Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Turns From Assisting Political Suppression to Suppressing GNU/Linux Adoption in Russia

Red star with hammer and sickle



Summary: Microsoft has begun dumping against GNU/Linux in Russian non-profits after getting exposed for its role attacking those very same non-profits

Russian schools are under attack by Microsoft and IDG and all Russian citizens are under attack by Microsoft and corrupt officials. There are many follow-up articles about the subject and also this report from Dallas News:



Russian officials raid opposition groups under pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software



[...]

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

Interviews and a review of law-enforcement documents show that in recent cases, Microsoft lawyers made statements describing the company as a victim and arguing that criminal charges should be pursued. The lawyers rebuffed pleas by accused journalists and advocacy groups to refrain from working with the authorities.

Baikal Wave, in fact, said it had purchased and installed legal Microsoft software specifically to deny the authorities an excuse to raid them. The group later asked Microsoft for help in fending off the police.

"Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do," said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Wave co-chairwoman and one of Russia's best-known environmentalists. "They said these issues had to be handled by the security services."

The Moscow Helsinki Group sent a letter to Microsoft saying that the company was complicit in "the persecution of civil society activists."


It seems like Microsoft PR agents have begun working overtime because of this. We had some readers report to us mass-hypnosis in social networking platforms like Reddit, where Microsoft and its apologists are trying to spin it to their advantage and thus look good. "Microsoft will create a new unilateral software license for NGOs: free, legal copies," says one source. This is utterly shameful damage control from PR puppet Ina Fried and the PR/official blog where Brad Smith spins this embarrassment and dumps more proprietary software (lock-in). Rui Seabra ponders, "proof of feeling pressure from GNU/Linux adoption by NGOs, which could trigger network effects against them. Illegal dumping?"

Harish Pillay says: "use FOSS please!"

Microsoft basically ran with its tail between its legs and its apologists were spinning the original stories by claiming that the dissidents were the 'bad guy' and Microsoft's framing of them was therefore justified and even commendable. Amazing spin!

Now they crave credit for dumping (reversing the situation), which resembles what Microsoft seemingly did with NGOs from India. Here's more about that reversal [1, 2, 3]: [via]

Microsoft announced sweeping changes on Monday to ensure that the authorities in Russia and elsewhere do not use crackdowns on software piracy as an excuse to suppress advocacy or opposition groups, effectively prohibiting its lawyers from taking part in such cases.


Had they not been caught and shamed, nothing would be done. The so-called 'donation' is serving Microsoft, it's by no means charitable at all. The dependency is an asset to Microsoft, even if only a long-term asset.

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