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en/microsoft-lawyers-assisted-russian-govt-in-raids-against-advocacy-groups-opposition-media-says-new-york-times-report#c54829

Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent

Author: Clifford J. Levy, New York Times, Published on: 11 September 2010

It was late one afternoon…when a squad of plainclothes police officers arrived at the headquarters of a prominent environmental group…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...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. Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years…As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving key assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself…After The New York Times presented its reporting to senior Microsoft officials, the company responded that it planned to tighten its oversight of its legal affairs in Russia.

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Related companies: Microsoft