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  • Earthling 1:40 am on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: absurdism in russian politics, buccal epithelium, crimea, critical information infrastructure attacks in russia, dangerous reposts on vk, database of internet extremists, demons, elina mamedova, , how to bypass internet censorship in uzbekistan, , internet censorship in uzbekistan, , internet freedom in uzbekistan, National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, reposts on vkontakte, risk of reposting, Russian internet censorship, , terrorists using telegram in uzbekistan, theater of absurdity, uzbekistan censorship, uzbekistan vpn, vkontakte repost, vpn in uzbekistan, yalta   

    September Internet Freedom Update 

    Russian government establishes center for combating cyberattacks

    By the order of the head of the FSB, the National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents (NCCCI) as been established. This center will coordinate defenses from cyberattacks of critical information infrastructure.

    (Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/41584/)

    Woman accused of internet extremism is asked for DNA and voice samples

    The defense of the 27-year-old Crimean woman Elina Mamedova assumes that these requests are used by the authorities to form a certain database of “extremists”.

    The Investigative Committee demanded from a resident of Yalta, 27-year-old Elina Mamedova, accused of extremism for her posts on the internet, that she provide samples of saliva, voice and buccal epithelium (DNA collected via a cotton swab in the cheek). This was reported by her lawyer, Alexei Ladin of the human rights group Agora, who suggested that these samples are needed to form a “database of extremists”.

    Ladin also said:

    Obviously, the evidentiary value of samples of voice, saliva and DNA borders on absurdity. …The defense is convinced that the criminal prosecution of Elina Mamedova is unconstitutional, in connection with which she has refused to provide samples, in order to minimize her participation in the theater of absurdity.”

    Mamedov is accused of inciting hatred or enmity on the basis of nationality (Part 1, Article 282 of the Criminal Code). The criminal case was opened on the basis of reposts on VKontakte, which she shared back in 2014 and 2015.

    (Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/41549)

    In Uzbekistan, officialized internet censorship is responded to with instructions to circumvent it

    The Uzbek authorities have officially approved the rules for blocking websites, although this country has long restricted access to internet resources that provide alternative information about events in the country.

    Against the backdrop of the adoption of these rules, and also in reaction to some Facebook malfunctions which were mistaken for blocks, popular web publications began to publish instructions on circumvention of blocks, and the usage of VPNs in particular. Examples have been given for VPN installation and relevant browser extensions and phone applications.

    The difficulties in accessing Facebook were encountered by users of several countries in early September. The failure partially touched the US, as well as Europe and Asia. These problems were explained as technical problems. Later it was reported that access to the service in Uzbekistan was still absent, although Facebook could be accessed via VPN.

    Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan, resources that provide alternative information about events in the country have long been blocked. Access to the Fergana website was blocked after the 2005 Andijon events . However, the authorities officially denied blocking the website. Popular instant messengers as Skype, Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp have also been blocked. Online communications, according to some Central Asian governments, are the main tool of terrorists.

    (Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org)

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

    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 6:46 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Big Data, Boston Consulting Group, encryption, global marketing, global policy, hackers, Kripta technology, Mikhail Kozinski, MKS, Ms. Kasperskaya, , net neutrality in russia, Nikita Mikhalkov, , , russian counterterrorism, russian hackers, Russian infocommunication code, Russian internet censorship, , , stenography, Steven Spielberg, , , , ,   

    The Yarovaya package, Big Data, and the death of network neutrality: The last frontier 


    What awaits us after the entry into force of the “Yarovaya” law on July 1, 2018? Increased rates for internet services? Tighter authoritarian control over citizens? The end of network neutrality?

    In the very near future, this year in fact, in connection with the entry into force of new regulations on total network surveillance of Russian citizens, it is likely that such negative scenarios will play out. We will pay more for the internet and other modes of communication. Resources that are unsuitable for the state or individual corporations will be prohibited, or harder to access because they did not fall into the “fast track” determined by internet providers. For access to YouTube, WhatsApp and Skype you will pay a separate fee, and instead of them “import-substituting” services will be imposed.

    Network Neutrality

    What is on the verge of being lost is the principle of network neutrality, whereby access to all resources is allowed without restrictions, as long as the information published is not prohibited by law. In full compliance with this principle, operators must pass traffic at the same speed, regardless of whether it comes from a small site or a giant corporation.

