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

    Telegram has filed a second complaint with the ECHR 

    telega-to-espch-1

    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 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, , , , stenography, Steven Spielberg, , Telegram, , ,   

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

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    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

    https://vpnlove.me/en

    https://www.psiphon3.com/

    https://www.torproject.org/

    https://zenmate.com/

    https://www.hideman.net/

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

    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/)

     
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