UK is next. There's no doubt in my mind they will start blocking news sites, blogs and social media in the next mass protest (if there will be one anytime soon, since UK population seems almost as complacent and docile as the American one, which is just perfect for authoritarians).
Indeed - he basically just said to the ISPs 'do this or we'll make you do it'.
Thanks to the (abysmal) technical knowledge of our MPs, any site-blocking bill would have flown straight through as soon as the phrases 'cyber-bullying', 'think of the children' or 'illegal downloads' were mentioned. In that light, I think the ISPs probably chose the least bad option - comply, lie low and hope that they can sit it out until the government forgets about the whole thing.
> since UK population seems almost as complacent and docile as the American one
That is really quite offensive. We have a culture of protest and resistance. What we have at the moment is a paradise of easy living. Despite the depressing lie of what the media will give you with "food banks and poverty" the standard of living for most Britons is really quite good, much better than the 1980s which saw major public political unrest.
People won't take to the streets for internet privacy or other such soft battles you can think of. The political classes will chatter about whatever games they play with each other but people really don't care about such issues.
It also turns out some food banks were having to request international aid in order to cope over the winter. Our lovely Prime Minister, David Cameron, even complained about them not seeking his permission to do so. (He'd justified cutting welfare by arguing the food banks could cope.)
At least UK has independent courts. Human rights activists should hire good lawyers, get them in touch with experts on networks and cryptography, and start example cases, adding nice proper focused coverage on top of it all to form a public opinion. The precedents should be set until it's too late.
UPD: I should probably have mentioned that I'm from Russia.
Sorry, we have secret, closed courts now, without juries. They were intended for terror cases, but are being used a lot more broadly than most think. A barrister friend who raised concerns about this had his career assassinated-by-media last year, and is now a hate-figure.
Sorry but unless you live in R. as well, I know better. Internet users of the West have plenty of ways to fight back, and yet they don't really use any. They don't value the freedom they have — so they will soon lose even that. The strategy I suggest is completely valid. It worked in the past, and it would work now if executed properly.
I guess, if you live in an oppressive regime and have to use whatever means are available, you get a good training. Alternatively, if the society is comparably more free and you don't use your rights, you tend to forget about them - why, most of the time it works by default. But when suddenly something doesn't work - you don't know what to do.
Compare to approaches Russian opposition is taking. They have to know law, often know (much) better than judges which don't follow the law anyway - but at least the opposition reasoning and their logical constructions could be heard. I guess, not anymore - state-controlled media isn't going to provide objective coverage of "criminals" in courts.
This is true. There is a belorussian website charter97.org and it lived through offline and online closures, attacks, and all sorts of filtering by using numerous techniques. They should do online training.
It's not even slippery. It's a high-powered conveyor-belt. The people in power _know_ this was always their ultimate goal. They don't care about you, or your child's, safety. It's all about amassing more power, more control, more influence.
Here's an idea. Every organization that believes in freedom may consider repurposing their websites to allow access to censored sites.
They'll just blacklist every single one of these sites for enabling access to illegal materials and you won't even be able to read EFF from Russia. And if a Russian citizen creates a public proxy, they'll convict him on anti-terrorist charges. That'll deter the rest.
I am not convinced that pushing Putin to exercise his dictatorial abilities is a good idea when his approval ratings among the general population are so high. I mean, if people already hated him, that might have pushed them over the edge. But as it stands now, general population is more likely to rationalize blocking than admit that Putin is evil.
> "They'll just blacklist every single one of these sites..."
That's the point: pressure. Outside sites willing to expose themselves to an 'iron curtain' is a true form of solidarity in this era where a world is more connected. Push-back is exactly how successful, peaceful movements are waged.
That's a smart, strategic idea. Mainstream sites -- outside of Russia but that Russians still use often -- that are willing to stand in solidarity and risk being blocked would be dramatically important. Without outside support, the overwhelming majority of a Russian public will continue to become even more acculturated to censorship and a state's chilling effects. This is already the case. However, it will only get worse unless complacency reaches a tipping point of jolting awareness.
Not even sure why they bothered to block Kasparov. I have yet to talk to someone who actually lives in Russia and cares about what he has to say.
While not a good move, it doesn't quite live up to the EFF headline.
This is the official site that lists all blocked sites, but it looks like you have to know what you are looking for: http://eais.rkn.gov.ru/. Note, I haven't actually been able to get it to return any queries on the above sites...
