Microsoft Helps Putin Suppress Dissenters

Microsoft has made allies with Vladimir Putin Using the same heavy handiness so go after rebellious groups.

Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years. Security officials say the inquiries reflect their concern about software piracy, which is rampant in Russia. Yet they rarely if ever carry out raids against advocacy groups or news organizations that back the government.

As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving key assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself. In politically tinged inquiries across Russia, lawyers retained by Microsoft 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

Software and have political and social implications. Open Source operating systems and software are not burdened with the legal issues attached by the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.   For the type of work that most political or social dissenting groups use a system such as Ubuntu is probably more suitable than either the Microsoft or Apple systems.. because its easier to keep versions in sync. Security is built in,  GPG is standard. and OpenOffice.org works better for collaborative type work,  There is no registration or paperwork involved with open source software.  Free software is about more than price. it also about freedom.

Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Open Source  is about dissent, Created by the rebellious for  the rebellious, and should be the operating systems and software of choice for dissenters.

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