November Internet Freedom Update

Difficult teenagers in Ural to be entered into a single database for surveillance

Authorities claim the creation of such a system will reduce the response time to incidents and help to identify at an early stage children who may be affected by terrorist or other radical movements.

(https://roskomsvoboda.org/42944/)

 

FOB automated extremism-searching system to be launched in Perm

The main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in the Perm Region is seeking to buy hardware and software to automatically search for and analyze extremist materials.

(https://roskomsvoboda.org/42982/)

 

The head of Roskomnadzor is in favor of fines instead of blocks for banned content

The head of Russia’s censoring body, Alexander Zharov, has advocated the introduction of fines for online services repeatedly violating Russian censorship laws, instead of the current ineffective system of blocking.

(https://roskomsvoboda.org/43006/)

 

Moscow to spend 53 million rubles on the analysis of online activity

This was spotted on the public procurement portal by RosKomSvoboda. The Government of Moscow plans to purchase a new data analysis system, called STATS.

Notable aims of the system include:
• ensuring the possibility of identifying a unique internet visitor in the absence of cookies in the browser of the Internet visitor;
• segmentation and clustering of internet visitors with the ability to identify target groups;
• search for implicit target groups by building links between internet visitors with similar behavior;
• providing information about the behavior of internet users to personalize the content blocks of internet resources.

(https://roskomsvoboda.org/43084/)

 

The Internet in Ingushetia was turned off during protests at the request of security forces

This follows from the response of Roskomnadzor to complaints from residents of the republic. The supervisory authority does not intend to fine mobile operators for violating the rights of citizens.

The days when Ingushetia was left without mobile internet coincided with mass protests in the republic in the first half of October. Local residents opposed the unfair, in their view, agreement on the establishment of the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya.

At the end of October of this year, more than 30 residents of the republic complained to Roskomnadzor about the blocking of mobile internet by telecom operators during rallies in the capital of the republic, Magas. At that time, according to Daurbekov, more than 400 such complaints had already accumulated.

As local residents tell us, in Ingushetia, 3G and 4G are disconnected every time a rally or public action is scheduled. And this has been happening for at least 10 years.

“This is about the protection of the constitutional order. Statements were recorded that can be qualified as calls for mass riots,” said a source in the security forces.

(https://roskomsvoboda.org/43042/)

 

Austrian government wants to abolish online anonymity

Austrian authorities believe that forcing users to use real names in cyberspace will solve the problem of online verbal abuse.

The Austrian government held a narrow meeting with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and heads of several ministries on the protection of public figures and ordinary citizens from anonymous threats and abuse on the web.

As a result, Kurz and Strache announced the need to ban the “niqab on the net” and to oblige the platform to register users only with real names. They stressed that this is not about monitoring or restriction of freedom, but about the possibility for authorities to identify of violators of order.

In addition, the Secretary of State Carolina Altstadter is working on the introduction of more stringent penalties for harassment on the internet.

The authorities understand that this intention is difficult to implement. “I ask for your understanding, we are at the very beginning,” Kurz said.

This proposal from the authorities has already caused controversy in Austrian society, as many think that anonymity is not the main reason for cheeky behavior on the web.

(Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/43000/)

 

China is exporting its surveillance techniques and technology, notably to Africa, Venezuela, and Singapore

https://freedomhouse.org/china-media/china-media-bulletin-us-china-tensions-upgraded-police-surveillance-africa-influence-no-130

Venezuela: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/venezuela-zte/

Singapore: https://www.fastcompany.com/90269129/singapore-wants-to-add-face-recognition-surveillance-to-110000-lamp-posts

Ongoing Genocide in China Uses the Latest Tech

“Compulsory government apps have been installed on phones to monitor conversations, group gatherings, religious or anti-Chinese downloads. At ubiquitous checkpoints, anxious police officers scan phones for anomalies. A switched-off phone is suspect, as is a device restored to factory settings. An analogue phone – or no phone at all – is equally suspicious.”; “Mosques across the province are being reduced to rubble. The places of worship have given way to parks, factories, apartments and entertainment centers.”; “Normal now are families too terrified to speak of their loved ones and the horrific realization that vast numbers of Uighurs have indeed disappeared. Tens of thousands of now-empty homes have been sealed and alarmed to prevent reentry. A government official sent to help with the harvest in the south reported villages denuded of workers and orphanages being built to house children left behind.”

“There is recognition technology, with databases covering the face, voice, fingerprints and DNA of every Chinese citizen. Then positional monitoring, including mobile devices, which even now can report on the location of 1.4 billion citizens (the trick will be to use AI to make that information recoverable in real time), backed up by other public systems, such as linking up more than 170 million cameras (said to rise to 400 million by 2020).

Next is lifestyle monitoring. Databases concerning the individual, be they health or education records, details of purchases made or internet activity, will be monitored. This is where we find data from the social credit system, which is like a financial credit rating but far broader. Anyone deemed anti-social (or anti-Communist party) will find themselves blocked from buying air or train tickets, getting a mortgage or even graduating.

Finally, there is the ‘grid system’ information, which divides cities into small parcels overseen by citizens who are paid to report unusual activity to the police. The East Germans had a Stasi: in the 21st century, China enlists far more people. In Chaoyang district in Beijing, for instance, there are around 120,000 paid informants in operation. The information they provide is sifted through using computer power and artificial intelligence.”

https://eurasianet.org/perspectives-dispatch-from-xinjiang-friday-doesnt-happen-anymore

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/11/social-credit-is-just-one-part-of-chinas-new-state-control/

48 Ways to Get Sent to a Chinese Concentration Camp

https://www.jumpthegreatfirewall.com/