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Microsoft's Antipiracy Raids Help Russian Government Crack Down on Critics
Security
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 13 September 2010 18:24

From Daily Tech

The Baikal Environmental Wave had its offices raided by Russian police, claiming to be searching for pirate Microsoft products. The group says all its licenses were legitimate, but police refuse to give its computers back.  (Source: Valeri Nistratov for The New York Times)

Microsoft remained unappologetic about the incident, saying it had to cooperate with local authorities. It did however release a new set of suggestions for the antipiracy program, and discuss ways to more clearly define its limitations.  (Source: Microsoft via Engadget)
Is Microsoft the victim caught up in this mess, or aiding gov't malfeasance



As much as one third of Microsoft software in use worldwide is pirated according to past statements by the company's legal staff.  Windows is a particularly common candidate for piracy.  Politicians in some nations like Romania and China have brazenly defied Microsoft's efforts to crack down on this copyright infringement.

In Russia, the tables have been turned according to a report in The New York Times.  The piracy-prone nation is reportedly embracing Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts and using them as a tool to crack down on critics of the government.

The Baikal Environmental Wave is a group of Russian citizens who are upset about the reopening of a paper factory that dumps pollutants into Lake Baikal.  The group was in the process organizing protests against Russia's current Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin when its headquarters were raided by police, under the pretense that they were searching for pirated Microsoft software.

The only problem was that the group claims it had no pirated software -- it purchased legitimate copies of Windows.  The group approached Microsoft, hoping to get help in reclaiming its property from the government and was reportedly rebuffed.

 

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