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  • Earthling 4:15 am on July 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: carpet bombing, damage from Russian Telegram ban, Danil Bukharin, design photo posters, , IP genocide, Live Photography, Moscow court, Posters & Legends, posterslegends.com, , , Tagansky court, Telegram ban, , Yulia Smolina, Живая фотография   

    Roskomnadzor to answer for its “IP genocide” in Tagansky court 

    The company “Живая фотография” (“Live Photography”), which was affected by the “carpet bombing” of IP addresses launched in April this year by the Internet Supervisory Authority Roskomnadzor in the hopes of blocking Telegram, has requested a court to recognize the actions of Roskomnadzor as illegal.

    The Tagansky Court of Moscow, which had previously decided to block the messenger Telegram, will on July 30, 2018 consider the merits of the claim of “Живая фотография” (“Live Photography”) to Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General’s office. As explained by the lawyer Danil Bukharin, the applicant demands that the court recognize as illegal the actions of Roskomnadzor to restrict access to the Telegram messenger, which led to the blocking of the company’s website posterslegends.com featuring design photo posters, and also to oblige the agency to restore access to the resource. Now it is available only through a VPN.

    The company estimates the damage from blocking their Posters & Legends online store at 500,000 rubles, but has thus far not demanded compensation from Roskomnadzor.

    The online design poster store Posters & Legends was blocked on April 19, three days after Roskomnadzor started blocking Telegram in Russia, a “carpet bombing” that affected millions of IP addresses. The company “Живая фотография”, which owns Posters & Legends, appealed to the Tagansky court of Moscow with an administrative claim in mid-July.

    The lawsuit will be considered by the judge Yulia Smolina, who made the original decision to block Telegram.

    In mid-April this year, Roskomnadzor received the approval of the Tagansky district court of Moscow to block the Telegram messenger, whose owners refused to provide encryption keys to the FSB. Since the messenger uses cloud services from Amazon and Google, Roskomnadzor has not come up with anything better than to massively block the IP addresses of these services. This has caused the malfunctioning and unavailability of many sites not related to Telegram.


  • Earthling 8:53 pm on June 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ECHR, European Court of Human Rights, , , , , , Telegram ban, , Telegram in Russia   

    Telegram has filed a second complaint with the ECHR 


    The messenger’s creators dispute its blocking by Russian authorities in response to Telegram’s failure to provide encryption keys.

    Representatives of the Telegram messenger filed a second complaint with the European Court of Human Rights concerning the messenger’s conflict with the Russian authorities. This time, the complaint concerns the decision of the Russian authorities to block the messenger, as was specified by Pavel Chikov, head of the Kazan-based human rights organization AGORA, in his Telegram channel.

    “As a result of restricting access to Telegram, the possibility of freely distributing and receiving information could be lost not only by the applicant, but also up to 15 million users, who may lose access to a secure internet communications service, as well as a huge archive of unique information that can not be obtained from other sources,” noted Pavel Chikov.

    He also said that in the near future a cassation appeal will be submitted to the presidium of the Moscow City Court, and if necessary, to the Supreme Court of Russia. “We will notify the Secretariat of the European Court of significant changes in the case, including the consideration of cassation complaints,” Chikov wrote.

    According to the lawyer, the messenger’s representative mention in their complaint that “besides the exchange of messages, Telegram provides the possibility of operating public Telegram channels, which are one of the few independent and free modes of information dissemination and exchange of views on socio-political issues.”

    Such a method, the lawyers note, allows the author or group of authors not only to share information with an unlimited number of persons with a minimum distance between the reader and content, but also to maintain anonymity.

    Lawyers also noted that in the course of blocking of Telegram, Roskomnadzor restricted access to hundreds of sites and services not connected with the messenger.

    Earlier, the ECHR registered another complaint by Telegram — a fine of 800,000 rubles for refusing to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt user messages. At the same time, in the Strasbourg court, the representatives of the messenger were offered to separately appeal the decision to block.

    In early April, the Tagansky District Court granted Roskomnadzor’s lawsuit for the immediate blocking of Telegram. This happened after the messenger refused to provide the FSB with the keys to decrypt user messages. The messenger’s representatives abstained from attending court at the request of Telegram’s creator, Pavel Durov, in order “not to legitimize the frank farce by their presence.”

