For those who don’t know what’s going on: This is a keylogger, which is a little bit of hardware which records keystrokes. It’s been pre-loaded at the factory in this guy’s laptop, and DELL refuses to give any meaningful explanation of why.
I am less bothered by the homeland security thing; my guess would be that, if they don’t know what’s going on, they just assert that the FOIA doesn’t apply as a safe default answer. But you never know; maybe they targeted him. Or maybe DELL just includes keyloggers as standard equipment these days.
They’ll never willingly explain it, so we can only speculate.
My advice: Don’t get a DELL, and check new computers carefully for unexplained chips.
Edited to add: On second thought, it’s a troll. Fairly well-done, though. But this probably didn’t actually happen. (That said, the response is about the kind my friends and I have gotten from DELL in the past.)
Date: 2005-06-16 21:17:35 -0500
The lack of details that could be used to independently verify this is suspicious.
If it’s true, though, it’s EXTREMELY disturbing.
Date: 2005-06-17 10:16:29 -0500
Of course (after seeing your edit), the most disturbing thing about it is that every single claimed occurrence is believable enough to not get rejected immediately. Not quite as bad as if it’d been true, but still Rather Disturbing.
Date: 2005-06-20 13:10:41 -0500