03.05.12

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Confirmed: Smear Campaign Against Google in Europe is Bankrolled by Microsoft

Posted in Europe, Google, Microsoft at 9:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess

Summary: Fake seminars set up by Microsoft (by proxy) to bamboozle politicians and get Google under fire

MICROSOFT has been bribing people who smear Google, to put it quite crudely. A lot of opposition to Google is simply paid for, it’s artificially manufactured. Using this familiar front group which we wrote about before Microsoft is doing some more of it and now it’s confirmed by Falkvinge, who used to work for Microsoft before he turned the other way. To quote this new blog post:

How Microsoft Pays Big Money To Smear Google In European Parliament

I spent this week in the European Parliament in Brussels. One of the seminars I attended was advertised as being a seminar on privacy, big data, profiling, and online identities. As interesting as it sounded, it was anything but.

[...]

The seminar was arranged by ICOMP, a nonsense thirteen-a-dozen-spun name like “Initiative for a Competitive Digital Market Blah Blah Meaning Give Us Money Please”. Your eyes glaze over and turn elsewhere at these silly spins after a while once you see them daily. But never mind the name, they come a dime a dozen. The seminar still had an interesting topic and a free lunch to boot, which would attract good people to network with on our topics.

[...]

It went on and on. This was not a seminar on privacy at all. This was Microsoft-funded Google-smearing, plain and simple, and I felt my blood starting to boil. No free lunch was worth sitting down and taking this kind of language designed to smear a competitor for profit. I would not be a part of this. My name does not get to be associated with this kind of drivel.
So I made the strongest act of disapproval conceivable in the European Parliament.
I walked out on a free luxury lunch.

[...]

Seeing the only Member of European Parliament in the audience walked out of the seminar in that strong a disapproval, one of their head lobbyists rushed out after us trying to get us in a better mood. I was furious, and since we no longer needed to politely observe silence in the seminar room, I believe I made my impressions perfectly clear to him at the time – that I considered it audacious that Microsoft, a convicted monopolist, paid big money using a covert name to carpet bomb allegations of monopolistic behavior against a competitor in this manner – that the seminar had been thoroughly falsely advertised, and that I would not have my name associated with any part of it.

In response to our blog post from yesterday one reader wrote:

Sadly (IMO) Slashdot.org seems to contributing to MS’s smear campaign. Slashdot is constantly posting non-stories like this:

Schmidt: Google Once Considered Issuing Currency

http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/02/29/0123223/schmidt-google-once-considered-issuing-currency

The story was spun to make it seem like Google wanted to take over the world’s currencies. Actually it was Google *considering* having it’s own script, credit system. In other words, the same thing as WoW, 2nd life, Facebook, and – I think – even MS.

The discussions are dominated by anonymous posters who aggressively bash anybody who try to defend Google. Such posts were not always anonymous. It was discovered that such posts used to come from one poster who had, at least, 20 different logins. Once that was exposed, all the bashing posts became anonymous.

Slashdot typically runs about two such non-stories every week. It’s shameful, IMO.

Groklaw was quoted by this reader as saying: “500 sites, plus Facebook, a partner of Microsoft, and Google. Yet Microsoft wrote only about Google. This is what FUD looks like — it’s partly true or almost so or selectively so as far as it goes or it’s not even relevant to real life, blown out of proportion, etc.”

Another reader linked to what he called the “false seminar that Falkvinge was lured into partially attending” and added that this “[i]s nothing new. 16 Mar 2010 sponsored by Ixonos, Microsoft had a
false “Linux” seminar which had a handful of legitimate speakers and the rest were Microsoft partners and shills spouting their talking points: http://www.ixonos.com/en/linux_seminar I stayed to the end to watch it. They even did the classic stacked panel.” Just like the so-called "open source think tank"?

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