You don't get a more impressive list because these are the only remaining sources. The rest are suppressed - by various means. Echo of Moscow could be the last - and might be closed not because it's oppositional but just because it's more balanced than government-influenced media.
I usually point to Yakunin's articles; Matvienko, Peskov are not unusual guests in Echo of Moscow. On the other hand, it's pretty rare to hear opinion of Kasparov, Navalny or Kasyanov on primary TV channels.
I've tried to compare Echo of Moscow to RT, for example. Echo had much more details - when RT said "policemen stopped the people who blocked the way", Echo actually provided photos and videos, together with short interviews with both policemen and people those policemen detained.
There are many people in Russia who don't like Echo. But if you try to find out why, you'll find it's because Echo is simply different - not the majority, as should be expected, frankly, if you'd consider the possibility of the media being filtered by some means. You should go for facts - which is often hard - and Echo is probably most professional in giving you facts, from all sides and opinions.
I'd guess, much smaller percentage than in Europe, where many neighboring countries speak different languages. Why Russians should study foreign language if they are not going to use that - and that's the case for large percentage of population? It's similar to US in that regard - almost all know English, that's enough at home, and usually enough in neighboring Canada, and the primary foreign language is Spanish, probably because another major neighbour, Mexico, speaks Spanish.
Google Translate is pretty good :) but distinctively worse still than the native tongue.
Yes, these are major resources, especially Echo Moskvy and Navalny's blog. Especially considering the fact that Dozhd will be dead in a few months due to Kremlin pressure (it was removed from cable packages, cutting ad revenues), Lenta.ru was taken over by Kremlin two days ago, most of the staff already left it.
Reporting from the trenches. Here in Moscow all 4 sites from the list  are being banned as of this morning.
* ej.ru (assortment of articles by opposition writers)
* kasparov.ru (chess grandmaster and one of the opposition leaders)
* navalny.livejournal.com (possibly most prominent opposition leader as of
late; mayor of Moscow candidate in 2013 mayoral election)
* grani.ru (opposition newspaper)
I'd have to agree with said elsewhere in the comments that an average Russian will likely not notice those sites virtual demise. They're not much known or popular outside of a tight opposition camp.
Echo of Moscow is, however, a very popular radio station. Banning their site is likely to cause a little shit storm. It is not banned though and working just fine. What happened is they hosted their own Navalny's blog  and this particular URL was banned. However, the banning system is IP based, so along with it all the site would have been blocked. The site admins quickly took down the blog and the ban was lifted.
Isn't Navalni widely considered/painted as a paid US shill in Russia? I've seen him on TV and he didn't strike me as someone who'd put his life on a line for betterment of Russian governance, just in principle. His true motives are far from clear.
This sub-thread here is the reason "why we can't have nice things" :) There's a lack of balanced opinion or incentive for agreement. We have "radical libertarians" on one hand and "radical Putinists" on the other. You listen to both camps and the truth is somewhere in the middle.
As for myself, I do not see a viable (European-grade) democratic movement in Russia that I'd be willing to give my support (I think Yabloko was/is the closest). At the same time, I do not feel oppressed or living under tyranny here :)
Fun fact: Navalny, originally a member of Yabloko, was expelled from the party for nationalist rhetoric back in 00s.
Small part of Russia wants to live in a free liberal society but major part says we want to live in a gang-totalitarian terrarium headed by the KGB agent.
Those who have courage to protest on the Bolotnaya square say we want to have free media and have a right to protest but zombied people say we want to be slaves.
Zombied slaves don't want to have alternative media and don't want to think because Putin's propaganda does this for them.
These guys consider all countries around to be their enemies who want to destroy Russia. Why? Because all criticism which is really worth attention (poverty, HIV, abuse of basic human rights, the president who does his 3rd term, invasion to Georgia, Ukraine etc) they say to be an attempt to damage their declining country.
So guys, it is your choice.
Even if people read Hacker News, Silicon Valley will never come to Russia because innovations can't exist in a prison-styled country where semi-military illegal cossaks scourge young girls without mercy. This means your people will never be rich. Of course except your small elite made its weals selling resources and slavery workforce.
And FYI Wiki definition of Liberalism:
Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals [...] generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property
Edward Snowden is not currently in a country with press freedoms, and people have to pick their battles. Snowden has already picked some pretty huge battles. Besides, if you've been paying the slightest amount of attention you already know his feelings on Internet freedom.