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda: https://roskomsvoboda.org/39720/

  • Earthling 9:43 pm on May 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Zharov, , , Pavel Durov, Roskomsvoboda, Roskomzadnor, , , , , , Telegram ban   

    Russia: The Head of Roskomnadzor intends to continue to destroy the Runet 

    The head of Roskomnadzor, which has been severely damaging the Runet especially with its recent Telegram ban, has spoken after a period of silence. Alexander Zharov was silent for almost the whole period of intensive “carpet bombing” of IP addresses, but now has finally begun to give some comments — and they do not inspire optimism.

    Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Forum, the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov finally broke his nearly month-long period of silence, making several statements that greatly surprised the internet community with their pretentiousness and detachment from reality. In particular, Zharov quite optimistically evaluated the work of his agency and the results of “carpet bombing of IP-addresses”, because of which, let us recall, the proper functioning of the Runet has been broken. There was no recognition of the erroneousness of the chosen method of “chasing Telegram”; on the contrary, Zharov considered Roskomnadzor’s actions justified.

    The Roskomnadzor assures us that the “degradation” of the messenger “was within a day from 15% to 35-40% on various smartphones.” The decrease of advertising and users, according to Zharov, reaches 25%. Earlier, the company M13, the creator of the Katushya information and analysis system, which is used by the presidential administration to monitor social networks and the internet, did not observe any “degradation” of Telegram.

    Let us recall also the data of the Telegram Analytics service, a month after Roskomnadzor’s ban was initiated by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow. According to their data the loss for the popular Telegram messenger turned out to be incommensurably small compared to the efforts of the supervisory agency, which in fact led to significant disruptions in the functioning of the Runet. The real decline of Telegram activity in Russia was approximately 2%.

    In addition, Alexander Zharov assured us that major internet companies have ceased to help Telegram bypass the block. “We are continuing dialogue. Microsoft stopped allowing Telegram to use the configuration file of the Microsoft Download service; Google informed us that the provision of IP addresses to Telegram has been suspended. That is, the process is ongoing,” Zharov said.

    It should be noted that Alexander Zharov has long been in the habit of making such statements, which do not necessarily correspond to reality. After a while the head of Roskomnadzor will word-for-word reiterate what he said earlier about his agency being “in dialogue” with this or that company that “is about to transfer its servers to Russia,” or “build data centers,” “agree to ban Telegram,” etc.

    According to Zharov, the blocking of Telegram is “our first experience of blocking not a site, but an application,” and “this is a process,” and “interaction with international companies is also a process,” and Roskomnadzor is in “constant contact” with them.

    The subject of the Telegram messenger created by Pavel Durov has been the theme of several recent speeches by the head of Roskomnadzor Alexander Zhurov. On May 25, he affirmed the legitimacy of the requirement for Telegram to provide encryption keys from user correspondences. The official called the messenger’s philosophy “absolutely illegal,” as it contains a lot of illegal and extremist content. He added that there is incontrovertible evidence, but did not disclose any in particular. Also, he did not specified which time period is involved.

    “All the recent terrorist acts that occurred in our country and abroad were coordinated through the Telegram messenger. Therefore, if I have to choose between comfort and security, I personally choose security,” the head of the Roskomnadzor said.

    However, neither Zharov himself nor the agency he directs guarantee the security of internet resources. On the contrary, they make an “invaluable contribution” to the process of disrupting the work of thousands of websites whose owners suffer reputational and material losses, and the lives of millions of Russian citizens who experience great inconvenience, sharply plunging from the modern era in the pre-digital era, in which messengers, online cards, ticket sales services, cash desks, encyclopedias, teaching aids and other important services in our time are not working.

    According to Zharov, the founder of Telegram Pavel Durov is a pirate. The piracy, in his opinion, is every attempt to bypass the Telegram block. Telegram, says Zharov, hides behind the live shield of bona fide internet resources, with which it is hosted on some IP addresses: “Unfortunately, at present the application, thanks to the actions of its programmers, seems to be hiding behind a human shield consisting of transnational companies and respectable resources, with which it is hosted on the same IP addresses.”

