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Internet censorship in Russia - Lurk no more (economist.com)
41 points by tchalla on Nov 18, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments



1. It's worth mentioning that lurkmore was removed from blacklist one or two days after removal of the articles on "marijuana consumption methods" and "dudka" (slang for marijuana or bong).

2. Together with articles on lurkmore wiki, couple of other sites got blacklisted, including, wait for it, eve online fansite, because it had a page about making and selling in-game drugs.


Also worth mentioning that the whole site was not blacklisted, only the page about pot consumption methods was banned, but the fact that the ISPs need DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) for banning just one page from the whole site (which they don't have implemented) they were just banning the whole site.

Also worth mentioning that now some lawmakers consider introducing new laws to outlaw "anonymizers" like web proxies or networks like Tor and I2P, because they help people to route around the law. Don't they understand that it is not technically possible? People will just start using VPN.


> Don't they understand that it is not technically possible? People will just start using VPN.

Maybe it is not possible to completly stop it, but they could just implement severe punishments for trying to connect to services like TOR, I2P and VPNs. The traffic is definitely detectable, (here is a project that tries to make it harder to detect TOR traffic http://www.owlfolio.org/media/2010/05/stegotorus-talk/). Even if they can't catch them all they can catch and punish enough people to make it to dangerous to use a VPN/TOR/I2P to not make it worth the risk to access the uncensored internet.


> Also worth mentioning that the whole site was not blacklisted, only the page about pot consumption methods was banned, but the fact that the ISPs need DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) for banning just one page from the whole site (which they don't have implemented) they were just banning the whole site.

I don't know how they were going to enforce a single-page ban, but Lurkmore's ip address got on the blacklist too.


Internet censorship was one of the two things that made me decide that living in China long-term was out for me. That said, I'm not sure if I agree with the article. A broken internet is infuriating, but I'm not convinced that this kind of censorship will wreak the environment for foreign investment. Beijing is probably the top tech start-up investment hub in Asia. Great firewall or not, investors go where the market is.


Problem is, this will do for forward-thinking Russian entrepreneurs what it did for you in China - and will give them another reason to work on Plan B (not involving Russia). And that will affect foreign investments.


There is http://rublacklist.net/about, a site dedicated to workarounds of the blacklist. The Russian Pirate Party was involved in that project :) They have a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RuBlackList


>Mr Soldatov says ... that Russia has not outlawed the use of secure browsing protocols, https, used by Facebook, Gmail, and other sites with sensitive personal data. But he says that some ISPs have already been approached by Russian security agencies and told to prepare for such a possibility.

Is this as batshit insane as it seems? Does even China block https connections?


There was some news a while ago about encryption being banned in Pakistan, and ISPs being required to notify the government of any VPNs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/30/pakistan-bans-en...


I can find no followup at all to that news story -- almost every article about it was published within a few days of each other, and no news in the last year.

Pakistan blocked youtube more recently, and I can see several folk suggesting that using the https site as a workaround for that block. That loophole was closed later, but it seems unlikely to me they actually went ahead with the blanket block on encryption.

e: There seem to be two points of origin for this story. First, in July, this tweet by "privacy international".

https://twitter.com/privacyint/status/96852484936564736

There's not really any source given there. Then, in late August, the following story that cites an unnamed source in an ISP.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/240736/virtual-watchdog-internet...

The stories are at least consistent, but Pakistan never made an open declaration of their intent to block https or VPNs, and probably abandoned it as unworkable. I'd assume that it'll play out much the same in Russia.


Site is already removed from "Register" - it received some warnings and had to remove some articles concerning drugs.

But still we are worried about censorship process here.

And, well, maybe it's a coincidence but still I have noticed some problems with internet connection when "Register" started to work. And that also worries me, of course.


This is something real Anonymous would fight against. Alas, the Anonymous we have instead is busy supporting Hamas terrorists and defacing Israeli web sites.




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