Microsoft's WGA spyware again!

In 2006 when Microsoft seems to have introduced its "Windows Genuine
Advantage" there was an outcry by the public because it was discovered
that this WGA was in fact spyware that called home to Microsoft on a
regular basis. The outcry was such that Microsoft provided a way to
uninstall it.

My PCs have been running XP for years and I have downloaded critical
updates on a regular basis without WGA. But, in the last set of critical
updates I could not download them without first having to download and
install WGA. My Windows XPs are all legit and I have no problem with
Microsoft checking that they are legit at the time of the critical
update download, but I do have a problem with my PCs connecting to
Microsoft at other times because there is no reason for that and it
introduces additional risks.

Does anyone know anything about this new WGA installation? There seem
to have been n o messages about it on the newslist after the 2006 ones
and my questions on the general XP newslist go unanswered. Can the new
WGA be uninstalled using the old uninstall tools? Does it call home like
the old one did?

Please help.