· February, 2011

Stories about Russia from February, 2011

Russia: Police Receives Right to Close Websites Without Court Order

RuNet Echo  28 February 2011

Starting March 1, 2011, new law “On Police” [RUS] grants Russian police the right to order the heads of hosting companies to terminate the activity of those Internet resources that infringe Russian or International law or endanger individual or public security. Previously, police needed a court order to close a...

Russia: Bloggers Deconstruct Isolationist Propaganda

RuNet Echo  26 February 2011

As Russia is approaching another election cycle (in 2011 Russians are supposed to elect the Parliament and in 2012 – the president) the voices of state propagandists get louder. The upcoming election process, tamed and controlled by the President's office and the ruling party "United Russia," will be happening in the context of the Arabian "Spring of Nations 2.0." This fact inspires pro-Democracy activists, as well as regime advocates.

Russia: One-Person Rallies by the Embassy of Libya

RuNet Echo  23 February 2011

LJ user notavailablenow reports (RUS) on an hour-long series of one-person pickets held across the street from the Embassy of Libya in Moscow on Tuesday by two citizen activists, who took turns holding up a poster that read “Stop state terrorism.” First, however, the activists had to educate and argue...

Russia: Ulyanovsk News Portal Under Attack for Exposing Politician

RuNet Echo  21 February 2011

73online.ru had been DDOS-ed for publishing compromising materials on Igor Bulanov, deputy speaker of Ulyanovsk legislative assembly. The portal published details on police detaining Bulanov and finding drugs in his car's glove compartment. After Bulanov was refused to remove the compromising publication, journalists started to receive threats while their website...

Russia: Blog Mapping Project Launches

RuNet Echo  21 February 2011

Creators of crowdsourcing mapping service blog-map.ru ambitiously aim to “unite all bloggers on one map.” Despite many incorrectly mapped blogs, the service offers quite unusual experience of finding Russian bloggers even in the most distant places [RUS].

Russia: Photos of “Putin's Palace” Published by Bloggers

RuNet Echo  21 February 2011

Krasnodar environmentalist group “Open Shore” published a photo report that illustrates how a number of huge villas have been built on a place of a relict forest on the shore of the Black sea. One of the villas shot by activists is the so-called “Putin's Palace,” a 3-storey luxurious manor...

Russia: Popular Social Network Opens Its Profiles to Everybody

RuNet Echo  17 February 2011

Russian popular social network Vkontakte.ru prohibited its users from limiting access to their online profiles. Now everybody is able to view personal information of other users. People started protesting against the decision and threatened Vkontakte.ru to take it to court, Gazeta.ru reported.

Russia: New .РФ Domains Could Be Sold Illegaly

RuNet Echo  17 February 2011

The Prosecutor General's Office in Russia expressed its interest in the fact that the biggest domain registration company in Russia “RU-Center” reserved 60,000 domain names within first hours after open registration and later sold 25,000 of those in closed auctions, newspapers Kommersant.ru reported.

Russia: Recreating a Traditional Village Hospital

RuNet Echo  16 February 2011

Mikhail Shlyapnikov (LJ user michael-077) writes in detail (RUS) about plans to set up a communal village hospital – old-style, but functional – in Kolionovo, Moscow region: “This, perhaps, is a rare case in contemporary history of rural Russia when, contrary to the general tendency, a village hospital is not...

Russia: Blogger Pays for Badmouthing Putin Online

RuNet Echo  16 February 2011

Rapid development of RuNet in recent years has only stared testing the limits of what one can say online. But the army of bloggers and their enthusiastic efforts to defend the online freedom paint an optimistic picture of the blogosphere's future.

Russia: “Danilkingate” – or “Parfyonov/Volochkova Syndrome”

RuNet Echo  16 February 2011

Power Vertical reports on Natalya Vasilyeva, “Russia's latest whistleblower” – who “[revealed] that the judge in Mikhail Khodorkovsky's recent fraud trial was pressured from on high […].” LJ user stas-kucher calls (RUS) the scandal “Danilkingate” (after Viktor Danilkin, the judge). Journalist Andrey Loshak notes (RUS) on the “Parfyonov/Volochkova syndrome,” referring...

Russia: 2011 State Budget Funding for Media Companies

RuNet Echo  15 February 2011

LJ user sart posts info (RUS) from the Russian Federation's 2011 budget (RUS, .zip, 322MB) on the state funding allotted to media companies: e.g., VGTRK gets nearly 19 billion rubles (approx. $628 million), and TV-Novosti, a company that owns RT (Russia Today), gets over 11 billion rubles (nearly $380 million).

Russia: Government Officials Dismissed for Compromising Online Photos

RuNet Echo  15 February 2011

Government officials in Russia start to feel the pressure of ‘Privacy 2.0.’ 2 policemen have been dismissed [RUS] in Chita after anonymous commenter published pictures [RUS] of them drunk at a local forum. Almost simultaneously in Buryatia, Irina Levandovskaya, a regional judge, has been dismissed for compromising photos [RUS] found by...

Russia: Reactions to the “Safe Internet League”

RuNet Echo  15 February 2011

Radio Free Europe writes about the “Safe Internet League”, a new initiative that would use volunteer cyber squads to monitor and report ‘dangerous content.’ Reacting to the news, Jeffrey Carr at Forbes notes that “security services have masked a variety of oppressive actions under the more acceptable umbrella of cleaning...

Russia: Old and New Media Censorship Tactics

RuNet Echo  15 February 2011

In its yearly report Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) analyzes situation with Post-Soviet online expression, noting that online censorship in the region has become more subtle without losing efficiency. “Accidents befall Web servers, just as mysterious, unsolved crimes of violence silence the region's online journalists.”