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  • Earthling 9:40 am on December 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: australia bans encryption, chinese spying on autobmobile users, Directive on the Transition of Russian State-Owned Companies to Russian Software, ice violates us constitution, , mass-surveillance in india, ofcom bbc spat, prison corruption exposure in russia, Russia, russia ban on foreign software, russia fines for facebook and twitter, russian central ban block websites, yarovaya package prices   

    December Internet Freedom Update 

    RUSSIA

    The Central Bank will be empowered to block websites

    The State Duma introduced a bill providing for the possibility of the Central Bank restricting access to internet resources that violate legislation on the financial market

    (Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43704/)

    Group Forced to Take Back Prison Corruption Exposure

    The human rights organization “Russia Sitting” (“Русь сидящую”) has been ordered by the governent to refute information published online about prison corruption. This is following a lawsuit by the Sverdlovsk penal colony.

    (Source: https://www.roskomsvoboda.org/43981/)

    The “Yarovaya package” is expected to increase prices on the internet

    Some Internet providers in Moscow are raising prices for their services. In particular, one of the oldest providers in the capital, RiNet, announced that from January 1, 2019, the cost of services will increase by 5%. The company explained this by the fact that in 2018, a number of initiatives requiring “multimillion-dollar costs” came into force: including the law on increasing VAT from 18% to 20%, the “Yarovaya package” (which requires mass storage of data),and amendments to the government resolution on cooperation with bodies engaged in operational investigative activities.

    (Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43847/)

    State-owned companies will be forbidden to import software

    First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov approved the Directive on the Transition of Russian State-Owned Companies to Russian Software. As reported by Vedomosti with reference to a copy of the document, the enterprises were asked to develop a “clear plan” for such a transition by 2021. These are companies from the No. 91-p list approved by the government back in 2003. It includes Aeroflot, Gazprom, Sheremetyevo, Rosneft, Russian Railways, Channel One, RUSNANO, VTB, etc. Within ten days after receiving the directives, the companies should initiate meetings that include the issue of substituting imported software.

    (Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43847/)

    Russia sets fines for Facebook and Twitter

    Roskomnadzor has set a fine for Facebook and Twitter of 5,000 rubles. By January 17, 2019, both companies are required to provide “legally significant” answers about the requirement to localize user databases in Russia, otherwise they will be fined.

    Facebook and Twitter have not yet localized their user databases in Russia and have been notified of the need to comply with the law. Roskomnadzor is waiting for a response by January 17, the Head of the Department Alexander Zharov told reporters. According to him, on December 17 Roskomnadzor sent Facebook and Twitter notifications about the need to comply with the legislation of the Russian Federation in the field of user data.

    (Source: https/roskomsvoboda.org/43902/)

    Russia and UK investigate each other’s media

    (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46648010)

    Much of above content is translated from RoskomSvoboda

     

    US

    ICE rises above the Constitution, seizes websites without due process

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181213/18030341224/ice-seizes-over-1-million-websites-with-no-due-process-apparently-unaware-that-copyright-trademark-are-different.shtml

    INDIA

    India initiates hardcore mass-surveillance

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-computers-can-now-be-monitored-by-govt-agencies/article25792523.ece

    AUSTRALIA

    Australia outlaws encryption, will share the data with US and other former colonies

    Australia’s vague anti-encryption law sets a dangerous new precedent

    GLOBAL

    Automakers give the Chinese government access to location data of electric cars

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/30/18120148/car-companies-china-location-data-electric-cars-mercedes-tesla

     
  • Earthling 12:01 am on August 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Artem Kozlyuk, blocking IPs, blocking IPs without court, Elvira Baiullina, extrajudicial blocking, Russia, Russian Central Bank, ,   

    Russian Central Bank seeks right to extrajudicially block sites 

    The Russian Central Bank has developed a draft amendment to the law “On information”, allowing the regulator to block sites, located in Russia or abroad, if they are used for financial fraud.

    The Central Bank wants to get the right to block sites that are used for financial fraud, without trial. This idea, according to “Vedomosti”, was discussed last week at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov. The regulator has developed a draft amendment to the law “On information”, giving it such powers regardless of whether the site is located in the Russian or foreign zone. If the Central Bank receives such powers, it will become the seventh state body that has the right to place sites in the Register of Prohibited Information.

