Legislators in Russia have seemingly had enough of major technology firms trying to skirt around its tough domestic data laws, threatening a controversial new penalty for noncompliance: forcing the loading speeds of their websites to a crawl.

Multiple sources, including employees of internet firms and telecommunications providers in the region, told the Vedomosti newspaper today (13 March) the aim of the proposal is to crack down on companies bypassing Russian courts because they are registered abroad.


Insiders said the threat to throttle internet access would not only apply to foreign companies, leading some Russian tech chiefs to issue statements – albeit anonymously – pushing back against the plans.

The penalty could have a dramatic impact on services that rely on streaming to operate. The Moscow Times reported the law could be introduced via amendments to "anti-terror" legislation.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is said to be one of the federal agencies drafting the proposal – the same department which handed Google a fine of 438 million rubles (£6.5m, $7.4m) for allegedly breaking laws about pre-installed smartphone apps.

Google refused to pay, instead challenging the ruling through the courts.

A source close to the FAS told Vedomosti that Roskomnadzor – Russia's main communications regulator – is participating in developing the new law. Some critics, however, maintained the law is unlikely to be accepted in its current form as it would be difficult to develop and enforce.

"There are a number of foreign internet companies that make money in Russia but do not comply with our laws," complained an unnamed contact reportedly close to the State Duma, which is a section of the nation's parliament, who also said its scope stretched far wider than just Google.

Google logoGoogle is embroiled in ongoing litigation with the Russian government Reuters

Vedomosti reported that a "top manager" at Yandex, the most popular search engine and web portal in Russia, slammed the initiative.


"The consequence of the adoption of such a law could be a violation of net neutrality, which will affect all resources, including us," he told the newspaper.

Over the past 12 months, as tensions between the US and the Kremlin escalated amid tit-for-tat accusations over cybercrime, the Russian government made moves to punish LinkedIn for allegedly failing to comply with data laws.

Later, other US-headquartered services, including Google and Apple, were hit with demandsto remove the LinkedIn smartphone application from app stores in Russia.

As previously reported, Roskomnadzor – which is also known as the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications – claimed LinkedIn broke laws by transmitting user data "without consent".

On 7 March, Reuters reported the ban was still in full effect.

"While we believe we comply with all applicable laws, and despite conversations with Roskomnadzor [...] we have been unable to reach an understanding that would see them lift the block on LinkedIn in the Russian Federation," a LinkedIn spokesman told Reuters via email.

In response, Roskomnadzor said LinkedIn's refusal to change its ways only confirmed its "lack of interest in working on the Russian market".

Author : Jason Murdock

Source : http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/russia-may-deliberately-slow-internet-access-foreign-websites-ignoring-its-data-laws-1611284

Categorized in News & Politics

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, is of the belief that, in all probability, Russia is responsible for the alleged US National Security Agency (NSA) hack.

Hackers allegedly got hold of digital arsenal or malware deployed by Equation Group, the cyber espionage unit that has links with the NSA.

Hackers who called themselves Shadow Brokers put up the leaks, which consisted of exploits and malware widely-used firewalls from manufacturers such as Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper, and TopSec, for an auction.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden took to Twitter to substantiate his theory.

Edward Snowden, who is in exile in an undisclosed location in Russia, started sending a series of tweets by saying that NSA’s malware staging server had been hacked earlier on as well, but the take has been published for the first time now.

Kaspersky, a security firm, said that the original files are likely from the Equation Group with links to the NSA.

According to Dave Aitel, a former NSA employee who also pointed out that Russia might be involved; this could be a diplomatic move in the wake of blaming Russia for hacking the US Democratic Party’s computers.


In a tweet, Edward Snowden said that the leak is most likely a warning that someone would be able to prove the US responsible for attacks originating from this malware server.

Meanwhile, an analysis released by Kaspersky pointed out that it believes with a great degree of certainty that the tools obtained by Shadow Brokers are related to Equation Group’s malware.

This is because the sample elements that those hackers released for the purpose of verification displayed Equation’s unique characteristics.

On their part, Shadow Brokers are organizing an auction to dispose off the key for the remaining data, which according to them is encrypted.

Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website, has also said that it is in possession of the same data and that it will release it in due course.

However, the hackers have suggested that the Wikileaks’ claim may not be true. When asked as to why anyone should trust them, the hackers said that the risk would be higher if there is no trust.

They also noted that people have to take the risk if they like the reward, but there are no guarantees as they could win or lose.

Mr. Aitel listed out the reasons as to why he was almost certain as regards the link between the malware leak and hacking of the computer of the US Democratic Party, which led to the resignation of a few senior leaders of the party in one of the blog posts published by him.

