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  • Earthling 3:16 pm on February 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: crime in moscow, cybersurveillance squads in russian schools, data insecurity, data privacy for genocide victims, , facial recognition glasses for police in moscow, hardcore surveillance in moscow, internet freedom in mother russia, internet freedom in the russian military, kids looking at extreme content, , places criminals can't hide in russia, street cameras in moscow, Surveillance in Russia   

    February Internet Freedom Update 

    “Hello, is this the FSB? I found two terrorists, they’re yelling that they were just playing.”


    Moscow becomes the first Russian city with total surveillance

    The Moscow government has planned to provide police with facial-recognition glasses, and this system will also be connected to traffic cameras this year.

    The Department of Information technology (DIT) of the Moscow City Hall will order the development of augmented reality glasses with facial recognition capacity for the police, said sources involved in the preparation of the project and the interlocutor of RBC in the city hall.

    Moscow’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced the street camera facial recognition system this January: “Facial recognition to search for criminals has already been implemented in the subway, and this year will be on the street cameras. And it would be cool: criminals will stay away from Moscow, they can’t hide here.”

    According to him, currently, the urban video surveillance system has 167,000 cameras — they are in courtyards, entryways, parks, schools, clinics, retail outlets and construction sites, as well as in the halls of the Executive Branch and other public places. Sobyanin noted that footage from the cameras is used in the investigations of about 70% of offences.


    Complaints from citizens will now trigger unscheduled inspections of internet companies

    The Russian government has approved new rules for the organization and implementation of state control and supervision of personal data processing.

    Accoring to Roskomnadzor, the audits are conducted in relation to the activities of companies (their documents, local acts and information systems) for compliance with the Federal law “On personal data”.

    Complaints from citizens with proven facts of human rights abuses and violations identified by supervisors will now be a ground for unscheduled audits, which will be conducted after consultation with the Prosecutor’s office.


    Several regions of Russia have cyber-surveillance squads

    Authorities continue to support organizations that monitor the internet and collaborate with government agencies to identify “prohibited materials”, but in some regions they have gone further by entrusting these organizations with the surveillance of students.

    In a number of republics (states) of Russia, local authorities continue to create cells of pseudo-public cybersquad organizations. They are entrusted with legally questionable tasks. For example, last year we learned about the involvement of the Kogalym authorities in monitoring the internet to search for materials of extremist, terrorist and drug-oriented content accessible to minors.

    The same trend is continuing this year. Ugra reported on the establishment of cybersquad cells for as many as 151 of the General Education organization districts, “to ensure information security”. According to the district’s Department of Public and External Relations, the cybersquads only checked 11,789 internet resources in the last year. Complaints included resources where published information was aimed at the promotion of drugs or suicide, among other things. The department said that young people identified 774 antisocial actions on the internet, and at the request of cybersquads 330 internet pages were taken down by Roskomnadzor.

    Concerns have been raised about the age of these students monitoring extreme content, as they are hardly young adults.

    Strange methods of working with young people have been demonstrated the leadership of one of the medical educational institutions of Kazan. A video has spread online, which shows an assembly in a medical college where students are warned about the cooperation of the college administration with some local cyberquad, and its spying on students’ social network accounts:

    “We work with Cybersquad of the Republic of Tatarstan. All of your social networks, your contacts, Telegram, Instagram, are under control, under our strict control. Because again, our goal is the health of the citizens. Psychological, ideological and moral health. These are the three main components.”

    If this is not bravado from the college teachers, but a very real fact, then here is a violation of Russian law, since we are talking about unauthorized spying on citizens, even “informally”. It is known that the regional cybersquad office appeared in Tatarstan in 2016. Citizens who enter there conduct “raids” on the web in search of content that could be dangerous. Apparently, during these questionable activities, “cybercombatants” acquired a taste [for interesting content], and the administration of the university decided to pass the task of teaching onto somebody else’s shoulders, while at the same time trying to discover the secrets of their students. But thank you, dear teachers, for at least warning about surveillance…


    State Duma adopts law on internet restrictions for military personnel

    The text of the new legislation forbids military personnel to post information about their close relatives, colleagues, command, or locations of military units, and restricts the use of devices that can distribute audio, photos, videos and location data via the internet. All in all, this seems reasonable from a military point of view.


