The “Moral Rating Agency” (MRA) isn’t impressed with companies driving through loopholes to profit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
…Microsoft Corp… on the Moral Rating Agency’s ‘Hall of Shame’ of companies still allegedly involved in Russia, ranked according to the Agency’s “moral rating.”
Marketwatch says MRA was set up specifically to examine integrity of companies pledging to exit Russia, using a moral algorithm.
Its latest research argues Microsoft has dropped significantly from a 2022 “faint-hearted chicken” rating, now among the worst companies supporting Russian aggression.
In March, shortly after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft announced the suspension of all new sales of products and services. In June the software giant said it is significantly scaling down its operations in Russia, but would fulfill its existing contractual obligations to customers in the country, according to Reuters.
To recap, Microsoft announced in September 2022 it was working with Russian officials to meet their requirements.
And soon after that Russian media thanked Microsoft for providing new software and support.
The Register perhaps reported it best:
…at the end of 2022 and that as of this week, updates for at least Windows 11 could be downloaded and installed by folks in Russia. “As we shared previously, we have stopped all new product and services sales in Russia and are complying with sanctions from the EU, UK and US,” Microsoft told The Register in a statement. So, updates… are OK, then? Got it.
No new software sales. Only new software. That’s a curious loophole.
Fulfilling contractual obligations sounds like what IBM said when it signed contracts to run death camps for Hitler.
IBM’s Watson was instrumental to the Nazi Holocaust as he and his direct assistants worked with Adolf Hitler to help ensure genocide ran on IBM equipment.
IBM was so obsessive about these genocide contracts that it demanded the U.S. government ensure machines be retrieved from Germany and returned with full payment (from seized German funds) for services delivered to Hitler.
This shouldn’t be news to anyone, yet the fact that IBM could still name anything Watson is proof that it’s still news to everyone.
IBM maintained a customer site, known as the Hollerith Department, in virtually every concentration camp to sort or process punch cards and track prisoners. The codes show IBM’s numerical designation for various camps. Auschwitz was 001, Buchenwald was 002; Dachau was 003, and so on. Various prisoner types were reduced to IBM numbers, with 3 signifying homosexual, 9 for anti-social, and 12 for Gypsy. The IBM number 8 designated a Jew. Inmate death was also reduced to an IBM digit: 3 represented death by natural causes, 4 by execution, 5 by suicide, and code 6 designated “special treatment” in gas chambers. IBM engineers had to create Hollerith codes to differentiate between a Jew who had been worked to death and one who had been gassed, then print the cards, configure the machines, train the staff, and continuously maintain the fragile systems every two weeks on site in the concentration camps.
Are the “Gates” of hell what we should call Microsoft’s contractual obligations to Russia?
Will we find out later that Microsoft was complicit, for example, in the horrible systemic kidnapping and abuse of Ukrainian children by Russian soldiers? It seems likely, given Microsoft called out providing child-related “services” (e.g. forced assembly and re-education) as acceptable Russian use.
That should be straightforward enough for Microsoft to be investigated and held accountable… unlike IBM, which still uses the “Watson” brand after his exposed role in genocide.
Thomas Watson chose to tabulate the Nazi census, to accept Hitler’s medal, and to fight for control of Dehomag. And he made other equally indefensible choices in his years of doing a profitable business counting Jews for Hitler…
IBM’s decisions and role are indefensible.
Morality may be more complicated for Microsoft, in ways the MRA calculator above didn’t consider. Let’s suppose a software company today supplies backdoors and remote control into updates entering Russian territory.
After all, Russia itself demanded Microsoft treat the country uniquely. Request granted?
In that sense, every Russian system taking updates from Microsoft now may be totally compromised by American military intelligence. And at the same time Russian systems not taking updates from Microsoft also may be… compromised.
We’re taking about Microsoft, after all. And war. And everyone in Russia surely knows the danger of “using” Windows.
My money is on Microsoft aiding America with what it wants, by giving Russia what it doesn’t understand.
That algorithm seems beyond the MRA, obviously, but the real proof would be Microsoft pushing code that (even indirectly) stops Russia torturing abducted children, let alone prevents Russia’s wider war crimes and its constant bombing of civilians.