Skip to content

Microsoft implicated in Russian crackdown on political dissent

September 13, 2010

In a New York Times investigative report released yesterday, Microsoft was implicated in the recent increase in Russian police seizures of computers and documents from civil society groups on grounds of suspected software piracy. Marina Rikhvanova’s (Russia, 2008) organization, Baikal Environmental Wave, was featured prominently in the article, which provided insight into the January police raid that coincided with the organization’s plans for a public demonstration against a pulp and paper mill recently reopened by the government. Microsoft has responded with a change in its policy in Russia.

The New York Times stated that Microsoft will “essentially prohibit its Russian division from taking part in software piracy cases against government opponents, responding to criticism that it was assisting the authorities in a crackdown on dissent.” Baikal Environmental Wave and Rikhvanova have had many run-ins with police during their decades-long battle to protect Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. Various intimidation tactics and more recently, computer seizures, have been aimed at impairing their ability to garner support for their opposition to polluting industry.

Above the Law: Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent [The New York Times]

Microsoft Changes Policy Over Russian Crackdown [The New York Times]

Related Posts

The Fight for Our Rivers

July 25, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

Carving canyons, sustaining communities, feeding wildlife, and shaping history: rivers are integral to life on our planet. Despite their essential role, these rushing waterways make up just under half a percent of all surface freshwater on the planet. Rivers are rare, and they’re a prize worth fighting for. What Rivers Give Us Rivers are vastly…

Read more

Prigi Arisandi Embarks on River Tour, Raising Awareness for Indonesia’s Plastic Problem

April 13, 2022

Prigi Arisandi (Indonesia, 2011) has embarked on a 300-day tour of Indonesia’s rivers, documenting the status of 68 unique waterways. Starting on March 1, 2022, the journey will take Prigi and his team at Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation Foundation (Ecoton) across 68 rivers spanning the entire Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra to Papua. Many of…

Read more

Prize Winners Today: Protecting the Balkans with Ana Colovic Lesoska

September 21, 2021 – By Ellen Lomonico

“The Blue Heart of Europe.” It’s a nickname for the Balkans that evokes identity and nostalgia, purity and beauty. But as unearthed in our interview with conservationist Ana Colovic Lesoska (North Macedonia, 2019), the Balkans are also rife with lingering civil unrest and opaque financial dealings. The region’s free-flowing and stunning waterways have ironically made…

Read more