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Big Brother Award Winner: Microsoft

[ Linux Today reader Sabine Buerger writes:
]

“Honor where honor is due. In September Microsoft Austria
spammed Linux users and violated the copyright of the Linux counter
(http://counter.li.org). Yesterday Micosoft Austria
was awarded the Big Brother Award (http://www.bigbrother.awards.at/) in the category
“community” for spying Austrian Linux users.

On Microsofts behalf “g3 gmbh” violated the Norvegian
copyright-law by filtering e-mails of Austrians who registerd
themselves as Linux users, the jury and organizers justify the
award. The copyright regulations of the Linux counter say that it
is illegal to use these addresses for commercial purposes and that
“permission to use for mass mailing will not be given.” Linux users
received questionnaires. The spammer asked for information about
the “prospects and potentials in the software industry”, attitudes
about Linux and the use of Linux, “how Linux know-how is passed
on”, the job title and the size of the employer. After protests and
several news-articles, Microsoft Austria had to recant and
announced the destruction of the data.

The ceremony took place at the Viennese club Flex. None of the
winners dared to receive the awards – little roboters in a
flowerpot. (Source: http://www.blackserver.at/linux/).”

[ The bigbrother.awards.at and blackserver.at sites linked
above are published in German. lt-ed. ]