    The regulator aimed at sites whose names are similar to others, which allows them to mislead consumers, as well as sites that provide financial services without a license. The right to block such sites will be granted to either the Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, or one of her deputies.

    Also, the Central Bank wants to block sites that provide access to the resources of financial and credit institutions, not without trial, but in the pre-trial phase, using the block as an interim security measure. Finally, the Central Bank asks for the authority to block sites that spread false information about the state of financial institutions. But this idea was not supported by Akimov.

    The major Russian bank VTB supports the initiative of the Central Bank, as it considers it an effective method of combating fraud and the spread of malicious software, said the representative of the VTB. An employee of another large bank agreed with this. The rights of consumers can be protected by out-of-court blocking of phishing sites on foreign domains and sites that provide financial services, said Elman Mehdiyev, Executive Vice President of the Association of Russian banks.

    The head of the public organization “Roskomsvoboda” Artem Kozlyuk, in comments for “Vedomosti”, said that in contrast, he does not support this initiative, as violators can instantly move and continue their activities, and respectable sites that are unlucky enough to “live” on blocked IP-addresses and subnets will stop working:

    “More and more websites are being blocked by mistake without trial or before trial, so there is no need to expand the list of agencies with such powers. And sites that are blocked without trial cannot quickly challenge the regulator’s actions, and to make their sites available to users they have to remove the disputed information.”

    In July last year, the Central Bank discussed with the Ministry of Communications (now — the Ministry of Finance) a bill to empower it to block websites of financial pyramids in the pre-trial phase. The regulator planned to collect the web adresses of organizations that conduct illegal financial transactions and send them to Roskomnadzor.

    At the end of 2016, the Central Bank signed an agreement with the Coordination Center (CC) of the national internet domain — the administrator of national top-level domains “.rf” and “.ru” — according to which the Central Bank has received the status of a competent organization with the right to identify violating sites that distribute malware, resources with illegal content, and phishing sites, and to provide this data to the Coordination Center and accredited domain name registrars so they can block such sites. Last year, the Central Bank of Russia initiated the blocking of several hundred such internet resources.

    Translated from Roskomsvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/41143/

    In the comments section it was suggested that these government agencies with the authority to extrajudicially block sites may start blocking each other soon.

     
  • Earthling 3:14 pm on August 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , educational apps, educational software, Federal Service for the Supervision of Education and Science, mobile app, mobile apps, Natalya Naumova, Rosobornadzor, Russia, Russia USe, Russian government mobile apps, , Russian Unified State Exam, student anxiety, Unified State Exam, USE, ЕГЭ, Единый государственный экзамен   

    Russian government promises a mobile application for the Unified State Exam 

     

    According to Natalya Naumova, deputy head of Rosobornadzor (the Federal Service for the Supervision of Education and Science), one of the goals of developing a mobile app is to reduce the anxiety of children, parents and teachers. In addition to the application, they promise to develop a memo for the students about their rights. “We will focus on this, so that the students will know where to go, what the procedures are, and so these events can be explained to parents and students,” says Naumova.

    Recall that in February, Rosobrnadzor launched video consultations on preparing for the USE, and even earlier they released a series of posters , where the rules and features of the exam are presented in the form of infographics.

    Translated from http://www.edutainme.ru/post/rosobrnadzor-obeshchaet-razrabotat-mobilnoe-prilozhenie-o-ege/

     
  • Earthling 9:48 am on July 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Digital School, Digital School project, , digitization of textbooks, , educational digitization, Leonid Perlov, Mikhail Kotyukov, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Olga Vasilieva, Russia,   

    Russian schools expect “digitization of textbooks” by 2020 

    This comes from the working version of the new priority project “Digital School” from the Russian Ministry of Education. According to the Digital School project, by December 2020 the Ministry of Education plans to partially abandon traditional textbooks on 11 general education subjects.

    Instead of traditional textbooks, schoolchildren will receive “personal access devices certified in the prescribed manner”. In addition, children with mild illnesses will be able to remotely participate in lessons, and by 2025 electronic communications will be established between clinics in schools and children’s polyclinics. The budget of the project may be 507.3 billion rubles.

    The document does not specify which textbooks will be converted into electronic form, however the co-chairman of the Teacher Trade Union, Leonid Perlov suggested that the changes may affect all the main disciplines.

