Re: Do you want to be held hostage by Microsoft?
"Basically, there's no realistic defence against government-level attacks on your business. At least, not in the sense of preventing them. "
Yes there is. It's called seperation of powers. Sadly (in the US at least), the legislative branch has lately allowed itself to become irrelevant and is ridden roughshod over by the executive branch. In many countries the seperation of powers wasn't as strong to begin with. More importantly, an independent judiciary and police force is an important part of a functioning liberal democracy. Again, sadly we are seeing in many parts of the US and EU that judicial appointments are being made with heavy political bias, and/or having the executive branch exert undue influence on police activity, in effect deciding who to apply the law against and who to protect.
The other element is "rule of law", another essential cornerstone of liberal democracy, and again unfortunately the totalitarians (on either side) keep reinterpreting this to mean "we can change law to whatever we want and then the shit we do is legal" rather than the real meaning of "law should be applied to all indiscriminately", and in any case conform to a broad set of accepted principles eg human rights
The problem is that these defences keep getting eroded using other shit (like artificially-stoked fear of immigration, terrorism, paedophilia etc) as an excuse, and many people are falling for that shit because they're already living on an economic and social knife-edge* and are more prone to scaremongering.
OK, rant over
*possibly by design