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Microsoft Under Fire Over Dubious Software Raids In Russia to Suppress Dissent

The New York Times spotlights Microsoft’s role in raids carried out by the Russian government against dissenting advocacy groups, under the guise of searching for pirated software. “The group, Baikal Environmental Wave, was organizing protests against Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to reopen a paper factory that had polluted nearby Lake Baikal, a natural wonder that by some estimates holds 20% of world’s fresh water. Instead, the group fell victim to one of the authorities’ newest tactics for quelling dissent: confiscating computers under the pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software.”

An international anticorruption group, Transparency International, and a major Russian human rights groups, Memorial, contend that some private lawyers retained by Microsoft in Russia were helping corrupt law-enforcement officials to extort money from the targets of piracy inquiries.


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