Sure, it is possible for someone to get tossed in jail for several years for a certain amount level of "criminal" copyright infringement. However, it is not, nor should it ever be equated/confused with, theft.
No matter how badly the MPAA et al want to call it stealing in order to confuse Joe Public...
But assuming that the US government's computer systems are mostly Windows, it's not exactly that surprising that Microsoft would warn the Feds about the zero-day exploits and not the general public.
I mean, considering that the US Government's new boogeyman meme is "CYBERTERRORISM! OH TEH NOES!", allow me to point out something that's being overlooked in the quoted text:
That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.
Considering that China's been so brazenly hack-happy lately against the U.S.' private sector, it's not surprising that Microsoft's tipping off it's home government and not anyone else. While it may not exactly trust the U.S. government (depending on your viewpoint) they certainly favor the government who's more likely to protect their intellectual property (trade secrets/copyright infringement) than the government who's more likely to actively steal their trade secrets, reverse engineer it, and then claim they built it on their own[China].
As for not telling the general public, well, I'm betting that that Microsoft thinks malicious state-sponsored hacker groups don't really care what John Q. Public has on his computer.
Now could groups like the NSA use these zero-day exploits for nefarious purposes? Yes they could.
I'd say the chance of that (percentage-wise) is about the same percentage they use for determining a subject's "foreignness". 'Course, I'm being a little optimistic on that.
I was having a chat with some of my associates yesterday. Both of them fall into the older demographic surveyed by the Pew research center, and both agreed that the NSA should be able to monitor phone metadata. When I pointed out that based on the poll results, the younger demographic was more in favor having the government keeping its nose out of their business national security or not, one of them looked at me and said, "And how old were they when 9/11 happened?"
National security reasons or not, I'd like a little more oversight in my government, especially when it concerns the NSA, who before 9/11 were known as "No Such Agency". The other agencies constantly denied the existence of the NSA's giant Maryland facility, even though it had a road sign on the high way pointed to where it was located, with the added bit of "NSA Employees Only".
They wonder why people are so suspicious about what the NSA does. That whole "you've nothing to fear if you've got nothing to hide" thing is a two-way street.
Last I checked, running a site like MegaUpload was not a crime. In fact, the 38 files DOJ keep holding up as examples of his guilt are the ones that they told MegaUpload not to mess with until further notice (they were related to NinjaVideo case) or get charged with tampering of evidence.
So... what was Dotcom guilty of again (Other than having an ego the size of the Sun)?
Considering the questionable "evidence" against him, and the fact that if he came to the US he'd be walking into an "if he floats he's guilty, if he drowns he's innocent" scenario, I can understand why he's fighting extradition.
Obama might to end up with a lame-duck second term, and he hasn't even gotten through the first half of year 5 yet. The guy has scandals popping up left, right and sideways and all he can say is "I learned about this the same way the rest of you did. On the Friday news."
So at this point he's either lying on his face, he's completely incompetent, or everyone around him has insulated him from all the dirty scandal stuff in order to give Obama plausible deniability. All three options do not help his credibility as a president.
Uh, considering the fact that, if I remember what I heard on NPR correctly, that one of the Senators saying that everyone in Congress knew about this since 2007, I'd have to call out the Dems on not raising a stink about it back when they had both houses of Congress under their control.
That being said, all those political cartoons I keep seeing portraying Obama as "Nixon 2.0" are beginning to feel more and more accurate. If he says that he "learned about this the way everyone else did (aka through news reports)" this time, the US news media should really start holding his proverbial feet to the fire over this. I mean, if you've got the fake news show (The Daily Show), calling out his bullshit before the actual news networks (excluding FOX), they really need to step up their game.
I was visiting an exhibit at a local museum, and it had a picture of the iconic Last Supper painting resized by 10000% as one of the background wallpapers for the exhibit. As I stand there looking up at it, I hear a man five feet to the left me say to his girlfriend. "See that woman on Jesus' right. That's his wife." I turned and asked him where he got such a strange idea, and the man claimed that it was true, and said his reference was the Da Vinci Code.
I wanted to fucking punch the man in the face for being such an idiot, but restrained myself since I have no interest in getting charged with assault over someone else being a complete and utter moron.
Another key think to note is that DNA is not 100% reliable in criminal cases.
The main example that comes to mind is the Amanda Knox trial/Meredith Kercher witch hunt in Italy a few years back. Amanda Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito were initially convicted and sentenced to 26 (Knox) and 25 years (Solletio) in prison for allegedly murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher, a major part of which involved a knife allegedly found in Sollecito's apartment that had a DNA sample "compatible with Kerche's profile" on the blade and Knox's DNA on the handle (she used the knife to cook), as well as traces of Sollecito's DNA on the bra clasp of Meredith Kercher.
The two were locked up for two years until 2011 when it came out during appeal that the chain of evidence had not been followed for the case, and that the police investigation hadn't followed the international standards for DNA sample collection, allowing th evidence to be contaminated.
[Of course, it didn't help matters that the prosecution of the case did everything it its power to assassinate the character of Amanda Knox. I kid you not, the prosecutor's initial proposal for motive was that Meredith Kercher was sacrificed as part of a "Satanic ritualistic orgy", before backing down to the slightly-less slanderous claim of the motive as "sex game gone wrong". And some people say that the American court system is messed up...]
Point is, DNA evidence is by no means absolute proof that a person is guilty of any crime. Innocent people have already suffered because of contaminated DNA evidence.
There is a shonen manga which ran from 1996-2008 where one of the female characters was 'born' and died (in plot-time) in under the span of one year. This character is clearly an adult in body and mind, yet in calendar years she was alive for less than 12 months. This manga also became an anime, and this character ended up practically topless more than once in the actual storyline.
WHERE THE HELL does she fit in all this "cartoon nudity=child porn" grandstanding bullshit?
(kudos to anyone who knows the character that I'm talking about.)
Considering how arrogant and self-absorbed he's been acting this whole time, I wouldn't be surprised if he's developed a Steve Jobs-like Reality Distortion Field around himself, and he still thinks that everything is going according to plan.