Indeed it takes a good sense to learn good things from imperfect teachers. One has to see the forest behind the trees and understand what good US can teach to Russia - even though US is quite susceptible to similar ills itself.
The context of what's happening in Russia is very important. And very sad:
1. Lenta.ru, one of the biggest Russian news websites (600 thousand visitors daily) mentioned in the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenta.ru
Although Wikipedia says "39 employees out of the total 84 lost their jobs" it is known that they were not fired but were leaving the company together with fired Editor-in-Chief Galina Timchenko as an act against censorship. Some links:
3. Echo Moskvy. "The head of one of Russia's few remaining independent broadcasters, Ekho Moskvy, has been dismissed and replaced by an editor from state media.", "Its editor said it was an "unjust" and "totally political decision" aimed at changing editorial policy."
4. The New Times started a paid subscription to protect itself from censorship a few months ago. This is the only link, in Russian, couldn't find any sources in English: http://www.newtimes.ru/obrashenie-avtora/
The greatest instrument used in the societal tragedies of the last century has (undoubtedly) been state delivered propaganda.
Japan (Empire of the Rising Sun), Nazi Germany, Maoism (and the following Cultural Revolution), in America: Red Scare (age of McCarthyism, ending as a consequence of JMc.'s untimely death), the Red Peril (the predecessor of the Red Scare) -- the list goes on. The efficacy of those at the top to wield their power would have been far less without propaganda. Their ability to acquire it -- even less still.
Consider current-day North Korea, Venezuela, or numerous Middle-Eastern countries (which regulate education as well as the internet); consider the intellectually subdued population of China and the unconscionable acts which have been silently taking place in Tibet (and elsewhere) behind the Great Firewall. All of these nations are suffering from handicapped/censored versions of the internet -- while simultaneously being subjected to propaganda.
Russia can now officially be added to that club. I can't help but extrapolate -- applying this trend to other nations.
An Uncensored and Open Internet* is crucial to the subversion of tyrannical governments' propaganda efforts.
* - (I prefer this to "Free and Open" because 'free' is so easily misunderstood by baby boomers)
We are witnessing (again ) a complete lack of attempted narrative on the part of the US/UK mainstream press. There isn't the slightest reason to not give this story ample coverage -- it is anti-Putin/Russia (which, we can all agree is the current fetish in the media), and it is absolutely newsworthy -- even by their standards (they covered when the Russia Today anchors quit and spoke-out). SO WHAT GIVES? This is the dereliction of duty in "journalism." Shame. And it is greatly affecting the movement for an Uncensored and Open Internet.
"Coverage" is different from "being reported." This needs to reach baby boomers in the form of a headline. They don't appreciate the internet because they can't connect the dots.
I've snapshoted cnn.com, foxnews.com, msnbc.com, bbc.com - at 8:51pm CST at web.archive.org . I'm the crackpot that believes there are ulterior motives in this pattern of institutional ignorance/behavior.
When it comes to the marketing of high stakes legislation - know that the true motives are often-times blended with an actual public desire, with the bill being a means to another end entirely. As mike_esspe points out: this action being taken is through the passage of Russia's "anti-child pornography" bill. For those that missed it, here's what happening in the UK on the same front of misdirection. 
If you care about making a difference, beyond "liking" and "upvoting" -- I highly recommend (as did Aaron Swartz) reading "The Power Broker," and you will have a greater appreciation of the forces at play and how opaque the processes which deliver and execute the policies of governance really are.
 - A recent example of the mainstream press giving essentially no coverage came with GHCQ webcam revelations: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7315743 The loose connection between the (casually addressed) problems of pictures obtained of minors' nudity in the webcam program and the governments' attempts to censor the internet on the back of the serious child pornography issue is worth noting, for its hypocrisy.
For the inevitable Godwin's Law comebacks. People too often focus on Hitler's 1936-39 rise to global prominence: what is often overlooked is the unabated role of the party's propaganda-machine from 1921 to 1932 to gain popular support and 1932 to ~1936 to brainwash the remaining populace.
Not to detract from your point, but you neglected two of the archetype of the tragedies arising from State-controlled media propaganda:
The role of the Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian media in the wars following the break up of Yugoslavia.