    Above content was mostly translated and paraphrased from Roskomsvoboda (CC4-licensed) by an anonymous student of Russian with the help of Google and Yandex machine translation services.


    Google Fesses Up To Hidden Microphone In Nest Home Security Platform



    Millions of genocide victims in China also have their data exposed online


    Millions of Swedish healthcare hotline calls left unprotected online


  • Earthling 11:02 pm on June 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Surinov, Census in Russia, Census strategies, Census strategies in Russia, Federal State Statistics Service, Mikhail Klimarev, OZI, Rosstat, Society for the Protection of the Internet, Surveillance in Russia, Veliky Novgorod   

    Russia: Government wants to locate citizens’ residences using data from mobile operators 


    The Rosstat Office is negotiating with mobile operators about the use of big data technology in the upcoming test population census.

    The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) is negotiating with mobile operators to win their cooperation in conducting a test population census using big data technology. This was revealed at a round table in Veliky Novgorod by head of Rosstat Alexander Surinov.

    The pilot census will be held in October 2018 and will be a rehearsal for the All-Russia Population Census scheduled for 2020. In the first stage, the survey will be conducted via the Internet. In the second stage, the census will be conducted in a traditional manner by census takers questioning citizens. This will occur in certain territories of a number of Russian regions, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and others. Rosstat is responsible for conducting the population census.

    Surinov said that Rosstat wants to receive information from mobile operators about which apartments people live in. The head of Rosstat believes that operators are aware of this due to data on the passage of the cellular signal: “Our workers are knocking on the door, but no one opens it. But mobile operators will be able to tell us that these apartments receive a signal, so people live in them, and it makes sense to continue knocking.”

    The General Director of the Society for the Protection of the Internet (OZI), Mikhail Klimarev, has spoken about the unrealistic nature of Rosstat’s wishes. “The margin of error in determining the location of a subscriber to cellular networks in a city is 50 meters, and it is impossible to determine which apartment the signal is coming from,” Klimarev said. “Theoretically, actual data on who is living in apartments could be obtained from landline internet providers. But even that is not fully usable, because the level of broadband internet access in Russia is just over 50%.”

    A source from one of the cellular operators says that telecom companies are indeed negotiating with Rosstat on providing data for the census, but on other aspects. “Thanks to the big data technology, we can determine the actual number of residents in specific communities, as well as their gender,” he says. “This will allow Rosstat to verify the reliability of the data obtained from the census.”

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39357/

  • Earthling 12:20 am on June 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andrei Svintsov, Facebook data in russia, Facebook users data, Facebook users data in Russia, Federation Council, , Mark Zuckerberg, Russian Federation Council, State Duma Committee for Information Policy, Surveillance in Russia, tracking request ban, user tracking request ban, Zuckerberg invited to Russia   

    Russia: State Duma discusses a ban on internet tracking requests 

    The Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy Andrei Svintsov has suggested regulating the work of contextual advertising services and news aggregators.

    Parliamentarians are concerned that many internet services use algorithms that remember certain preferences of users during online searches, news reading, etc. Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy Andrei Svintsov proposed to ban the user tracking requests of contextual advertising services and news aggregators.

    Although at the moment there are many ways to nullify this kind of internet surveillance, Svinstov insists on “somehow trying to regulate the existing mess”: “We can see that the contextual hype served the interests of business initially, and today it is already capable of changing the news cloud, the information background around each of us. Aggregators are already setting up their robots in such a way that some of the specific news cannot reach us — a filter is put in place. I myself have repeatedly spoken about this and addressed online journalists so that they, for example, would rigidly separate news sources with licenses from bloggers.”

    Today, the Internet is used by 71 percent of Russia’s population, or 87 million people. Search engines closely monitor their preferences. According to one search engine, Russian citizens basically ask for results related to auto, leisure, computers, electronics, literature and transport.

    The issue of safe use of social media arose not so long ago, and focused primarily on one of the most popular social networks in the world, Facebook.

    “Rapid development of the internet and the widespread penetration of mobile internet have brought social media to a serious new level, and its significant influence on the life of society is noted by many experts,” said Leonid Levin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications. “And the questions that were asked to the leadership of Facebook, the largest social network, by the US Congress and the European Parliament show that the problems of fake news and mass-manipulation of minds are being realized by politicians on both sides of the ocean.”

