Stories from RuNet Echo from October, 2011
Russia: The Data Leak War and Other Pre-Election Surprises
Current online political activity in Russia points to information warfare occurring between independent civil-society groups or remnants of 'traditional' political opposition, against various government officials and pro-government youth movements.
Russia: Alternative Voting Portal Launched
Habrahabr-user uhaby writes [ru] about otdamgolos.ru, a web-portal that offers users to propose alternative parliamentary and presidential candidates as well as to vote for them. The author claims that within 10 days his website attended 137,500+ visitors. In the virtual parliamentary election three parties received most votes: 1. The Pirate Party,...
Russia: Izhevsk City Manager Caught on Camera Talking About Election Bribery
Udmurtia.tv publishes a video [ru] of Denis Agashin, Izhevsk city manager, telling the representatives of veteran organizations that the next year's financial support will depend on the results of “United Russia” party in their district. As Alexander Kynev, a prominent political analyst, points out: “Progress it's not only forcing students...
Russia/India: Video of a Paraglider Pilot Attacked by an Eagle in Himalayas
11-minute headcam video [ru] of a story that could end up with a human casualty. Russian paraglider pilot making his first flight in Himalayas was attacked by three eagles, one of which got trapped into the paraglider strings. Thanks to the second parachute the pilot could land and then –...
Russia: Pirate Flag Over Novosibirsk City
LJ-user dedmaxopka publishes [ru] pictures of himself placing a pirate flag over Novosibirsk city administration. “We just wanted to make nice pictures of the city,” explained the blogger to the police that identified him the same day. Blogger was charged with ‘petty hooliganism’ and had to pay a small fine.
Russia: Retired Tennis Star Marat Safin to Run for Parliament
Russian tennis phenomenon, Marat Safin, has announced that he will run for the Russian State Duma in the December 4 elections. However, his public image, as illustrated by citizen media outlets, has until now not been focused on public service. Donna Welles reports.
Russia: Fake ‘Crowd Sourced’ Election Monitoring Portal Launched by the Ruling Party
Gazeta.ru writes [ru] about government-sponsored NGOs that help simulate legitimacy of the election process. Among others authors mention ktonarushil.ru, a fake crowdsourcing monitoring portal launched by “United Russia” party. Not only it reminds kartanarusheniy.ru [an authentic monitoring website run by independent election monitor “Golos.org”] but it also doesn't allow to file...
Russia: Crowd-Sourced Citizen Lawmaking Platform
The Economist writes about WikiVote (e.g. see projects dedicated to the laws on education, Sberbank, state-owned bank), Russian croudsourcing platform to comment and contribute to the creation of the laws. Pavel Burov, creator of the platform, claims his project can ‘prevent idiocy [in lawmaking] from happening.’
Russia: Prison Officer Who Abused Female Inmates Arrested After a YouTube Leak
Anonymous male prison officer from Amur region who had been captured beating and abusing female inmates was arrested, Ria.ru reported [ru]. The arrest was conducted after the shocking video [warning: graphic content] of prison violence was uploaded by the YouTube user MrArtur113.
Russia: 24,300+ Personal Records Belonging to Pro-Kremlin Youth Camp Participants Leaked
Russia is entering a personal data leak war led by anonymous hackers. After the partly-fake contents of the Alexey Navalny's mailbox was published, the RuNet was struck with another massive leak of personal data belonging to 24,324 participants of the pro-Kremlin youth camp “Seliger 2011,” ridus.ru reported [ru].
Russia: Pre-Election Scandals, YouTube Videos and Semi-Anonymous Protest
Anna Arutiunova at Russia Profile covers recent pre-election RuNet scandals (see also this week's GV coverage here and here). “RuNet has become an essential platform for the dirty business of political campaigning. It’s just that unlike the press or television, where pseudonyms are not the order of the day, the...
Russia: Author of “the Barracks Blog” De-Anonymized, Allegedly Threatened
Vasiliy (@sosigusyan [ru]), military conscript and the author of “the Barracks Blog,” a Twitter-account telling about the life in the army (see transcripts of his tweets here [ru] and here [ru]) had been de-anonymized by the military authorities. The content of the micro-blog had been deleted and someone else started...
Russia: Site of Political Phone Pranks Launched
politicprank.ru, website dedicated to the phone pranks with politicians has launched on October 26, 2011. The first prank [ru] has been conducted allegedly with the head of the security of Vladimir Putin. Authenticity of the recording, however, is not proved yet.
Russia: Hacked Mailbox of Anti-Corruption Blogger Published Online
Private mailbox allegedly belonging to Alexey Navalny, famous anti-corruption blogger, has been hacked and published at navalnymail.kz by an attacker nicknamed onenavnav [ru]. Navalny hasn't confirmed the authenticity of the leaked e-mails yet. Observers suggest that the leak might be connected to the plan of Navalny's discreditation.
Russia: Ministry of Justice Plans to Monitor Online Content
Russian Ministry of Justice had published a public procurement proposal [ru] to purchase a content monitoring system worth of ~115,000 US dollars. The system is aimed to monitor the information published about the ministry and its representatives as well as about the president and prime-minister. The scale of the system...
Russia: Government Official Tries to Force Websites to Remove Discrediting Video
On October 23, 2011 Kseniya Sobchak, celebrity journalist, had shot a video of Vasiliy Yakemenko, the head of the Federal Agency for Youth, in the most expensive restaurant of Moscow. Criticism followed the video [ru] upload: according to his tax declaration [ru], Yakemenko could hardly afford attending such place. Later Anna Biryukova,...
Russia: Government to Launch Content Monitoring in December 2011
Roskomnadzor, Russian telecommunications control body, will launch content monitoring system in December 2011, Kommersant.ru reports [ru]. The system ordered in March, 2011 (see GV analysis here) is now in pre-release condition. Its documented abilities allow the monitoring of up to 5 mln keywords published at the websites registered as online mass media...
Russia: ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Demonstration Attracts Only Few
“A Just Russia” party staged a Moscow version of the #OccupyWallStreet demonstration, reports Ridus.ru [ru]. The action decorated with printed posters saying “We're the 99%” attracted only 10-15 people. So far it's the only event in Russia to refer to the global protest movement.
Russia: President's Visit to Journalism Department Under Attack of Social Media
The New York Times explores the role of social media in exposing staged nature of Dmitry Medvedev's visit to the Moscow State Univerisity. The Twitter hashtag #журфак (shortened for Journalism department) as well as many posts on LiveJournal and Facebook made the controversy a trending topic and forced the president's spokesperson...
Russia: Cursing Policeman Fired After YouTube Video Leak
Russian policeman who has been caught on camera [ru] cursing at his colleagues was fired after the video became public, corrupcia.net reported [ru]. Company commander of Omsk traffic police was accusing other policemen of producing not enough violation protocols. The case highlighted the so-called “sticks” system, in which police evaluation is based...
Russia: Success of National Wrestling System Explained
Russian wrestlers are often considered to be the best in the world. Citizen media suggest that a possible explanation for this is the relationship between politics and wrestling in Russia.