    In 2015, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced the principle of full network neutrality, forbidding providers from blocking websites or applying discriminatory measures against any internet traffic. But at the end of 2017 the FCC changed its mind and began the process of abolishing these neutrality rules, while the supporters of this move call it the “RESTORING INTERNET FREEDOM ORDER”.

    The ability of politicians to distort things is simply amazing: to restrict the functioning of sites and services is “restoration of internet freedom”!

    The FCC press release said:

    “Restoring a favorable climate for network investment is key to closing the digital divide, spurring competition and innovation that benefits consumers.

    Generally speaking, it can be said that internet providers (especially cellular operators) are seeking to earn more money. In particular, having bitten off a decent chunk of the media companies’ revenues, they are also sharing with the politicians who lobbied the decision to abolish network neutrality. And this is all under the banner of freedom.

    The possibility of an early cancellation of network neutrality caused a storm of indignation in the US: Silicon Valley, digital human rights defenders, and the media sector have met this initiative furiously.

    The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, spoke out against changes in American internet policy: “Network neutrality — the principle that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally, underpins the internet as we know it today.”

    Already more than 2.4 million people have signed a petition in defense of the principles of network neutrality. A number of IT giants have declared their readiness to participate in the forthcoming trials against the FCC.

    Also, most senators are determined to abolish the FCC decision. All 49 Democrats support the resolution to abolish the FCC decision, along with a Republican senator from Maine. The supporters of network neutrality in Congress have had only 60 days to use the law on revision. The deadline is June 12. On May 9, the senators submitted a petition that would allow a vote to be taken to abolish the FCC decision.

    And what about Russia?

    At present the principle of network neutrality in Russia is observed by providers in practice, but at the legislative level it is not defined.

    At the end of 2017, the Media-Communications Union, represented by the largest telecommunications operators and media holdings of Russia, started developing the Infocommunication Code, a single document that is intended to replace the existing laws “On Communications”, “On Information, Information Technologies and Protection information”, and “On personal data”.

    The new legislation will take into account not only technologies and relations within the industry, but also “the opportunities and risks inherent in their development, including the exchange of information between devices, ensuring constitutional rights to privacy, protection of personal data, etc.”

    The Infocommunication Code project provides for a “soft interpretation” of the principle of network neutrality, where “reasonable restriction and control of traffic” is allowed. For example, an operator will be able to manage traffic during network congestion and provide priority access to its own content or partner content.

    “We create regulations not for the sake of regulation, but for the sake of creating a unified competitive environment. This is the first task. The second task is to protect national content.” said MKS President, Pavel Stepanov.

    This he said, when he lobbied for laws on online video sites and SMS registration in messengers (in fact, de-anonymization of all users of these services).

    In other words, we can assume that when the Infocommunication Code comes into force, figuratively speaking, the latest film from Nikita Mikhalkov will download faster than a blockbuster from Steven Spielberg.

    The first version of the Infocommunication Code was intended to appear by April 2018. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is working on its creation on the order of the MKS, and signed a contract for $600 thousand.

    Yet this first version has still not appeared. Some information did get out, however. It was pointed out that the Code is intended to consolidate the principle of network neutrality as it operates today. At the same time, the developers of the concept indicate that it is necessary to work out the issues of traffic management in case of network accidents, as well as the possibility of slowing down certain types of traffic, in particular, P2P – the network principle on which user file-sharing and torrent trackers work.

    And what is the connection between the InfoCode and the Yarovaya package?

    The Yarovaya package comes into force on July 1. According to this pair of laws, ISPs are obliged to record and store all user traffic for up to 6 months: text messages, voice data, images, sounds, video and other messages of users of communication services. This could mean:

    • ISP expenses are rising
    • Communication becomes more expensive
    • A wave of indignation among internet users
    • Power rating is reduced

    This is one option.

    Another option is filtering traffic by content type, and limiting the speed of access to certain resources and types of communication.

    The main portion of Russian internet traffic is video content. And regardless of whether it is required to store it under the law or not, it just makes sense to take media resources and require an extra fee for access to them at normal speeds. This will not increase the overall cost for subscribers, since it will cover the costs for online cinemas and other sites with video content.

    Torrent trackers will also be slowed down under the filter, but this is in tune with the “anti-piracy law”. This will allow them to swing audiences towards legal online cinemas,. Music and game content will also be taken under control.

