Preparing for the raid

Bets, anyone, on how soon this technique will be used here?

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 percent of the 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.

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.
The group later asked Microsoft for help in fending off the police. “Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do,” said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Environmental Wave co-chairwoman and one of Russia’s best-known environmentalists. “They said these issues had to be handled by the security services.”

Microsoft executives in Moscow and at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., asserted that they did not initiate the inquiries and that they took part in them only because they were required to do so under Russian law.

  1. Mikhail says:

    Ubuntu anyone?

  2. admfubar says:

    how long before it happens here???

    it has been happening already

    ubuntu??? why just one linux distro?? just make sure it is a linux distro that doesnt pay the M$ tax..

  3. George says:

    Intellectual property laws are quickly wiping out innovation and freedom.

    Check out this idiocy happening in our country where rogue lawyers (representing nobody but themselves) can sue any company for unknowingly breaking the law by not removing the numbers of expired patents from their products.

  4. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    #2 While what is described in the link is interesting (6600 searches of laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices), it is far from what the Russian police are doing. These occurred as the people were crossing the border, where inspection of luggage and such has long been held as reasonable and legal. They are simply carrying their paperwork in digital form instead of paper.

    I am no lawyer, but I could see a valid argument for unreasonable search if they stored their files in the cloud instead of on the laptop.

  5. Steve S says:

    Can we put a priority on making this happen in the US? I am forwarding this article to the FBI.
    Just brilliant!

  6. canamrotax says:

    I’ll be sticking with my macbook pro thanks…

  7. Luc says:

    Whether you use Linux, Mac or Windows does not matter. Aren’t you paying attention? They are not really after pirated software, they just want to cause trouble on dissenters. Run Linux, fine, I recommend it, but under the tactics described in the article, the police will come to your door anyway, seize your computers, take them “for inspection” and retain them “for analysis” for 60 days or some other long period. It’s a major headache on you, and all because you wouldn’t shut up, slave!

  8. Yakov Smirnoff says:

    In Russia, operating system own you!

  9. sargasso_c says:

    Looks like they also confiscated the counterfeit beer, cigarettes and cell phones.

  10. clancys_daddy says:

    #4 only works in America if you have a constitutional right. As far as other countries not so much.

  11. footmonger says:

    Is it possible to dedouche a nation?

  12. Fishguy says:

    Douche bags!

  13. MikeN says:

    “We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.”

    Letter from the government warning them not to blame Obamacare for their premium increases.

  14. jescott418 says:

    Hey, what about China. They seem to condone violations? How much stuff does China copy? Considering how much stuff is patent. I think many are just living off law suites for copy infringements. Linux in reality has had to resort to some licensed stuff just because that’s what happens. You have to ask if everything was open source how would anyone really make any money? Do we all want to work for free? NO

  15. RTaylor says:

    This is Russia. This goes back to the Czars secret police. Don’t be surprised if MS left a backdoor for the NSA in the good old US. I like to listen to Pete Seeger and Dylan as much as anybody, but the music doesn’t match reality

  16. yankinwaoz says:

    I saw the NYT article yesterday and I thought it unfairly smeared Microsoft.

    The MPAA and RIAA have far worse track records, even in the US, for crap like this. The Russian police could just as easily use the accusation that there is a pirated Lady Gaga song, or Disney movie in the building as an excuse.

    Hell, the MPAA and RIAA want the US police and customs to do this now.

  17. JimD says:

    I guess Jobs was right ! Only it’s not 1984 but 1948 vintage STALINISM !!!

  18. uketommyv says:

    In Russia, beer is practically water.

  19. Steve S says:

    Microsoft responds:
    “Microsoft will issue a blanket software license to nonprofit groups and journalist groups outside the U.S. after the New York Times reported that Russian police have used software copyright raids to seize computers of activist groups.”

  20. nobodyspecial says:

    @# 4 Cap’nKangaroo

    US porn companies have complained about similar raids. The police are allowed to inspect records of models age/identity – they have interpreted this as permission to seize all computers/cameras/phones/etc in the studio

  21. MikeN says:

    The Obama Admin banned a teenager for life from entering the US because of an e-mail he sent to the White House.


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