The role of state controlled radio and TV in the Rwandan genocide. To quote from :
From October 1993 to late 1994, RTLM was used by Hutu leaders to advance an extremist Hutu message and anti-Tutsi disinformation, spreading fear of a Tutsi genocide against Hutu, identifying specific Tutsi targets or areas where they could be found, and encouraging the progress of the genocide. In April 1994, Radio Rwanda began to advance a similar message, speaking for the national authorities, issuing directives on how and where to kill Tutsis, and congratulating those who had already taken part.
> We are witnessing (again ) a complete lack of attempted narrative on the part of the US/UK mainstream press. There isn't the slightest reason to not give this story ample coverage -- it is anti-Putin/Russia (which, we can all agree is the current fetish in the media), and it is absolutely newsworthy -- even by their standards (they covered when the Russia Today anchors quit and spoke-out). SO WHAT GIVES? This is the dereliction of duty in "journalism." Shame. And it is greatly affecting the movement for an Uncensored and Open Internet.
It's obvious. People will start drawing parallels between Russia's actions and that of the Western governments and their press. They'd rather not have folks figure out we're just as bad as the rest of 'em.
ironically, the uk has already done that before they passed the bill. they blocked independent media coverage of iran, and not only blocked it, but also banned them from sky satellites. germans then banned the channel from astra, which was revoked after a court appeal. i don't know of any updates to the story though. been a while since i followed the story.
i find it particularly interesting, mainly because for the most part the population never even noticed.
we shouldn't really be so high and mighty. for all i know people over there oppose their bad practices, and over here people are defending them.
Your Guardian link describes Ofcom - the TV regulator in the UK - offering two alternatives to Press TV to retain its license in order to comply with the requirement that the license is held by the same entity as that providing editorial oversight. It also mentions that Press TV was fined for airing a clip of an interview carried out under duress. Regulation is not censorship.
> Consider current-day North Korea, Venezuela, or countless Middle-Eastern countries (which regulate education as well as the internet)
Doesn't the United States also regulate education and the Internet, and particularly the former? It seems like you're still likely to get labelled a kooky conspiracy theorist if you claim that modern Western governments actively engage in blatant propaganda campaigns, but it's considered "obvious" that other countries (either in the past or other parts of the world) do so.
US education has both private and public aspects. Private schools are, surprisingly, almost unregulated in terms of the content that they must teach (high school students are required to take one class in American History).
Public education is administered at the county level (if you can believe it). States have a decent amount to say with regards to what schools teach; the federal government does not. This system is not great for a variety of reasons (primarily the fact that education quality varies astronomically from county to county), but it does mean that "propaganda in schools" is hard to effect from a centralized location.
I haven't done a lot of research, but from the few public school teachers I know personally, I glean that a lot of state and federal public school "regulation" is not of the explicit legal type, but rather takes the form of pressure from conditional subsidies.
> Public education is administered at the county level
Admitting that as being partially true, and/or not wanting to quibble over where it isn't, it's worth pointing out that will be a fallacy should Common Core become widely adopted.
It's also worth noting that public schools have been used for indoctrination for a very long time now. You'd have been hard-pressed to find a college grad in the early thirties who believed that the government had the Constitutional authority to implement Obamacare, while you'd be hard-pressed to find one now that believed it didn't.
While much of that is attributable to the actual practice of legislation, and the past 80 years of precedent, education, particularly history, is continually being "updated" to reflect modern sentiment, and applies that to the distant past.
I shocked the educated English guy next to me at work, when I gave a reference to "The harrowing of the north".
Not exactly the most obscure part of English history, but still not well known. Control of information isn't new.
The fun part will all the Chomsky thing is that in my native Sweden, you have totally different influences on the news media than USA. E.g. left wing extremists have a large space, political discussion are often done by interviewing political left extremists (Gardell, Hubinette, Guillou, etc).
But you see lots of "manufactured consent", lots of head line news stories at BBC/NY Times just doesn't show up. Etc.
I should add -- what I meant was, the filtering of the news is very different but still filtered. E.g. pro-Israel stuff (Pallywood, torture between palestinian groups, antisemitism in the muslim world etc)often just doesn't get printed.
Sometimes you see a story at the BBC/NY Times. After it has grown to a headline item, it is grudgingly made news in Sweden a couple of days later.
I assume this is because the left wing extremists really care about Israel.