    No matter how you look at it, this is bad news for the users. How this deterioration will affect the general political situation is hard to predict (we are not in Europe or the US, where any little attempt to harm the freedom of the internet brings hundreds of thousands to the streets, or even millions).

    The Great Game, Big Data

    On September 1, 2015, the law on the storage of personal data of Russians in the territory of the Russian Federation came into force. Many foreign companies in response just moved their servers outside of Russia.

    Ms. Kasperskaya has long openly stated that “big user data” of Russians should be recognized as the property of the state. Also, her subgroup “Internet+society” has offered to regulate the collection of impersonal big data, which can be used to identify the user.

    Believe me – with this approach, we ourselves will soon be recognized as the property of the state. It’s been tacitly acknowledged, and for a long time…

    It is interesting – and what do such statements mean by the term “state”? Who exactly should these data belong to?

    With such data in your hands, you can make a fairly accurate “digital portrait” of a person.

    In 2012, Mikhail Kozinski proved that analyzing 68 likes on Facebook is enough to determine skin color (with 95% accuracy), sexual preferences (88% accuracy) and political views (85% accuracy).

    Kozinski’s model helps to know more about a person than his colleagues do after ten studied likes. After 70 likes, more than a friend. After 150 likes – more than parents. After 300 likes – more than a partner. An even greater number of studied actions helps to learn more about the person more than he himself.

    There is a story that after analyzing the data of 200 million American citizens on the model of Kozinski, a certain group that specializes in election campaign managed to influence the course of the last US elections, through targeted content. Another trump card for opponents of the current US President.

    Russia is not far behind in terms of big data analysis. This is normal practice all over the world.

    For example, the Kripta technology, which allows Yandex to evaluate a user’s gender, age category, income level and many other personal characteristics, was launched in 2011. Previously you could even check the results for yourself. The results were not always successful, but a lot of progress has been made since then.

    I just want to emphasize what power lies in Big Data. And why politicians are so eager to get this data… They already have domestic social networks and search engines up their sleeves, and now they want Google, Facebook and Twitter.

    And since they can’t get the data directly from these companies, they are using a completely legal basis, in the name of combating crime and terrorism, to obtain the data from ISPs.

    Rostelecom has already announced its interest in this market and is ready to invest 40 billion rubles in the construction of data centers. Furthermore, Rostelecom plans to acquire the Data Storage Center (SafeData trademark) from Gazprombank. Rostelecom and SafeData intend to create a network for storing and analyzing big data on a truly Federal scale.

