Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoftsoftware.
Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years. Security officials say the inquiries reflect their concern about software piracy, which is rampant in Russia. Yet they rarely if ever carry out raids against advocacy groups or news organizations that back the government.
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.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Above the Law - Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent - NYTimes.com
As a community of Microsoft users we should make our opposition to this clear. After all, it not like members of the Microsoft ecosystem could not make their displeasure felt.
A key concern for me is the complete collapse of trust that is happening between people and their devices. Generally I think Microsoft is better than Google, Yahoo, and Facebook but maybe that is only because they hold so much less of Web 2.0.
For all the benefits we get from collaboration, its not worth the loss of freedom of speech and if this present trend from Flickr to Microsoft in Russia continues people may find they can get along fine without the Internet on all the time. And then I would be out of a job.