Also in Germany there was a very good (for Hitler) historical context that didn't need many of out-of-@ss facts (you can get from mass media these days). Anyway, J. Goebbels was the god of propaganda and still is I guess a role model of some political journalists even these days.
Hm, you say that, but Goebbels didn't have any tricks of his own - he learned from the masters - two Americans, Bernays and von Wiegand, who sharpened their skills in the 20's working for the Hearst press and convincing America to smoke.
Don't forget Ivy Lee. While we are at it, it is worth mentioning that the law against domestic use of propaganda in the US was quietly repealed a few years ago. Operation Mockingbird is also worth a look for those curious about the cozy relationship between the CIA et al and the media.
I believe this is the post you are referring to . In it, Aaron describes his reaction to reading Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky.
I second your sentiment completely, and knowledge is indeed the path to freedom. The journey itself however, is fraught with malignant powers hell bent upon crushing us at every step. Ukraine is a tragic example in a long list of historic casualties, caught in the eternal fight for freedom against powerful tyrants.
They aren't he'll bent on crushing you. Oh no, propaganda is about seducing you. They want you on their side, not crushed. Convincing you that you're much too clever to be sold a lie. Why this is the truth! Those others, why they don't want you to know the truth. That you are truly one of the smart ones, that's found the one true way. Some might call it brain washing, I just call it sales. Turn you into a believer, a loyal true believer because by god these people only wants best for you. And bam, your hooked.
Don't be fooled, power isnt about crushing, not all all, it's about developing large adoring flocks of people that have seen the way, and don't need to hear another word. You don't crush your troops. You mold them into Super fans, adoring acolytes.
The USA is very good at the use of soft power, and targeted application of hard power. Our profiency at the use of soft power largely eliminates the need for hard power. Iran and China are simply not on our level when it comes to manipulation of public opinion. I believe that the illusion of an independent and oppositional media plays a large part in this.
For example, I can visit any number of violent white supremacist or radical Islamic websites at my leisure. Yes, I'm likely raising red-flags in a database somewhere, but I'm not stopped from visiting.
This is not to say that Americans are not intellectually subdued, they are, but the way in which control is exerted is markedly different.
Anonymity in an uncensored Internet and in a democracy in general is just as important for the same reasons.
Right now in Russia there are two kinds of people: those too afraid to speak or do anything, and those who get silenced. In such a situation there's no way to have a contrarian voice unless you're anonymous.
My impression from reading Russian blogs on LiveJournal is that there are two kinds of people in Russia right now: those extremely anti-Putin and those extremely pro-Putin, in about 50/50 proportion. No one is "too afraid" or "silenced".
Here you are thinking about Russia in your Western categories. Those who did exit did so not because they want to be able to speak up against Putin, but for economic or professional reasons. Also Anti-Putinites are so many on the Internet you can't possibly round them up. Russians have been venting their political views on the Internet ever since the Internet has become available, I don't see how this can ever be stopped. Also Siberia is not such a bad place :) Also, the "West" doesn't need to do anything in Russia, unless it wants a mess just like in Ukraine, only with lots more of unhinged nationalists/patriots/communists/liberals and with nuclear weapons getting involved. It's not going to be nice pro-Western people against a horrible totalitarian regime.
I was born in the USSR,
my birth cert has the hammer and sickle,
so please don't lecture me on "the Russian way of thinking"
What has risen in the last ~15 years is a much more cynical, evil, ugly and nastier version of what USSR was.
Hell my parents still watch Russian channels and it doesn't take long to realise that there is some sort of mass psychosis taking place in the old country, fuelled by state controlled media.
I actually feel very much sorry for those brave souls that do speak out, seeing as to what happened to all those journalists that did so, you are right ending up in a Siberian gulag aint the worst outcome.
US: Fox News, CNN, 'embedded journalists' in US military campaign reporting.
About censorship bills brought in by dubious 'five horseman of the internet apocalypse' arguments, yes.
Honestly though, almost every nation I've lived in or have citizenship has equivalent rules (Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, China, UK). The US perhaps doesn't but it's still bullshit to hold it up as any kind of do-gooder because it would be hard to argue that its recent actions have any positive outcome for the internet (re: extralegal persecution of Wikileaks, MegaUpload, pervasive PRISM surveillance, encouragement of allies to do the same, peddling of lofty-sounding international agreements by bribery/cocercion to effect 'IP law' changes that essentially undermine funamental freedoms, domestic shackling of IANA, politicization of DNS, etc.)
