Above the Law: Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent

Monday Sep 13th 2010 by Datamation.com Staff

The Russian government has been confiscating computer equipment belonging to its political enemies on the pretext that it is searching for pirated software.

NY Times: The Russian government has a new tactic for dealing with political dissenters: they seize PCs and other technology on the pretext that they are searching for pirated Microsoft software. Reports say the technique has been used dozens of times against groups like Baikal Environmental Wave, a group protesting a decision to re-open a polluting paper factory.

Baikal claimed it purchased its software legally and appealed to Microsoft for help. “Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do,” said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Environmental Wave co-chairwoman. “They said these issues had to be handled by the security services.”

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