They included the auction’s timing as it is being done nearly three years after the information was stolen, experts opined.

According to him, high-level officials in the political field in the US were upset about the Democratic Party hacks.

In a post published recently, he noted that only those who are experts in the field of operational security or those who are desirous of taking advantage of the bugs would ever keep quiet about something big like this for a long time.

Edward Snowden explained through his tweets that security services commonly attempted to target the hacking tools of each other in order to create “fingerprints” which would help them detect the same in the future.

He also noted that no one knows as to why they did it, but his suspicion is that this has to do more with diplomacy than intelligence and is linked to the escalation of the DNC hack.

Edward Snowden, who suggested that the leak could be a warning sign, also added that the NSA leak could have significant consequences as far as foreign policy matters are concerned, particularly if the operations targeted any of the US allies and elections.

In addition, the NSA hack might be a ploy to influence the calculations of decision makers who are wondering as to how they should respond to the DNC hacks.

According to Edward Snowden, the leak appeared as though somebody is sending a message that the attribution game could get messy very fast.

The comments of Edward Snowden however should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Source : darkwebnews

Categorized in Internet Privacy
The deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, has said that Russia has more internet freedom than the United States, where people receive prison sentences for online comments about President Barack Obama.

Volodin was giving a press conference in the central Russian city of Tambov, where a local reporter asked him to comment on the possibility of introducing a rule that would require social networks to obtain ID from their users “so that people could know who is on the other side of the internet.” The official replied that unlike many countries, Russia has chosen self-regulation on the internet and he saw no need to change this.

“Now we are capable of solving various issues through self-regulation and a ban on distribution of information about illegal drugs, suicide and extremism. Society has a need for this.”

He also noted that Russia had more internet freedom than other nations, in particular the United States.

“Take a look at the legal practice. Have you ever heard about the legal proceedings initiated by [Russian] civil servants and senior officials against ordinary internet users over even the most harsh statements made on the internet?” Volodin asked journalists.

A woman in the audience answered that a man had once attempted to sue her for dissemination of discrediting materials about him on the internet, but failed as police and prosecutors refused to recognize her material as unlawful. “You can see that prosecutors protect you. And if you take a look at the US statistics, even over the past six months, you will see that several people there received prison sentences between 12 and 18 months for their posts about President Obama,” Volodin told journalists.

“Ask yourselves – who has more democracy – us or them?” he concluded.

The official did not specify which legal cases he was talking about, but this could be the arrest of John Martin Roos – a 61-year-old Wisconsin man who was detained in April this year for threatening the US president on social media. Police also found weapons and several pipe bombs as they searched Roos’ home. He has not yet been sentenced. In 2013, Donte Jamar Sims from Florida was sentenced to six months in prison plus one year of supervised release for making threats to President Obama over Twitter.

In August 2014, Russia introduced a law requiring all blogs with 3,000 daily readers or more to follow many of the rules that exist in conventional mass media, such as tougher controls on published information and a ban on the use of explicit language. The restrictions include the requirement to verify information before publishing it and to abstain from releasing reports containing slander, hate speech, calls for extremism or other banned information such as advice on suicide.

In July this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a package of anti-terrorist amendments that allow automatic blocking of websites for promoting extremism and terrorism and require all communications companies, including internet providers, to retain information about their clients’ data traffic for three years and to hand it over to the authorities on demand (one year for messengers and social networks). Providers also must keep records of phone calls, messages and transferred files for six months.



Source : https://www.rt.com/politics/358296-internet-in-russia-is-freer/

Categorized in Internet Technology

The MEHR News Agency reports that the Iranian Minister of IT, Mahmoud Vaezi, has stated an agreement has been signed with Russia for the development of an Iranian National Remote-Sensing Satellite.

Vaezi was in a tour of Moscow to discuss technical cooperation with Russia. Upon returning to Tehran, he told reporters that among his visit’s achievement was an initial agreement with Russian to work with Iranian industries to build the remote-sensing satellite, under the title of National Remote-Sensing Satellite. He reportedly stated that the project is very critical, and the prediction is that the satellite build will require two years of work.

On the Russian search engine Yandex, Vaezi added that Iran welcomes foreign investments. He indicated that the Russians have requested that their search engine be active in Iran and that the engine will have no limits as to content—the engine will start operation in Iran after preliminary work and some technical issues are ironed out. The Minister stated the he believes all search engines should compete for public markets and that people should be free choose from among them for their search needs.


Categorized in Others

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