After visiting it on the eve of its new government, I wonder how Tunisia is doing with enacting freedom-protecting internet legislation?
I wonder if perhaps, perversely, Germany might be doing OK in this regard?
Actually, soft force could be quite powerful. There is somewhat relevant Iran example.
I think the West has plenty of opportunities here. On the other hand, those won't come free - and I understand the hesitation. Yet again, to some - smaller - extent we have a situation, which is similar to what happened already about 80 years ago in Europe.
While the press freedom is important there are different priorities during the wartime.
Russia today is ready to go to war with the West in order to keep Ukraine from joining NATO. "Russia regards this as an existential threat and will do whatever it takes to prevent it happening. (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26566452)"
The banned sites are considered enemy propaganda outfits by Kremlin.
This isn't anything Russia hasn't been doing for decades. It has been spreading propaganda for a long time, it cannot even be compared to UK or US or any other developed country censorship levels. Putin wipes out everything that is not directly following orders from him. It is only now that these things came to world attention. Media is not only censored in Russia, they simply make up things and tell as truth and facts. If you'd understand Russian and would listen to their news you'd think it must be some joke how ridiculous their lies are, but it isn't.
This is breaking news, so a lot of people who might be expected to comment about this in other press sources have had no opportunity to do so, I suppose. I personally would like to hear what Edward Snowden has to say about this, and I hope the Russian authorities will provide the opportunity for him to comment on Internet freedom in Russia in light of recent events.
Missing the mark. It's Snowden's problem, not blessing, that he had to choose Russia - with all latest developments there. Unfortunately for Snowden, there is no better place for him - or at least he can't get there from where he is now. I don't think US should really boast their record on these matters here.
How is it even related? It's a tragedy that Showden got stuck in country with illegal dictatorship after exposing constitutional violations in his own country. And it's a tragedy that political dissidents nowadays have to run as far as Equador.
Certainly, it is at least somewhat ironic that he is currently in Russia, given all the latest news out of that country.
In fact, reading Greenwald's writings on recent events in Ukraine, I am having a hard time ignoring the curious pro-Putin slant in his writings.
"Wasn’t it just 72 hours ago that the widespread, mainstream view in the west (not one that I shared) was that there was a profound moral obligation to stand up and support the brave and noble Ukrainian opposition forces as they fight to be liberated from the brutal and repressive regime imposed on them by Vladimir Putin’s puppet? When did it suddenly become shameful in those same circles to support those very same opposition forces?"
I'm from Russia. Yes, sure, it is a plan to control the media. Especially when Internet media are so popular. We still have access to all other western medias. It is pretty simple to compare the facts. Of course these happenings are tightly linked to the Ukraine crisis. I could say that western people also do not get the whole picture as national medias cover the crisis in a very biased way. One more time we see that medias are being controlled by someone imposing "national" interests.
I really don't see what every media outlet that isn't Russian state-controlled would have to gain from distributing "biased" journalism.
We've seen raw footage released, we can read live tweets about what's happening and we can even communicate with people effected via the internet. The only side that seems to conflict with what's coming out of the region is the Russian side.
I watched cellphone footage of troops with Russian equipment in Russian vehicles with Russian license plates that spoke Russian and claimed to be from Russia in Crimea, despite Russian media and government reports of there being no Russian troops there.
With the internet and mobile phones, it's really hard to get away with lies in media anymore (unless of course you censor the evidence).
A quote: The one thing we know for sure is that we don't know what's going on. The situation is volatile and murky. But that doesn't stop western politicians jumping in feet first. We don't know exactly what forces are at play, but we still desperately want to pin our naive "goodies" and "baddies" labels on to somebody.
Did EFF complain about Ukraine government outlawing access to any Russian language news a few days ago?
Correction: Above sentence is not correct. Not all Russian language news were outlawed. Instead, only Russian TV channels were banned in Ukraine a few days ago. This has caused OSCE to express concern. See the link below.
Almost a half of Ukrainians speak Russian language. New Kiev government has banned national broadcasts in this language, effectively denying its people access to information.
When we hear the arguments that banning Russian-language press/TV in Ukraine is OK, since those are necessarily 'Putin propaganda', but banning radical sites in Russia is wrong, because they are 'independent news', we can only admire the ability to maintain double standards without as much at batting an eye.
