Stories from RuNet Echo from May, 2015
Did Russia Just Effectively Outlaw Internet Anonymizers?
A Russian court has ruled to block a webpage for being "an anonymizer," raising concerns that tools like Tor and other anonymizing proxy services might soon be banned wholesale.
Ukrainian and Russian Users Petition Facebook to ‘Stop Political Blocking’
Ukrainians and Russians are petitioning Facebook on the Change.org website to protest what they insist is an ongoing issue: unwarranted and biased blocking of Ukrainian and Russian Facebook profiles.
Dying in Secret: The Ethics of Investigating Russia's Ukraine Casualties
A new type of investigative journalism by bloggers is blurring the lines between armchair Internet sleuthing and hard-hitting investigative reporting to uncover information about Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.
Dear Ukrainian Officials: Russian Security Services Thank You for Your Cooperation!
A group of journalists pulled a prank on Ukrainian officials who use Russian email services, alerting them to the dangers of careless information security policies.
Activist Ambassador Lawyer Journalist: What It’s Like to Be Hated Online in Russia Today
Earlier this week, Afisha magazine's Nina Nazarova published a collection of fascinating interviews with four public figures who have played major roles online and in the news in Russia.
Russia Launches ‘Predictive System’ for Monitoring Protest Activity Online
The new Russian software will allegedly be able to spot preparations for protests online long before they happen, and could supply that information to law enforcement, academics and state officials.
The Profitable Patriotism of Vladimir Putin's Biker Bromance
Putin’s biker bromance admittedly isn’t radically new, but the prominence—both in Russia and abroad—of the "Night Wolves" motorcycle gang is exploding like never before.
Mr. Bureaucrat, Russia's ‘Wrinkled’ Young Women Would Like a Word
In response to a sexist outburst by a ranking government official, young women have started posting selfies with the hashtag #WrinkledWoman while scrunching up their faces to lampoon the remark.
PayPal Blocks Donations for Printing Boris Nemtsov’s Ukraine War Report
PayPal has informed the "Putin.War" report team the service cannot be used for "collecting funds to finance the activities of political parties or for political aims in Russia.”
Facebook's Zuckerberg Responds to Ukrainians’ Complaints, But Is His Answer Enough?
Mark Zuckerberg has addressed the appeals of Ukrainian Facebook users for better content moderation and calls to create a dedicated Ukrainian office. His answers seem unlikely to satisfy them.
How the Internet Both Facilitates and Challenges Rape in Russia
The explosion of online social networks makes it easier than ever for sexual predators, but the Internet also presents women with new weapons against a legal system stacked against them.
Fed Up With ‘Political’ Blocking, Russia and Ukraine Appeal to Facebook
Ukrainians and Russians are unhappy about Facebook allowing "politically motivated" takedowns of posts they say are being reported for violations by masses of "Kremlin supporters."
Russia's Indefatigable Absurdists
Every year on May 1, thousands of Russians stage a public celebration of absurdity in a handful of cities across Siberia called "Monstration."
Leaked Emails Reveal What Vladimir Putin Tells World Leaders at Private Meals
The leaked emails can be sorted into three types of reports: menu options for meetings, summaries of the catering services, and—most interestingly—outlines of Putin's conversations with his guests.
Ukraine Is Banning ‘Communist Symbols’ and the Kremlin Is Peeved
Ukraine has moved to restrict the use of Communist and Nazi symbols in a bid to part with the country's Soviet past. Not everyone is happy.
Did a Journalist Save a Chechen Teenager from Marrying a 57-Year-Old Police Captain? No.
Last week, we reported that a journalist had succeeded in preventing a Chechen teenager from being married against her will. It now appears the marriage will go through, after all.
How Twerking May Destroy a Russian Small Business
A Russian cosmetics company is using a scandalous dance in its marketing, and a Russian politician says the ad commits a “depraved act” against minors.
Pro-Russian Videos Get Fake Views With Help From Malware
A group of unknown hackers have been infecting Internet users' computers with malware, using them to inflate views on a handful of pro-Russian videos.
How a Russian Journalist Ruined a Chechen Wedding
How an independent Russian journalist averted the forced marriage of a 17-year-old Chechen girl to a high-ranking, 57-year-old police official.
Russia's Democratic Opposition Is Trying to Unite and the Road Ahead Is Bumpy
Two of Russia’s leading opposition parties recently announced the formation a "democratic alliance" with plans to run on a joint ticket in upcoming regional and national elections.