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Microsoft Looks to Manage “Multi-Million Dollar Budget and Relationship With an Outside PR Agency” to Attack Software Freedom

More AstroTurfing against digital freedom and rights

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Summary: Microsoft's patent propaganda and occasional daemonisation of critics likely to come from "an outside PR agency," according to a new job description

IT seems like a familiar story. Those who stand up against the Novell deal (paradigm of software patents against GNU/Linux) are apparently up against millions of dollars of Microsoft spinners that it hires to aggressively enforce a regime a patents and exclusion of open standards.

Glyn Moody has just parsed through this new job opening from Microsoft. To quote just one portion of it (the rest is enlightening too):

At least the job comes with some handy ammunition: “this role has responsibility for managing a multi-million dollar budget and relationship with an outside PR agency.” Assuming they can find a soul brave enough for this particular corporate hair-shirt, it sounds like we're going to need to rebut some serious FUD about intellectual monopolies and interoperability sometime in the future. I'll starting sharpening my pencil...


Considering the work of other Microsoft PR agencies, this is going to get dirty. They spy on and harass bloggers, for example (Boycott Novell included). Essentially, they outsource their FUD because if they get caught (which sometimes they do), then Microsoft can say "blame this agency!" and thus shake off the complaints. Our wiki has many examples of Microsoft AstroTurfing and Gates Keepers currently shows that the Gates Foundation too is ramping up its campaigns. It is about political influence, as we last showed some days ago. This includes the force-feeding with Windows and other Microsoft products

There has been a lot recently written about the new USAID administrator. You can search his name on the Gates Keepers site to see previous notes about him. Gates Keepers are sceptical about how much Wunderkind like Bill Gates and Rajiv Shah can accomplish outside their carefully controlled environments. Raj seems to not understand how any actions he takes can cause hostility.

Even selfstyled wunderkind Holden looks at Rajiv's department's data and finds a bit of playing with the truth.


Some more background on the Gates Foundation may be required to understand the above. It's all about power, influence, and profit. They even control the press with their money.

"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent" analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). "Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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