    Encrypted traffic

    ͓͓̠̮ͤ͛ͧ̾̋́ ́̾ͧ͠ ̟̤͍̓́ ͙̿͐ͭ̓͐̐̒ ̙̤̺̞̹̏̿̅̄̊ͅͅ ̻̤̪͢ ̼̥̟̟̬͗̒́͋̕ ̞̗̲̪̼̱̙̐̐̓̕ ͚̫̣̖ͣ̌́́̔̓ ͒̄ͨ̌̆̀́͏͎̯ ̞̟̥̺̟̾̅̉̿͋̓ͩ̕ ̱̪͎̻ͣ̇̅̐̿̒ ̉͠ͅ ̸͚̘̜͎̫͗̍̓̈̋̈̇ ̭̼͙̬̭̎̑͛̕ ͮͨ͆́ ̛̣̭̞̙̪̟̯͆̅͊̐̒ ͚͕͙̭͎̃̔̌̽͑ͦ͜ ͔͍̺̓ͪ̓ͯ̄ͅ ̲͎̣̙͎̗͛̃̃͋̋͞ ̼̓ͪ̑ͤ̾̏ ͨ̃͐̅̂̾͞ ̹̰̘̳̣̝͆ͮ̍ ̥̜̰̭̌̑̋͌ͬ͋͟ ̯̜̹̲̝̬͈̌ͫ ̠̘̬̯̳̙͉͊͂̈́̅͒́ ̥̫͈̹ͪ ̤̥͉͉̙͢ ̥̅̽͆ͭ͠ ͚̭̹̻̖̺ͪ ͋̈͊̚͏̻̫̳͙ ̅̉ͣ̊ͫ͏̥̻̟̰̥ ̵̘̫̱̂ͤ͋̌ ̉̒͊̊̿ ̜̘̺͔̞̦̋ͯ͐ͭ ̺̱̤̰̓̈́̂̿̃͒͌ ̸̳̒̾ͪ ̹̰͌ͯ͂̚ ̩͉ͥ̽ͭͪͮ̾͊ ͗̽̎ͬ̚͡ ̙̙ ̠̿ͭͭ̂ ͍̮̩͇̹̌ͨͥ ̹̪̭̬͈̾͑̅̉̇ͫ͐ ͉̟̮̫̝̾͒ͤ̉̎̚ ̨̏͒ ͓͓̠̮ͤ͛ͧ̾̋́ ́̾ͧ͠ ̟̤͍̓́ ͙̿͐ͭ̓͐̐̒ ̙̤̺̞̹̏̿̅̄̊ͅͅ ̻̤̪͢ ̼̥̟̟̬͗̒́͋̕ ̞̗̲̪̼̱̙̐̐̓̕ ͚̫̣̖ͣ̌́́̔̓ ͒̄ͨ̌̆̀́͏͎̯ ̞̟̥̺̟̾̅̉̿͋̓ͩ̕ ̱̪͎̻ͣ̇̅̐̿̒ ̉͠ͅ ̸͚̘̜͎̫͗̍̓̈̋̈̇ ̭̼͙̬̭̎̑͛̕ ͮͨ͆́ ̛̣̭̞̙̪̟̯͆̅͊̐̒ ͚͕͙̭͎̃̔̌̽͑ͦ͜ ͔͍̺̓ͪ̓ͯ̄ͅ ̲͎̣̙͎̗͛̃̃͋̋͞ ̼̓ͪ̑ͤ̾̏ ͨ̃͐̅̂̾͞ ̹̰̘̳̣̝͆ͮ̍ ̥̜̰̭̌̑̋͌ͬ͋͟ ̯̜̹̲̝̬͈̌ͫ ̠̘̬̯̳̙͉͊͂̈́̅͒́ ̥̫͈̹ͪ ̤̥͉͉̙͢ ̥̅̽͆ͭ͠ ͚̭̹̻̖̺ͪ ͋̈͊̚͏̻̫̳͙ ̅̉ͣ̊ͫ͏̥̻̟̰̥ ̂

    So, the ground is prepared – according to the law, the data of Russian users is stored in Russia (in theory), online cinemas will be under control, soon ISPs will store the data of “owners” of traffic, and registration in messengers should be via SMS.

    Next we need to access the data of users from these messengers, so that also can be analyzed. But there’s a bit of an obstacle. End-to-end encryption, which is used in many modern messengers such as Telegram, does not allow you to just take and read someone’s correspondence, roughly speaking. You need to get the keys to decrypt the traffic, under the guise of a backdoor for security services.

    The Telegram messenger is used by millions – and it is a tasty morsel for analysts and special services. Having received from Pavel Durov his refusal to provide keys, it was decided to unchain Roskomnadzor, which began to shoot in all directions. It killed everyone but Telegram.

    Accessing a user’s device never represented a problem for intelligence services or hackers.

    It’s quite easy, just access their device or account. No need to decrypt the traffic. The difference is that the state wants to legally obtain the information to which it previously had illegal access, and gather all the data together. So that the hackers can then trade the stolen data on the black market…

    I cannot but mention that on July 28, 2017, the “Digital economy” project (RF Government Decree No. 1632-R) was approved, which is a project on the formation of a global system for processing all personal data of all Russian citizens and the development of artificial intelligence.

    The essence of the project of end-to-end identification is to assign each citizen a number (personal code, electronic ID). The ID will be a kind of key to access the full file with information about the person from the various information bases currently formed in all spheres of their life.

    What to do? The last frontier

    It’s a complex issue. There is an opportunity to confuse all the cards and bypass the bans through anonymous networks and VPNs, although legislation has already introduced a mechanism for their strict regulation. But how the law will be executed isn’t absolutely clear yet. Although it came into force on November 1, 2017, the law still does not work effectively, and this was acknowledged by Roskomnadzor. Despite this, the state Duma is considering new laws with sanctions against VPNs, proxies and search engines for failure to comply with the requirements of the authorities to filter traffic and disclose data.

    But if through some incredible genius the authorities are be able to eliminate access to anonymous technologies, freedom will end. This is the last frontier.

    There is also a bill to block information on the internet that discredits the honor, dignity or business reputation of a citizen or legal entity. Who is the first person to be protected? And soon they will block without trial.

    But as you know – the more pressure, the stronger the resistance.

