
</p></li>

<li><p>
<a href="http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/windows-xp-end-of-an-era-end-of-an-error-3569489/">Microsoft gain root privileges.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201503260">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-03</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20191205010621/https://www.computerworld.com/article/3423768/windows-xp--end-of-an-era--end-of-an-error.html">Microsoft
    cut off security fixes for Windows XP, except to some big users that
    pay exorbitantly.</a></p> exorbitantly</a>.</p>

    <p>Microsoft is going to <a href="http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/3605515/more-than-half-of-all-ie-users-face-patch-axe-in-10-months/">
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20181030194725/https://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/more-than-half-of-all-ie-users-face-patch-axe-in-10-months-3605515/">
    cut off support for some Internet Explorer versions</a> in the same
    way.</p>

    <p>A person or company has the right to cease to work on a particular
    program; the wrong here is Microsoft does this after having made the
    users dependent on Microsoft, because they are not free to ask anyone
    else to work on the program for them.
</p></li>

<li><p> them.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201503210">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2015-03</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Amazon <a
    href="https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150321/13350230396/while-bricking-jailbroken-fire-tvs-last-year-amazon-did-same-to-kindle-devices.shtml">
    downgraded the software in users' Swindles</a> so that those already
    rooted would cease to function at all.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201412040">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2014-12</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Apple <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/04/apple-deleted-music-ipods-rivals-steve-jobs">
    deleted from iPods the music that users had got from internet music
    stores that competed with iTunes</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201410130">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2014-10</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/nintendo-updates-take-wii-u-hostage-until-you-agree-new-legal-terms">Nintendo
    remotely sabotaged all Wiis, making them refuse to work unless the
    user agrees to a new EULA</a>.</p>

    <p>We can be quite sure this EULA is unjust because injustice is the
    only motive for imposing an EULA.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201405200.1">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2014-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>LG <a
    href="http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140511/17430627199/lg-will-take-smart-out-your-smart-tv-if-you-dont-agree-to-share-your-viewing-search-data-with-third-parties.shtml">
    disabled network features</a> on <em>previously purchased</em>
    “smart” TVs, unless the purchasers agreed to let LG begin
    to snoop on them and distribute their personal data.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201401190">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2014-01</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Some proprietary <a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/19/apple-talking-cats-in-app-purchases">
    games lure children to spend their parents' money</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201309054">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2013-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security">The
    NSA has put back doors into nonfree encryption software.</a> software</a>. We don't
    know which ones they are, but we can be sure they include some widely
    used systems.  This reinforces the point that you can never trust
    the security of nonfree software.
</p></li>

<li><p>
<a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2541250/apple-mac/update--apple-plays-hardball--upgrade--bricks--unlocked-iphones.html">An
Apple firmware “upgrade” bricked iPhones that had been
unlocked.</a>  The “upgrade” also deactivated applications
not approved by <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html">Apple
censorship</a>.  All this was apparently intentional.
</p></li>

<li><p>
Some
proprietary <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/19/apple-talking-cats-in-app-purchases">games
lure children to spend their parents' money</a>.
</p></li>

<li><p>
Adobe software.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201306220">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2013-06</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130622044225/http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/06/how-can-any-company-ever-trust-microsoft-again/index.htm">Microsoft
    informs the NSA of bugs in Windows before fixing them</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201305060">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2013-05</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Adobe applications have time bombs: they <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/06/adobe-goes-all-in-with-subscription-based-creative-cloud-will-stop-selling-regular-cs-licenses-shrink-wrapped-boxes/">stop
    href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/06/adobe-goes-all-in-with-subscription-based-creative-cloud-will-stop-selling-regular-cs-licenses-shrink-wrapped-boxes/">
    stop working after a certain time</a>, after which the user
    must pay to extend the time.</p>

    <p>Once there was a problem with the servers
    that these programs use to check who has paid, and <a href="http://www.macuser.co.uk/9015-adobe-creative-cloud-outage-leaves-adobe-users-locked-out">the
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20150120010845/http://www.macuser.co.uk/9015-adobe-creative-cloud-outage-leaves-adobe-users-locked-out">
    the applications refused to work for anyone</a>.
</p></li>

<li><p>
Sony <a href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03/sony-steals-feature-from-your-playstation-3">sabotaged
the Playstation 3</a> with a firmware downgrade that removed the
feature that allowed users to run GNU/Linux on it.</p>

<p>Sony subsequently sent police after Geohot, after he cracked the
code that blocked users from changing the firmware, and we responded by
calling for a <a href="http://boycottsony.org">boycott of
Sony </a>.
</p>

<p>In a court settlement Sony is <a href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/06/if-you-used-to-run-linux-on-your-ps3-you-could-get-55-from-sony/">
now paying for the sabotage</a>.</p></li>

<li><p>
LG <a href="http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140511/17430627199/lg-will-take-smart-out-your-smart-tv-if-you-dont-agree-to-share-your-viewing-search-data-with-third-parties.shtml">disabled
network features</a> on <em>previously purchased</em>
“smart” TVs, unless the purchasers agreed to let LG
begin to snoop on them and distribute their personal data.
</p></li>

<li><p>Oracle's anyone</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201301280">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2013-01</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Oracle's nonfree Java plug-in for browsers <a
    href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/a-close-look-at-how-oracle-installs-deceptive-software-with-java-updates/">sneakily
    installs other annoying proprietary software</a>.</p>

    <p>That article disregards all other bad things
    about proprietary software.  For instance, it regards
    the inclusion of proprietary Flash Player (which has a <a
href="http://www.imasuper.com/66/technology/flash-cookies-the-silent-privacy-killer/">surveillance
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20200808151607/http://www.imasuper.com/2008/10/09/flash-cookies-the-silent-privacy-killer/">surveillance
    feature</a> and DRM) in Chrome as a good thing.  Chrome is a
    proprietary browser with a universal back door.</p>

    <p>We don't agree with the article's views on those issues, but we
    present it as a factual reference.</p>

    <p>In 2014, <a
href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2494794/malware-vulnerabilities/oracle-will-continue-to-bundle--crapware--with-java.html">Oracle
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2494794/oracle-will-continue-to-bundle--crapware--with-java.html">
    Oracle insisted on continuing this practice.</a></p> practice</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

</div><!--

  <li id="M201003300">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2010-03</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p>Sony <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/03/sony-steals-feature-from-your-playstation-3">sabotaged
    the Playstation 3</a> with a firmware downgrade that removed the
    feature that allowed users to run GNU/Linux on it.</p>

    <p>Sony subsequently sent police after Geohot, after he cracked the
    code that blocked users from changing the firmware, and we responded by
    calling for a <a href="http://boycottsony.org">boycott of Sony</a>.</p>

    <p>In a court settlement Sony is <a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/06/if-you-used-to-run-linux-on-your-ps3-you-could-get-55-from-sony/">
    now paying for id="content", starts in the include above sabotage</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200709270">
    <!--#set var="DATE" value='<small class="date-tag">2007-09</small>'
    --><!--#echo encoding="none" var="DATE" -->
    <p><a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2541250/update--apple-plays-hardball--upgrade--bricks--unlocked-iphones.html">
    An Apple firmware “upgrade” bricked iPhones that had been
    unlocked</a>.  The “upgrade” also deactivated applications
    not approved by <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-jails.html">Apple
    censorship</a>.  All this was apparently intentional.</p>
  </li>
</ul>
</div>

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