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Submission + - Microsoft helps Russia pursue opposition (

asaz989 writes: The New York Times reports that Russia selectively pursues software piracy complaints from Microsoft in order to suppress the opposition — confiscating computers for evidence, searching offices, and the like. Microsoft lawyers usually back the authorities in such cases, even when cases such as that of the environmentalist group Baikal Waves, which went out of its way to buy licenses to prevent police harassment and nevertheless had its offices raided, and its computers confiscated. Microsoft participated in this legal process. Published alongside this story, under the same byline, is a related piece on the collusion of Microsoft lawyers with corrupt Russian police in extorting money from the targets of software piracy investigations. In a responding press release, the company states, 'Microsoft antipiracy efforts are designed to honor both [antipiracy concerns and human rights], but we are open to feedback on what we can do to improve in that regard.'

Submission + - Google recognizes Palestine (sort of) ( 1

Asa Zernik writes: "Forget a seat in the UN, or state visits from Presidents — the newest sign of international recognition as a nation (whenever in dispute) is your very own localized Google site. In the latest news, the Palestinian Territories now have Google page. Compare to the observer seats in the UN and the Arab League; which one is going to make the most daily difference?

On a side note, Kosovo, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia are missing their own localized Google sites, though this is probably due to their lack of TLDs. Taiwan has one, on its .tw. But a country-code TLD isn't enough to get Google to make you a site — there's no"

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