KGB’s Newest Partner: Microsoft
I don’t even know whether they’re still called the KGB or not. Russian security forces have a new gimmick when they crack down on dissident organizations. Now they can say, “oh, this has nothing to do with human rights. We’re just looking for pirated copies of Microsoft software.”
OK, that clears that up.
An environmental group from Irkutsk (if you play Risk — yes, there really IS such a place!) called Baikal Environmental Wave is trying to protect Lake Baikal from pollution. Lake Baikal holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. Years’ worth of the group’s files were lost when the police carted off all of their computers.
All across Russia, dozens of dissident groups and opposition newspapers have had their computers confiscated by security forces for the same “reason” — Microsoft made us do it.
And Microsoft is working hand in hand with Russian security apparatchiks. They’ve been instigating these police raids, and then they refuse to help any of these groups when it turns out they DIDN’T have any pirated Microsoft programs.
A spokesperson for Baikal Environmental Wave says their group purchased brand new — legal — Microsoft software, specifically so the police couldn’t use the Microsoft ploy to steal their computers. A lot of good that did.
For some odd reason, Russian police never carry out these “Microsoft piracy” raids against organizations that AGREE with the government.