Submitted by Laura Miller on
Earlier this year, Utah State Attorney General Mark Shurtleff received two letters from dead people requesting that the state go easy on Microsoft. As it turns out, the letters are part of the computer giant's nation-wide astroturf campaign, targeting the offices of 18 attorneys general who have joined the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit. The Los Angeles Times reports that in recent weeks, Microsoft has been refining its letter writing strategy so that no two letters are identical. The giveaway, however, is in the phrasing. Iowa's attorney general reports receiving four letters that include this sentence: "Strong competition and innovation have been the twin hallmarks of the technology industry." Three others use exactly these words: "If the future is going to be as successful as the recent past, the technology sector must remain free from excess regulation."