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US identifies new Microsoft hire as Russian spy

updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed July 14, 2010

Microsoft unknowingly hired Russian secret agent

Microsoft suffered a wound to its public image today as it was revealed that a new Russian spy had been caught working at the company. Alexey Karetnikov had been working as a Software Design Engineer in Test at the Windows developer since October and was ordered out of the country on Monday after falling afoul of US immigration law. A Washington Post source in federal law enforcement, however, said that Karetnikov had "just set up shop" as a spy in Redmond, Washington and that the immigration charges were technicalities used without enough evidence of actual crimes to bring espionage charges so soon.

No information was leaked since the agent had been in the US, the insider said. The FBI reportedly monitored Karetnikov since he had arrived in the country. The arrest is the 11th of a Russian agent in the US and comes independent of the discovery of a spy ring that had resulted in the first 10 arrests.

Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos confirmed that Karetnikov had been an employee and had been deported, but wouldn't comment further on the circumstances.

The hiring of a spy is nonetheless the latest in a series of employee-related blows at Microsoft. It recently saw J Allard and Robbie Bach leave amid unconfirmed rumors of discontent with strategy. A decision to cancel the Kin after just six weeks on sale also saw employees rolled into the Windows Phone division after accusations of infighting, and it recently cut hundreds of jobs in an effort to trim overhead as it hires in other areas.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +7

    a wee exaggerated

    How is it "a wound to [Microsoft's] public image" if even the US Gov't took this long to suspect this guy of being a spy? I didn't realize MS was expected to have better ways of ferreting these people out.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +10

    ???

    What are they going to steal? Kin?

  1. jreades

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 1999

    +3

    It all makes sense!

    I get it now -- the pile of rubbish put out by MS over the past ten years was all the result of tricksy Russian spies!

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +5

    Freelance Spy - read for details

    Well I'm sick of this, I have 15 years IT experience, U.S. Citizenship, and I even speak Russian, and I have never been tapped to be a spy.

    I'm tired of it. But an idea has occurred to me, maybe I'm aiming to high, I should start with some freelance work for some small South American countries.

    Typically a Panama can't afford to have a deep cover agent in the U.S. - but maybe we could work out an arrangement on a contingency basis.

    I certainly won't be able to collect any sensitive information, but just think of the publicity if one of your agents gets arrested - wtf, Panama had a spy?

    Instant international prestige upgrade. If interest just write spywork2010 gmail.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    A spy? Really?

    Alexey Karetnikov had been working as a Software Design Engineer in Test at the Windows developer since October and was ordered out of the country on Monday after falling afoul of US immigration law.

    How good of a spy could he be if they couldn't even keep his Visa in order?

    A Washington Post source in federal law enforcement, however, said that Karetnikov had "just set up shop" as a spy in Redmond, Washington and that the immigration charges were technicalities used without enough evidence of actual crimes to bring espionage charges so soon.

    So, what does 'set up shop' mean? He had a Skype account with the name "SecretRussianSpy"?

    No information was leaked since the agent had been in the US, the insider said. The FBI reportedly monitored Karetnikov since he had arrived in the country.

    OK, so the FBI has been watching him since he came into the country, and after 9 months had no evidence he was a spy, and he had gathered no information while being this spy? So much so you needed immigration to kick him out on technicalities for you didn't have enough evidence? Guess what. To deport someone, you don't need much if any evidence. They're in our country at our discretion. If we feel someone is a threat, we can deport them. You don't need any more evidence than to say "Look, he met with this KGB colonel. Send him out!" The fact you didn't do that showed he was nothing more than in the country illegally for the same reasons most people come here. But he's russian, so let's call him a spy!

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Oh

    Maybe what Arizonans and other staunch "Get all these illegals out of here now!" should do is get some of the press and the like to start talking up how we're in a new cold-war with the Latin American countries, esp. Mexico. Then we can call all those illegals "spys" and maybe someone in the gov't will actually try to find and deport them.

    Although it will, apparently, take 9 months once they find them to watch who they're talking to, and, once they realize there isn't anything there, then deport them. Of course, if most of them are actually spies, they would not be deported since the feds would want to watch them for 10 years or something so they can determine who's running the show and controlling this band.

    I think we'll find out that the man behind the largest illegal immigration ring is actually Lou Dobbs. Why else would he be so opposed to immigrants. All the other rings are cutting into his organization. Plus, it keeps the prices high for those wanting to come in.

    Think about it. The same way it's the big drug lords in the world who are the biggest proponents of the US war on drugs. If drugs were at all legalized, these people would lose a ton of money. And they don't want that.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: It all makes sense!

    I get it now -- the pile of rubbish put out by MS over the past ten years was all the result of tricksy Russian spies!


    That's not it at all. It was all part of MS's plan to collapse the Russian tech sector. Hire Russian spies. Have them work on their 'premier' products (like WinMo, Zune, Kin, Vista), which are actually just bogus products to fool the russians. Spies send secrets to these 'innovative' products back to Russia. Russian companies spend millions reverse engineering and copying the ideas. They don't find out until it is too late that the products are garbage, but by then they've wasted billions and years on the efforts.

    It was an ingenious scheme hatched by the US gov't and Bill Gates. However, when Bill stepped down, he forgot to mention this to Ballmer. Ballmer sees the products and ideas, think they're real, and pushes them out the door.

    That's how it all went down (and, yes, I was in on this from the beginning, but I'm keeping my name out of it for fear of black helicopters coming by to keep me quiet).

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    MS knew they hired a Russian spy...

    They needed to pick his brains about how to get the most inner secrets of Apple. They might have even tried to make him a double agent and start work at Apple so he could tell MS where new retail stores would be opened and the progress of AppleTV. This dude sure is a dorky-looking Russian spy.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +2

    In Soviet Russia, you copy Microsoft.

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