    Zharov also went after Vkontakte for piracy: “Unfortunately, the philosophy of the creators of Telegram, as well as the creators of the VKontakte network, is in the zone of absolute piracy.” But he also added that the situation with the Vkontakte social network has changed in a positive direction, and mentioned how steps were taken to legalize music and video under the direction of the MailRu Group.

    Arguing for the fight against piracy, Zharov assures us that it contributed to the growth of the legal online video market. He cited the data of TMT Consulting, according to which the Russian online cinema market grew by 60% in 2017, to 7.7 billion rubles, and the paying audience grew by 30% to 2.6 million users.

    Over the past year (April 2017 – April 2018) Roskomnadzor received more than 1,600 definitions from the Moscow City Court on the adoption of response measures to deal with 4,000 internet resources that violate the law in the field of protection of exclusive rights. Access to 380 sites was limited, while the rest of the pirated content was removed. More than 900 pirated internet resources are blocked on an ongoing basis.

    As noted by A. Zharov, the cross-border nature of violations of intellectual property rights in the digital sphere dictates the need for close international cooperation between rights holders, internet companies, and regulators. At the same time, Roskomnadzor “considers first and foremost the support and development of Russian markets.”

    Zharov’s agency is unrelenting in its attempts to block Telegram with many proposals, first undertaken at the dawn of the IP-address “carpet bombing.” “Roskomnadzor is engaging in dialogue with lawyers from Google and Apple on the removal or restriction of access to the Telegram application in the online stores of the companies,” the head of the department said.

    According to him, the lawyers of Roskomnadzor and companies “interpret the third point of the court’s decision in different ways. The third point says that Roskomnadzor and other legal persons should restrict access to the application.” Zharov specified that Google and Apple do not want to recognize themselves as “other legal persons.”

    “They want a direct demand to companies,” explained Zharov.

    Alexander Zharov also returned to his favorite topic – his promises to check Facebook for the implementation of Russian laws (in particular, 242-FZ on the transfer of personal data of Russians to the territory of the Russian Federation). So far, he said, the idea of blocking the social network is not worth it.

    “Depending on the results of the inspection, we can fine them, or obtain legally significant documents from them when they intend to comply with the laws of the Russian Federation. This process will start at the end of this year,” Zharov said.

    Zharov noted that today the “hot topic” is the dissemination of unreliable information on social networks. “False information is literally a scourge. There should be accountability for fake news, but the matter of exactly how requires discussion. Most often this information is distributed on social networks with encrypted traffic.”

    He noted that it is impossible to block only one Facebook account, because of the peculiarities of the platform’s architecture, the whole social network would have to be blocked. “Therefore, we need to discuss other means of punishment — perhaps financial ones,” Zharov added.

    In April, the State Duma passed in the first reading a bill imposing a fine of up to 50 million rubles for refusing to remove inaccurate and defamatory information in social networks. The bill also equates the social network with “organizers of information dissemination” and presumes rather serious sanctions in case of its non-fulfillment. The document imposes a number of duties on the owners of social networks, such as the creation of a representative office in the territory of the Russian Federation, the removal upon demand of inaccurate information described in the bill, the observance of relevant prohibitions and restrictions during elections or referendums, and the establishment of a program for counting certain users indicated by Roskomnadzor, and so on and so forth.

    Alexander Zharov, as we see, does not intend to offer any apologies for the clumsiness of his agency, although it is not only inevitable mistakes that can be seen in the work of Roskomnadzor, but also obvious abuses of authority and violations of Russian legislation. Let us recall how the internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev said that the Prosecutor General’s Office should verify the legality of Roskomnadzor’s actions. Also, an entrepreneur who was harmed by the “IP bombing” sued Roskomnadzor for 5 million rubles, although the case has been left without a motion until June 7. The human rights organization Agora announced the preparation of a number of lawsuits, and in addition RosKomSvoboda appealed to business and ordinary users with a proposal to complain about the actions of Roskomnadzor to the relevant bodies. The blocking of the messenger itself has been combated by RosKomSvoboda and Agora, the latter having filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which was registered less than two weeks ago.

    Translated from RosKomSvoboda (https://roskomsvoboda.org/39193/)

  • Earthling 2:43 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NTP, , , , , , , Telegram ban, 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 telegram ban ineffective, Telegram ban   

    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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