 I don't necessarily agree with Russian government definition of 'extremist/radical', but their point is that above Russian sites have given their pages to neo-Nazis to call to armed struggle against the state.
In Ukraine only 5 foreign TV channels were banned -- Vesti, Russia 24, ORT (First Channel World Network), RTR Planet, and NTV World. All of them were state-sponsored mouthpieces of Russian Goebbels-style propaganda, and it's in a country invaded by Russia. No wonder that these propaganda channels of foreign aggressors were banned.
In Russia Kremlin attacks its own legitimate independent from state press and opposition leaders. Russian independent TV channels were already destroyed long before (with exception of Dozhd that was attacked only recently), but yesterday Kremlin started to broadly use one more method in its fight against freedom of press -- Internet filters. And that what EFF article is about.
These situations have very little in common, and they very bundled together only to be used in the standard "but you are lynching negroes" argument.
> I don't necessarily agree with Russian government definition of 'extremist/radical', but their point is that above Russian sites have given their pages to neo-Nazis to call to armed struggle against the state.
Eh, neo-Nazis to call to armed struggle against the state? That's just bullshit. Good example, why Russian Goebbels-style propaganda is a problem.
> Eh, neo-Nazis to call to armed struggle against the state? That's just bullshit.
Why do you think it's bullshit? Have you seen those images from Kiev of people throwing cobbles and Molotov cocktails at police, and some firing guns? That's armed struggle against the state. Do you know that these people (not babushkas and pretty girls waving flags) belong to political parties or paramilitary groups confirmed as neo-Nazi in Europe (not just in Russia)?
Because you are repeating Russia propaganda. Svoboda is not neo-Nazi, neither it's fascist. It's a nationalistic party, yes, but it's far far far away from being neo-Nazi. Pravyj Sektor is not neo-Nazi either, on 27 February the leader of Pravyj Sektor Yarosh met with ambassador of Israel in Ukraine, and Yarosh explained that they are against antisemitism or xenophobia. Do you think it will be possible would they be neo-Nazi? Read for example "Open letter of Ukrainian Jews to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin." 
> They have tried to scare us (and are continuing their attempts) with “Bandera followers” and “Fascists” attempting to wrest away the helm of Ukrainian society, with imminent Jewish progroms. Yes, we are well aware that the political opposition and the forces of social protests who have secured changes for the better are made up of different groups. They include nationalistic groups, but even the most marginal do not dare show anti-Semitism or other xenophobic behavior. And we certainly know that our very few nationalists are well-controlled by civil society and the new Ukrainian government – which is more than can be said for the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.
Or read "All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress: Antisemitism Not on the Rise" . Or read articles on the website of Association of Jewish Organisations and Communities of Ukraine . It observes antisemitic forces in Ukraine for decades, however I didn't find a single article that saw some threat from Maidan forces. But there are a lot of articles against Putin propaganda that exaggerates "neo-Nazi" threat. Neo-Nazi hazard from protesters in Ukraine is nothing more than an invention of Russian propaganda. If there is a fascist danger in Ukraine, it originates from Russian and pro-Russian forces that attack peaceful demonstrations, kill people, intimidate journalists, kidnap and shot in activists, invade foreign countries with intention to annex them.
I admit I did not know about the letter from the Ukrainian Jews to Putin. I do not know what motivated them to write such a letter. It could be Bandera followers standing over them, or something else. You can't really deny the neo-Nazi character of the leaders of the rioters. Have a look here, it's an non-Russian source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-hughes/the-neo-nazi-qu...
For starters, Andriy Parubiy, the new secretary of Ukraine's security council, was a co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), otherwise known as Svoboda. And his deputy, Dmytro Yarosh, is the leader of a party called the Right Sector which, according to historian Timothy Stanley, "flies the old flag of the Ukrainian Nazi collaborators at its rallies."
The Svoboda party has tapped into Nazi symbolism including the "wolf's angel" rune, which resembles a swastika and was worn by members of the Waffen-SS, a panzer division that was declared a criminal organization at Nuremberg. A report from Tel-Aviv University describes the Svoboda party as "an extremist, right-wing, nationalist organization which emphasizes its identification with the ideology of German National Socialism."* Notice how Tel-Aviv Jews do not seem to agree with the Ukrainian ones.