    The “Digital School” project was prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science in March, but remains relevant to this day, said a source close to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry refused to comment on certain provisions of the project, explaining that it is still ready.

    The Ministry of Education and Science was divided into the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in May. The Ministry of Education was headed by Olga Vasilieva, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education by Mikhail Kotyukov.
    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39758/

     
  • Earthling 5:08 pm on June 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: banned meat, banned meat in Russia, beef, , , , Kukmorsky, Kukmorsky district, Kukmorsky district prosecutor, Kukmorsky prosecutor, offal, pork, , Russia, , , Russian sanctions,   

    Russia: Prosecutors seek to block online information about forbidden meat 

    In Tatarstan, the local prosecutor’s office is seeking to block websites selling prohibited products from a number of countries to Russia.

    In the Kukmorsky District of the Republic of Tatarstan, the prosecutor’s office, while monitoring the internet for banned information, found two websites that contained information about direct imports of beef, pork and offal from a number of countries that Russia had imposed sanctions on.

    However, from the information published on the website of the Kukmorsky Prosecutor’s Office, it is not entirely clear from which countries the Russian users are offered to purchase beef, pork and offal. Although at first the prosecutors talk about Ukraine, South America and the EU, when they refer to the RF Government decree, it is already about North America:

    “In accordance with Clause 1 of the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation ‘On measures to implement the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of August 6, 2014 No. 560 On the Application of Special Economic Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation’, by December 31, 2018, the importation to the Russian Federation of agricultural products, raw materials and food products originating from the United States of America, the countries of the European Union, Canada, Australia, the Kingdom of Norway, Ukraine, the Republic of Albania, Montenegro Iceland, the Republic of Iceland and the Principality of Liechtenstein.”

    Perhaps the work of the prosecutors from Tatarstan was affected by the blocks by Roskomnadzor, which led to the malfunctioning of Google services, including geographic focus?

    In order to suppress unlawful activities, the district prosecutor requested the court to recognize this information as prohibited for distribution throughout the Russian Federation and to block the resources. The prosecutor’s request is currently under consideration, as reported on the website of the Kukmorsky Prosecutor’s Office.

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39741/

     
  • Earthling 9:25 pm on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ethnic languages, , , , mandatory study of languages in russia, , mother tongue, Russia, , russian language, ,   

    Russia: State Duma resolves issue of state language education 

    Recently, the State Duma hosted an extended meeting for a task group on finalizing the amendments to the Federal Law “On Education in the Russian Federation”. The big problem revolving around the study of state languages, which manifested itself after complaints from parents in Tatarstan, seems to have been resolved. Deputies spoke about the coming changes, as reported by FederalPress.

    The members of the working group held the discussion behind closed doors. We do not exclude the possibility that the appearance of the deputies before journalists was preceded by verbal battles, because the problem of studying national languages ​​in schools so recently turned out to be socially explosive. This meeting was preceded by a scandal in Tatarstan, where the parents of schoolchildren complained that in educational institutions too many hours are dedicated to the study of the Tatar language. In their view, education of the Russian language suffered because of this. Then there were the first rumors, the essence of which was reduced to one — native languages ​​will no longer be mandatory in the curriculum. Representatives of ethnic communities were outraged by this prospect.

    Th Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Education and Science, Vyacheslav Nikonov, came out with a statement to reassure supporters of the compulsory study of national languages. “Native languages ​​and native literature will remain compulsory in the educational program,” Nikonov told reporters.

    According to him, all the participants of the working group are interested in preserving the national languages ​​of all the peoples of Russia. Nikonov announced the creation of a special fund which will improve teaching programs. In addition, as the working group members said, the current proposals need to be complemented with a number of by-laws.

    “The decision was made to write down, in the draft resolution, a proposal to create a plan for teaching native and state languages ​​of the Russian Federation. I am sure we will be able to do a lot to support the study of the native and state languages ​​of the Russian Federation through the creation of a fund that will develop textbooks and standards for studying the languages ​​of the peoples who inhabit our country,” Nikonov said.

    Deputy Andrei Isaev said that the task group faced a very difficult task: to ensure voluntary participation in the choice and study of language,s and at the same time ensure the compulsory study of native languages. The parliamentarian assured that a compromise was found. It would seem that all parties should be happy. But there is a nuance.

