Windows 10 banned by torrent trackers amidst spying fears

Windows 10 is now off bounds for torrent trackers. The torrent trackers  have banned Windows 10 due to “privacy concerns” according to the torrent tracking website Torrent Freak.

Microsoft’s latest operating system iteration is under fire from all quarters due to its snooping capabilities. Further reports suggest that Microsoft can wipe torrents and pirated software from people’s hard drives with a sort of piracy kill switch.

For the uninitiated, torrent tracker is a server that communicates between peers using the BitTorrent protocol. Torrents are typically used to share files and the torrent tracker server keeps track of where these shared files reside on peer machines, which ones are available at time of request, and helps coordinate the sharing of that file.

The controversy regarding Windows 10 and privacy originates from Microsoft’s Services Agreement and EULA. Torrent websites seems to be most troubled by Microsoft’s updated End Users License Agreement (EULA), which states:

Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.

Microsoft EULA does not explicitly cover Windows 10, rather it covers Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows Phone and other Microsoft services. However, the torrent trackers are reading into the lines and think that the EULA may soon be expanded to include Windows 10. For its part, Microsoft says that such restrictions are only in place to enhance the security of its software and services.

Torrent groups BB and FSC are considering the removal of the operating system from their trackers, while other groups have already done so. A torrent group by the name of iTS explains that Windows 10 is now “off-limits” because of the amount of data it allegedly shares.

“Many of you might have heard or read about the terrible privacy policy of windows 10 recently. 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. Amongst other things windows 10 sends the contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers. Obviously this goes way too far and is a serious threat to sites like ours which is why we had to take measures,” iTS argues.

“Since last thursday Windows 10 is officially banned from iTS. Perhaps at some point special versions of windows 10 will surface that would successfully wipe all those outrageous privacy violations but until then windows 10 is not welcome here in the interest of this site and all iTS members,” iTS adds.

Torrent group BB claims to have seen it first hand that Windows 10 is gathering information and sharing with anti-piracy groups.  BB states, “We have also found [Windows 10] will be gathering information on users’ P2P use to be shared with anti piracy group… what’s particularly nasty is that apparently it sends the results of local(!!) searches to a well known anti piracy company directly so as soon as you have one known p2p or scene release on your local disk … BAM!”

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