    The Russian Federation Council had previously voiced that it would be appropriate to invite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to one of its meetings as part of the “Expert Hour”. The meeting will be devoted to the digitalization of the country, and several senators made the invitation for Mr. Zuckerberg. The proposal was supported by Matvienko, the Chairman of the Federation Council.

    According to Matvienko, Mark Zuckerberg should be interested in the invitation, since Russia is a big advertising market for Facebook. Nevertheless, not everyone was delighted with this proposal; the representative of the Crimea, Sergei Tsekov, called Zuckerberg a Russophobe and spoke out against his arrival.

    The Chairman of the Federation Council scolded Tsekov, stating that sometimes it was necessary to listen to “another point of view.”

    Recently it became known that Facebook for the past 10 years has provided access to user data to at least 60 companies engaged in the production of telephones. Among these companies are Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung. In some cases, phone manufacturers have gained access not only to the information of the user (including information the user chose not to share), but also to the data of their friends on the social network, without their consent.

    Most of the agreements in which mobile device manufacturers gain access to Facebook users’ data are still valid, although in recent years the social network has been gradually abandoning them. Representatives of Facebook assure us that all agreements with phone manufacturers on access to data comply with the company’s rules, as well as the requirements of the US Federal Trade Commission. The social network also stressed that for the duration of the agreements there has not been a single case of any abuse of the data received.

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39373/

  • Earthling 12:55 am on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: columbine communities, , Permsky Krai, Permsky Krai surveillance, preventing school attacks, protecting children, protecting children from harm, , Social network surveillance, Surveillance in Russia, Surveillance of children, Surveillance of children in Russia, surveillance on social networks, Vkontakte surveillance   

    Russia: Permsky Krai authorities plan internet surveillance of children 


    Under the guise of “implementing a system of measures to reduce family and child deprivation,” the regional government is launching a system that monitors and analyzes the behavior of adolescents on social networks.

    In the Perm region, a new information system will analyze the behavior of adolescents on social networks and collect information about their mental health, problems in the family, and communication with their peers and the law. Information on the implementation of internet surveillance for minors was announced at a meeting of the regional government.

    Maxim Reshetnikov, Governor of the Perm Territory, justifies the introduction of such a system by the fact that, although in the last 2 years there has been a decrease in juvenile delinquency by a quarter, violations of the law occur more often with the participation of children from well-off families than those from the “risk” group and the “socially dangerous situation” group. “The reasons here are, as they say, collective. Parents with a modern rhythm of life do not always have time to deal with children, while teachers have a big load, an orientation toward the educational process. And sometimes there are no skills present to recognize when children are in difficult situations. The current prevention system is mainly oriented towards working with children who are already in the zone of attention of social services. Obviously, we need new approaches and solutions. First and foremost, we need an interdepartmental and multi-level preventive system that will identify risks at the earliest stages, when the problems are only beginning to appear.”

    Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Abdulina said that the system will be formed before the end of 2018. It will collect information from various sources and “provide a comprehensive solution.” “It will be … constantly monitoring social networks to identify participation in destructive groups. The diagnostic tools of psychologists have been significantly changed in terms of risk factors,” she said, adding that since the beginning of September, parents in Permsky Krai will begin to educate on the issue of education through specially created lessons.

    The special system is intended to help identify at an early stage children who are predisposed to crimes or suicide and to help them. The auction for its creation should take place before October 1, 2018.

    It is not known whether the consent of the children and their parents will be required for the collection of information.

    A similar social surveillance project for children was organized in February last year by the Tyumen League of Internet Safety. After agreeing with the regional education authorities, the League started collecting data on the pages of schoolchildren in the social network VKontakte. It was formed on the base of teachers, and access to it was given to the activists of the BizInternet League (WithoutInternet League). This league’s head Denis Davydov also reported that they intend to introduce this initiative in other regions — certain agreements were already available at that time.

    Let us recall that since the beginning of this year, the media has reported several cases of attacks on schools by students with the use of cold weapons, firearms or traumatic weapons. Authorities attribute this to a trend of the so-called “Columbine” community on social networks, but the social networks themselves have denied this. In the wake of media hype, certain politicians, in particular Irina Yarovaya and Elena Mizulina, have repeatedly voiced the idea of ​​further tightening legislation. Recently Yarovaya submitted a bill to the State Duma “aimed at protecting the lives of children from Columbine communities and promptly identifying criminals involving minors in life-threatening situations.”

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39324/

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