    Anonymous networks and VPNs are thriving. It is important that VPNs not only open access to blocked resources, but also hide all traffic from the ISP. The state accuses anonymizing technologies and cryptocurrencies of all mortal sins.

    Only anonymous technologies and anonymous cryptocurrencies, combined with cash, will save this world from the Great Trouble.

    But those who seize virtually unlimited power through the senseless introduction of technologies in state administration will be severely punished for this. Any system is subject to hacking.

    I’m still interested in the question: why don’t we include cameras and microphones in our homes as counter-terrorism efforts, so we can analyze and store all this data for several years? Isn’t reading and storing our correspondences the same invasion of privacy? What will come next after the Yarovaya package, under a good pretext? All of us will be marked like animals with microchips, placed under video surveillance in our homes, and once a month we will be obliged to go to the investigator for an interrogation? Within the framework of “counteraction to something” you can push any idea.

    You can imagine such a news item: “The terrorists planned the attack, actively discussed it on Telegram / Viber / Email / Whatever, were tracked by FSB agents, and arrested on the same day.” Who are the idiots here, the terrorists or the readers? Or do the officials seriously want to convince someone that terrorism is built on open communication channels?

    And did you know that besides cryptography there is also steganography, which allows you to exchange encrypted messages under the guise of any inconspicuous image? If you modify this method a bit, you can exchange messages very quickly. Even I, without being a specialist, would be able to offer a dozen useful methods to conduct absolutely secret correspondences online. In this case, no one can get the key — it is only for the sending and receiving parties.

    This is a global policy, this is global marketing

    So, it turns out that the state wants to monitor our every step, to sell and use our data and most importantly, all at our expense. And this is only the beginning.

    Relevant Links






  • Earthling 12:14 am on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fine for search engine, Fine for VPN in Russia, Fines in Russia, , Russia banned site circumvention, Russian internet censorship, , , VPN in Russia   

    Russia: A bill with fines for VPNs and search engines has been passed 

    The bill imposes a fine of up to 300,000 rubles for a hosting provider or anonymizer’s failure to submit information about users to the government, and up to 700,000 rubles for search engine providing links to prohibited sites.

    The Russian parliament returned to consideration of Bill No. 195449-7, which proposes to amend the Administrative Code on Fines for Search Engines and Circumvention Services for Failure to Comply with Federal Law 276-FZ, which prohibits services from providing Russians with the opportunity to bypass blocks, and prohibits search engines from providing links to banned resources.

    So, for hosting providers or anonymizers failing to submit data on the owners of circumvention means for accessing forbidden sites, or information about the notification of the owners of the need to provide identification, an administrative fine is established: for citizens, from 10,000 to 30,000 rubles, and for legal entities, from 50,000 to 300,000 rubles.

    For the issuance by search engines of links to prohibited sites, it is proposed to impose fines of 3,000 to 5,000 rubles for citizens, from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles for officials, and from 500,000 to 700,000 rubles for legal entities.

    The authors of the initiative were MPs Maxim Kudryavtsev (United Russia), Nikolai Ryzhak (Just Russia), and Alexander Yushchenko (Communist Party of the Russian Federation). Last Fall, the bill passed its first reading in the State Duma. Now it has just passed its second reading.

    The consideration of the bill took no more than five minutes for the deputies, and was passed without any discussions, which certainly raises questions, since two amendments were proposed to the document on the first reading, as reported by a member of the State Duma Committee for State Construction and Legislation, Z. Baiguskarov (United Russia). He also reminded the deputies that the bill is aimed at establishing responsibility for the failure to comply with the law on the regulation of search engines and VPNs. “The bill has passed legal and linguistic examinations,” the deputy noted. “The Committee recommends voting for the table of amendments and adopting the bill in the second reading.”

    The bill was passed by the State Duma in the second reading, with 340 votes in favor and one against, with no abstentions.

    Let us recall that the law on strict regulation of circumvention means came into force in November last year, but the authorities have hitherto not been in a hurry to proactively deal with search engines and VPN services, since there was still no procedure for compelling them to cooperate. According to the federal law 276-FZ, services that should block access to banned sites in Russia are determined by the FSB and other structures that conduct operational search activity (RDD).

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39092/

  • Earthling 2:43 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NTP, , , , Russian internet censorship, , , , time synchronization network in Russia   

    Russia: Roskomnadzor is trying to desynchronize time 

    Roskomnadzor is trying to desynchronize time

    A new ricochet from Roskomnadzor’s IP “carpet bombing” has struck the NTP – the network protocol resources used to synchronize the internal clocks of computers.