    “Teaching the state languages ​​of the republics, the native languages, ​​remains mandatory in the curriculum. There can be no doubt of this. Under this bill, the Russian language will be included in the list native languages; currently it is only the state language of the country. Including it among the native languages ​​will allow you to choose Russian as your native language. The right for parents or legal representatives to choose a mother tongue,” Isaev explained.

    Skeptical comments from regional politicians and public figures appeared in the local presses, claiming that state ethnic identities could suffer as a consequence of such a reform and the number of students choosing state languages ​​would be sharply reduced. They were challenged by members of the task group, and such fears were called baseless.

    To confirm their good intentions, parliamentarians spoke about the inspections of the Rosobrnadzor (Federal Service for the Supervision of Education and Science) and the Prosecutor General’s Office into language issues in the national republics. According to them, a number of programs and textbooks have not been examined. However, they did not mention specific figures, names, or regions. In the margins of the meeting, the members of the task group clarified that the specifics are expected at the next regular meeting of the State Duma.

    The first reading of the bill will be held on June 19.

    Translated from gumilev-center.ru: http://www.gumilev-center.ru/gosduma-preodolela-yazykovojj-barer-deputaty-opredelilas-s-tem-kak-v-shkolakh-budut-izuchat-nacionalnye-yazyki/

     
  • Earthling 12:58 am on June 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: altai culture, celebrating minorities, , Ethnic cultures in Russia, , ethnic music concert, ethno-festical, folklore competition, handicraft competition, homys, khakass culture, khoburakh, koor, Master o the Yamal, minority cultures in russia, peoples of the north, preservation of folk art, preservation of traditional crafts, Russia, russia ethnic sports, salekhard, Soul of the Tundra, Spirit of the Tundra, traditional ethnic instruments in russia, tundra sports, yah   

    Russia: Ethno-festival “Soul of the Tundra” takes place in Salekhard 

    etno-710x434

    The third “Soul of the Tundra” ethno-festival began in Salekhard on June 9, according to National Accent.

    On the first day, a handicraft competition was held, as well as a workshop on “Development and preservation of traditional crafts and folk art”. The opening of the festival featured creative teams, national sports teams, and sampling of national dishes.

    Next, guests beheld the Folklore Competition of the Peoples of the North, the “Master of the Yamal” competition, and the “World of Crafts” fair. The festival ended with a big concert of ethnic music. The artists presented throat singing, elements of Khakass and Altai folk music, ethno-rock, etc., with modern instruments as well as traditional ones: the Yah, Homys, Khoburakh, Koor, and others.

    Translated from gumilev-center.ru: http://www.gumilev-center.ru/ehtnofestival-dusha-tundry-startoval-v-salekharde/

     
  • Earthling 2:32 pm on June 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bashkortostan, for a goat, horse racing, horse sports, horseback battles, horseback combat, Kok-Bor, Kyrgyzstan nomad games, nomad sports, nomad sports competition, Nomadic sports competition, participation in world nomad games, Russia, Sports in Bashkortostan, Sports in Russia, Traditional nomadic sports, World Nomad Games   

    Russia: Bashkortostan to witness horseback battles for goats 

    v_ijune-710x434

    For the first time Bashkortostan will host competitions for participation in the World Nomad Games. Ethnic sports competitions will be held on June 16 near lake Bannoye in Abzelilovsky District of Bashkiria. Bashkortostan will be represented by more than a hundred participants, all masters of ethnic sports.

    The winners will perform at the third World Nomad Games, which are held every two years and will take place in September 2018 in Kyrgyzstan.

    Spectators of the event will enjoy an exciting fight from the sidelines, Kok-Bor (battle for the goat on horseback), horse racing, as well as dice and traditional board games. Together with the competitions there will be diverse ethno-cultural programs, representing various aspects of traditional culture.

    Translated from gumilev-center.ru: http://www.gumilev-center.ru/v-iyune-bashkiriyu-ozhidaet-konnaya-bitva-za-kozla/

     
  • Earthling 9:31 pm on June 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, Dmitry Smirnov, , Family education in Russia, Family studies, Family studies in Russia, International Children's Day, Irina Volynets, Larisa Sanatovskaya, Russia,   

    Russia to introduce “Family Studies” to schools 

    The relationship between a man and a woman, child care, and family economics will be covered in a new school course, as reported by News.ru.

