Lenovo - consumer equipment vs business equipment



  • While listening to Security Now last night there was a discussion on the show about the believed idea that the Thinkpad series of devices never had the spyware installed like the consumer Ideapad, etc did.

    It was also previously stated that the Thinkpad division was a completely different business sub entity than their consumer one.

    These two points lead the question asker to suggest that Lenovo was OK to purchase from as long as you're buying Thinkpad devices.

    As a side note, Leo Laporte noted that he recalled reading something in the sale agreement that said IBM had oversite over the Thinkpad line for x amount of time, which has now expired.

    Well perhaps that oversite is why we didn't see these problems in the Thinkpad lines, and we definitely can't trust them going forward.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    While listening to Security Now last night there was a discussion on the show about the believed idea that the Thinkpad series of devices never had the spyware installed like the consumer Ideapad, etc did.

    If they feel that security is magically constrained by "business units" I would stop listening to that show. They are not thinking clearly. While Lenovo may or may not have use commercial machines to spy or to test spying in the past tells us little to nothing about the future and suggests in no way that they did not do it, only that they have not yet been caught.

    This shows the show speakers as lacking clear thinking about security and how security works. Lenovo is the entity in question and Lenovo is the one that lacks the necessary ethics and professionalism to stop them from spying and, apparently, feels that enabling spying to be in their interest. The concept of business units may have delineated where it was tried or tested or where certain types of spying has been tested or whatever but when we are talking security we need to talk about entities and trust and they have confused entity delineation



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    While listening to Security Now last night there was a discussion on the show about the believed idea that the Thinkpad series of devices never had the spyware installed like the consumer Ideapad, etc did.

    If they feel that security is magically constrained by "business units" I would stop listening to that show. They are not thinking clearly. While Lenovo may or may not have use commercial machines to spy or to test spying in the past tells us little to nothing about the future and suggests in no way that they did not do it, only that they have not yet been caught.

    This shows the show speakers as lacking clear thinking about security and how security works. Lenovo is the entity in question and Lenovo is the one that lacks the necessary ethics and professionalism to stop them from spying and, apparently, feels that enabling spying to be in their interest. The concept of business units may have delineated where it was tried or tested or where certain types of spying has been tested or whatever but when we are talking security we need to talk about entities and trust and they have confused entity delineation

    The show personal don't feel this way - they just wanted to allow a listener to put out their own perspective - Steve and Leo are both still on the don't trust them side.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    The show personal don't feel this way - they just wanted to allow a listener to put out their own perspective - Steve and Leo are both still on the don't trust them side.

    Oh okay, good. Hopefully they explained that the company is all one company. Once you have a board and a CEO that okay this stuff, it's just who the company is.

    It's like a criminal that only has broken into jewelry shops in the past and assuming they won't rob a bank, given the chance, out of some unspoken, illogical bit of courtesy that the bank manager made up.



  • So you don't believe that the two divisions could be separate enough that one could be doing this while the other didn't know?

    Or even if the other division didn't know, that does not matter because in your opinion the top brass would have to have known this was happening, and the top brass is over both divisions so the eventual pushing of this crap, assuming they weren't caught, was inevitable?

    Not sure I can bridge that gap with you, but I'm willing to give that though process some credit non the less and won't be buying or recommending them anymore.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    So you don't believe that the two divisions could be separate enough that one could be doing this while the other didn't know?

    No, didn't suggest that. What I am saying is that it doesn't matter. The CEO and board knew / know. That's all that matters. When the CEO decides that the business unit will do this too (and for all we know it has always done this and just hasn't been caught) it will do it, because it has no choice.

    I don't see any relevance to the divisional theory when it comes to what it might do in the future.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    Or even if the other division didn't know, that does not matter because in your opinion the top brass would have to have known this was happening, and the top brass is over both divisions so the eventual pushing of this crap, assuming they weren't caught, was inevitable?

    Not inevitable, but extremely likely. So likely, that I find the idea that they have simply not been caught yet on the commercial side more likely than they have never intended to do it. Remember that it took a long time for Lenovo to get caught and for the market to admit it was caught on the consumer side and some outlets still defend them, even now! If they were using different, better tools on the commercial side we easily might not know about it yet.



  • Funny, I just saw this thread as I was reviewing the anti-Lenovo post I just wrote up over at SW. Normally I wouldn't trash a brand like that but there were just so many people trying to convince the OP to switch from Dell to Lenovo :(

    My stance is that they very well could have decided it would be too risky to include their crapware in their business-grade stuff. But based off what I know about huge, ethically questionable technology companies, it's at least equally possible that they are just using more subtle methods to hide their unwanted software that won't be discovered for months/years.

    Either way, I haven't met someone who prefers their keyboard layout, their trackpoint, or their overall design over any other company's... so it's not really a sacrifice to say "No more Lenovo purchases" and grab popcorn the next time they get caught doing something shady.



  • Being in a Dell shop, the "loss" of the trustability of Lenovo means nothing to me. If I were falling off a cliff, and a Lenovo exec offered their hand to help, I would be genuinely suspicious of their motives, and I might just take the fall.

    @MattSpeller said in Online tracking and ads too - do you use any blockers?:

    @RojoLoco I share your sentiments on adds but as someone starting up a website I don't know how to monetize it. Maybe paytreon? Something where people could voluntarily give me $0.10 / mth times 100 people = hosting costs covered.

    For you personally, I might directly support if I saw your site as useful. You're not the big guys, you're the small guy stuck on the BS of the web's modern revenue model.


  • Service Provider

    @RojoLoco said:

    For you personally, I might directly support if I saw your site as useful. You're not the big guys, you're the small guy stuck on the BS of the web's modern revenue model.

    It is not the web's model. it is the standard public broadcast revenue model going back decades.

    TV, Radio, some newspapers and magazines, school yearbooks, etc.



  • This model does make sense. The only other option would be to put up pay walls on all websites out there, and you would have to pay them directly to gain access to their content.

    A few places might manage to leave their stuff open, private blogs, etc, but for the most part news and other typical journalism would die a quick death as most people are unwilling to pay for it. Though, in thinking that through, what we'd probably end up with is a what we had 20 years ago, newspapers, a collection of writers, etc that all work under a single corporate umbrella. So you'd subscribe to one of these services and only see their tiny portion of probably slanted views.


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