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Russian Police backed by Microsoft? – A dangerous combination and no surprise?

The New York Times reports a rather disturbing story.

They are currently saying:

The group, Baikal Environmental Wave, was organizing protests against Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to reopen a paper factory that had polluted nearby Lake Baikal, a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water….Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software.

The New York times then goes on to say:

As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving key assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself. In politically tinged inquiries across Russia, lawyers retained by Microsoft have staunchly backed the police.

Source: New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/world/europe/12raids.html?_r=2&hp

I suggest you visit the New York Times in order to read the article in full.  If true, it paints a rather dubious picture of Microsoft (if that doesn’t already exist) and makes me wonder what other shady little deals are going on in other countries between Microsoft and those in power.  If true, I think it further demonstrates the harm Microsoft causes and far from the lumbering software giant who seem to follow instead of innovate with millions of users “addicted” to its products because they know no better, this latest story is altogether a more serious issue and puts Microsoft in a far more dangerous light.

I repeatedly say to readers, ask your friends what they actually think of Microsoft.  How many can you find that are actually happy with them or their products and more importantly how many believe that there are no alternatives purely due to years of FUD and PR.

I’ll let you answer those questions.

Before this article closes, Mr Kutz from Microsoft is reported to have said (in respect of this story):

We have to protect our products from piracy, but we also have a commitment to respect fundamental human rights

It doesn’t look that way though does it? and talking of piracy, lets remind ourselves of the Bill Gates comment from a few years back:

…we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

Microsoft, you’ve got to love them, they’ve got more faces than Mount Rushmore and one has to wonder if this alleged “collaboration” between themselves and the Russian government, it not beneficial to both parties (remember we recently covered Microsoft allegedly going after the small business)  Microsoft counting the copper jar again?  Times might be harder than we think.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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About Tim

Online tech writer, novelist/author of sci-fi literature and co-host of the TechBytes Show! I believe in multi-culturalism & diversity. Luton Town FC supporter.


5 thoughts on “Russian Police backed by Microsoft? – A dangerous combination and no surprise?

  1. Just because I choose to use Microsoft products does not mean I do not know any better. I can use any platform and use Apple products at work . I choose microsoft products because MACS SUCK!@!!

    Posted by sputnik | September 13, 2010, 11:58 am


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Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson

Writer/Novelist of many facets, both in the world of technology and fantasy/sci-fi. Co-host of the TechBytes audiocast.  Supporter of free and open source software.

Committee member of the Seaham Red Star Football Club.


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