Archive | Russia

Meanwhile, in Russia…

It’s going to be much harder to view the full web in Russia before the year is out. President Putin has signed a law that, as of November 1st, bans technology which lets you access banned websites, including virtual private networks and proxies. Internet providers will have to block websites hosting these tools. The measure is ostensibly meant to curb extremist content, but that’s just pretext — this is really about preventing Russians from seeing content that might be critical of Putin, not to mention communicating in secret.

• Engadget: Russian censorship law bans proxies and VPNs »
• TorrentFreak: Russia Bans ‘Uncensored’ VPNs, Proxies and TOR »


Meanwhile, in Russia…

Russia’s intelligence agency the FSB, successor to the KGB, has posted a notice on its website claiming that it now has the ability to collect crypto keys for Internet services that use encryption. This meets a two-week deadline given by Vladimir Putin to the FSB to develop such a capability. However, no details have been provided of how the FSB is able to do this.

Ars Technica: Russian spies claim they can now collect crypto keys—but don’t say how »


Putin vs. Charlie Hebdo

Russian president Vladimir Putin lashing out against free speech is no news. But this time, he attacks freedom of the press in another country — France.

The background is that the French magazine Charlie Hebdo has published two cartoons relating to the Russian air disaster in the Sinai. One of the two cartoons is focusing on the quality of Russian low fair airlines – and the other making a connection between the disaster and the fact that Russia has now become involved in fighting ISIS, in Syria.

Especially the last one touches on a highly sensitive issue in Russia: The connection between “Putin’s war” in Syria and terrorist attacks against Russian civilians.

Every suggestion of such a connection is seen as undermining Vladimir Putin.

At Chalie Hebdo, they choose not to give in but to speak back. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard:

Their argument about sacrilege is absurd. Are we supposed to no longer comment on the news in a different way, or to say nothing more than it’s sad? If so that becomes a problem for freedom of expression.”

The Guardian: Russia condemns Charlie Hebdo for Sinai plane crash cartoons »