    Based on the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of 27-31-2018 / ID 2971-81 for 16.04.2018, Roskomnadzor entered the IP address of the Russian version of NTP into its register of information forbidden for distribution.

    This “friendly fire” strike on a not just innocent but also an extremely necessary service was first discovered by the executive director of the Association of Internet Publishers, one of the experts of the Internet Protection Society (OZI), Vladimir Kharitonov, as reported in his Twitter:

    Sorry to bother you, but why is the RKN blocking the site http://ntp.org with the time network? Is there extremism?” – 10:00 AM – May 22, 2018

    We verified it. Indeed the IP address is blocked:


    This IP-address belongs to the site ntp2.aas.ru:


    The IP addresses of the NTP services have fallen under this block in the context of Roskomnadzor’s struggle with Telegram. The first IP address blocks were recorded back in April of this year. Why Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General’s Office have gone to war against the exact time is not entirely clear.

    Reference: pool.ntp.org is a huge cluster of time servers, providing a reliable and easy-to-use NTP service for millions of customers. Currently, tens of millions of systems around the world use the pool. It is used by default in most Linux distributions and in many network devices.

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39061/

  • Earthling 9:38 pm on May 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Rosmonadzor telegram ban, Russia telegram ban economics, Russian internet censorship, , Russian telegram ban ineffective,   

    Russia’s Telegram ban only scared off a tiny percentage of Telegram users 

    The Russian government’s recent blocking of millions of IP addresses in the “Telegram case” achieved a decrease in the messaging app’s audience by only 7%, and the number of messages fell by only 2%.

    A month after the Roskomnadzor’s ban, initiated following the decision of the Tagansky District Court in Moscow, the losses for Telegram have turned out to be drastically smaller than the efforts made by the supervisory agency.

    The developers of Crosser Bot analyzed the activity of almost three million subscribers of Russian-language channels, and found that the amount of people who were online a week after the block decreased by 7 percent compared to a week before the block.

    “This is very little from any point of view,” says Telegram Analytics, “but there is reason to believe that in fact the real decrease in user activity is even less.”

    As follows from the report, the amount of people online decreased by 7 percent. At the same time, according to foreign channels, the natural decrease of the audience also amounted to 5 percent. Accordingly, the real decrease in activity in Russia was approximately 2%.

    The average number of postings per day fell by 15% compared to April figures. Analysts do not believe that this is critical, because during the New Year holidays, the number of views dropped by 28%. Nevertheless, some major channels have said that their messages have been viewed more following the block.

    The average number of posts per day has practically not changed (a decrease of 2%), and the number of channels that have ceased to be updated fits into the “May margin” associated with the holidays.

    A decrease in advertising activity on Telegram was also not observed: “At the very beginning of the episode of Telegram blocking, a number of large customers stopped placing, but they quickly changed their minds. The end of the holidays confirmed further prospects for the growth of the market, “said Lisa Aprila, Commercial Director of Combot.

    In April, after the first week of the Telegram blocking by Roskomnadzor, the audience of the popular messenger, according to research of Combot, showed a decline of only 3%. But at the same time, third-party sites that were not connected with Telegram were badly affected. As of the end of the first week of blocking, more than 30,000 domains were affected by the “carpet bombing.”

    “Even if we divide them into three, because they can’t all work, we still get a terrible nightmare,” said Philip Culin, the head of DipHOST, who was the first to mass report IP addresses to the register of banned sites. “10 thousand businessmen having problems with sites — this is a lot. In the first days with blocked IPs, about 3-4 thousand domains were lost. People moved and lost money. Depending on the level of the site being moved, you might need 1,000 rubles and half an hour of work, but for a system with several components, it might take 2-3 days and require several specialists at $250 per hour each. What rates. This is how much money you need to move the site and take out the cache. Imagine the average business, should they move and spend, for example, 50 thousand rubles? There are such cases.”

    Based on the results of the policy initiated by the Roskomnadzor last month, the effectiveness of this agency is highly questionable. Even ignoring the issue of whether blocking Telegram is justified and try to take the authorities’ side mentally, it turns out that the damage caused to the messenger has been like a mosquito bite. In addition to moral and reputational damage caused, Russian business have suffered heavy losses, and consequently the state will receive less taxes.

    Translated from RoskomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/38927/

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