    The school year has just ended, and parents and teachers are already thinking about what comes next. Since September schoolchildren have been waiting for the Family Studies course about the foundations of family traditions. On June 1, the International Children’s Day, Russian schools received guidelines for the preparation of courses. The author of the course, the executive director of the National Parents Association Larisa Sanatovskaya, explained that the classes will be voluntary.

    We tried not to reduce this to a discipline that would be forced on everyone and everything. It will be offered exclusively on a voluntary basis, on cultural and moral grounds, because we understand that this country is multinational,” she said.

    According to her, the course will be taken not as a separate subject, but included in certain topics in existing ones. The schoolchildren will be told about the relationship between a man and a woman, responsibility in creating a family, and the family way of life.

    According to the Chairman of the National Parenting Committee Irina Volynets, schoolchildren currently get an idea of ​​family life only from their families. And some parents, she noted, are against such lessons. However, as a mother of four children, she believes that schools should provide such an opportunity, but only with the consent of parents.

    I would send my children to these lessons with pleasure, but before that I would like to familiarize myself with the curriculum. And, of course, the teaching staff is very important. I believe that they should be not just teachers, but people who have had a successful experience of family life themselves,” she said.

    Irina Volynets doubts that women who could not build a happy family for themselves will be able to talk about how to do it. The question for her remains the search for personnel for this subject, because we need teachers or psychologists who personally want to talk about it with children. It is also necessary to take into account religious and ethnic considerations.

    In addition, many mothers believe that this course should be taught as early as junior school.

    [We will try] to give information in an appropriate manner and degree for the child’s age and psychology. At the same time, it must be understood that children today are very literate, even in terms of law, and they themselves can refuse to study this subject,” she said.

    At the same time Irina Volynets is sure that the importance of the topic is beyond doubt, and that the course will be supported by both children and parents.

    For her part, Larisa Sanatovskaya explained that the course will involve the growth of the parents themselves, because future mothers need to know what can be done while on maternity leave.

    The Chairman of the Patriarchal Commission for Family, Maternity and Childhood Protection, Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, believes that the course should become a main subject in the modern school.

    We live in an era of total destruction of the family. Now telling the children about the family is like giving Chinese lessons,” he said.

    The priest also stressed that no school courses will solve the problem of creating and preserving the family if children do not have worthy examples to follow.

    Translated from gumilev-center.ru: http://www.gumilev-center.ru/v-shkolakh-poyavitsya-semevedenie/

     
  • Earthling 11:46 am on June 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abkhazia, Abkhazian independence, Georgia, Independence, Russia, South Ossetia, South Ossetian independence, Syria, Syrian Arab Republic   

    Syria establishes relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia 

    The Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of South Ossetia have agreed to mutually recognize each other and establish of diplomatic relations, as revealed on May 29 on the website of the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry. An equivalent agreement was also reached between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Abkhazia.

    The Republic of South Ossetia and the Syrian Arab Republic … declare mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the embassy level from the date of publication of this communique,” the report said.

    It is noted that the two countries seek “to establish and develop full-scale political, economic and cultural cooperation.” It is emphasized that the actions of countries will comply with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 23, 1963.

    Syria also agreed on mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Abkhazia. This was stated in a notice from the President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba, published on his official website on Tuesday.

    On May 29, 2018, the Republic of Abkhazia and the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) announced the mutual recognition and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the embassy level, reflecting their common desire to develop relations in all areas,” the document says.

    According to Khajimba, this was preceded by the hard work of the Abkhazian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy of the republic in Russia, and other departments.

    Yesterday, on May 28, a tripartite meeting was held between the ambassadors of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of South Ossetia to the Russian Federation, during which the ambassadors agreed on the text and the date of the release of the announcement, and exchanged relevant notes,” the document says.

    We highly appreciate this step of the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic and are confident that our relations will develop in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation,” Hajimba said, expressing confidence that “in the near future peace will come to the Syrian land and its people will begin peaceful lives [again].”

    Syria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia all have close ties with Russia and have been qualified, especially by Western sources, as “puppets,” largely on account of their military reliance on Russian forces. Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from the Republic of Georgia in 2008 with Russian military assistance, and the Syrian government is now being sustained through a period of civil war with heavy Russian support.

    Georgia has been widely blamed for starting the conflict that resulted in the loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, although their independence is not recognized by most states. Further reading: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8281990.stm

     
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