According to this BBC news clip two Svoboda parliamentarians in recent weeks posed for photos while "brandishing well-known far right numerology," including the numbers 88 -- the eighth letter of the alphabet -- signifying "HH," as in "Heil Hitler." This all makes Hillary Clinton's recent comments comparing Putin to Hitler appear patently absurd, as Stanley adeptly points out: "After all, in the eyes of many ethnic Russians, it is the Ukrainian nationalists -- not Putin -- who are the Nazis."
Last week Per Anders Rudling from Lund University in Sweden, an expert on Ukrainian extremists, told Britain's Channel 4 News: "A neo-fascist party like Svoboda getting the deputy prime minister position is news in its own right." Well, except in the U.S.
There are WAY too many unambiguous images and videos on the internet where the rioters sport Nazi or neo-Nazi symbols to ignore or dismiss as Russian propaganda like you do. Just google for "nazi ukraine" for images. You'll see Tyagnibok (one of the 3 leaders of the "peaceful protesters") there among the top results.
> the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.
Incidentally, this is anti-Russian propaganda. There are neo-Nazis in Russia, but they have nothing to do with Putin or Russian security services. In fact, Russian neo-Nazis would be offended by this statement.
> I admit I did not know about the letter from the Ukrainian Jews to Putin. I
Sure, you didn't, because you get your information from garbage sources by useful leftist idiots from Huffington Post and like.
> I do not know what motivated them to write such a letter. It could be Bandera followers standing over them, or something else
That's just so pathetic that is not even funny. You ignore opinion of the most authoritative Jewish organizations in Ukraine, two chief rabbis of Ukraine and opinion of the Congress of national minorities of Ukraine for the sole reason that they don't agree with your agenda formed on poor quality sources.
> Tel-Aviv Jews, ... from Lund University in Sweden
Yeah, apparently guys from Tel-Aviv and from Sweden see the situation better than people who actually live in Kiev and closely observe folks from Svoboda for decades. Sorry, no, Svoboda is not neo-Nazi, not even nearly. It's a legit party that got 10.5% on elections in 2012 that gets more and more moderate over time.
> the Russian neo-Nazis, who are encouraged by your security services.
> Incidentally, this is anti-Russian propaganda.
They are probably talking about Russian nazis in Ukraine. People like this one: http://imgur.com/a/QeuZp, who is directly supported by Kremlin propaganda. Or like these thugs who attacked peaceful pro-Ukrainian demonstration in Donetsk and killed 2 yesterday. Or like those thugs who killed 2 in Kharkov today.
> from garbage sources by useful leftist idiots from Huffington Post and like.
I appreciate your level-headed unbiased approach. You prefer Fox News, I presume?
> That's just so pathetic that is not even funny. You ignore opinion of the most authoritative Jewish organizations in Ukraine.
> Yeah, apparently guys from Tel-Aviv and from Sweden see the situation better than people who actually live in Kiev and closely observe folks from Svoboda for decades.
So, for you, Russian sources are propaganda, and EU and Israel sources are misinformed (apparently by the Russians), and only Ukrainian pro-Maidan sources matter. That is indeed ridiculous. Did you ever wonder why the Ukrainian parliament, where Yanukovich's Regions Party had the majority, adopted anti-Maidan laws on January 16th, but in February was already unequivocally pro-Maidan? Do you think the armed masked "peaceful demonstrators" storming government buildings might have something to do with it?
I think those armed masked people are the reason why the Ukrainian Jews wrote such a letter. I don't see how Jews can possibly tolerate the Nazi symbols and slogans of the Right Sector (see above for images).
Here is what a chief Ukrainian rabbi has to say about "peaceful protesters" :
"I told my congregation to leave the city center or the city all together and if possible the country too," Rabbi Azman told Maariv. "I don't want to tempt fate," he added, "but there are constant warnings concerning intentions to attack Jewish institutions."
> I appreciate your level-headed unbiased approach. You prefer Fox News, I presume?
What an amazing argument, because there are only two media outlets in the world -- Fox News and Huffington Post. No, I prefer Völkischer Beobachter obviously.
> So, for you, Russian sources are propaganda, and EU and Israel sources are misinformed (apparently by the Russians), and only Ukrainian pro-Maidan sources matter.
EU is generally ok, nobody supports Putin, except few marginal media outlets (or marginals inside of mainstream outlet), so you need to mine for a good quote -- Russian propagandists even had to leak taped Paet conversations to mine good for them quote.
> and only Ukrainian pro-Maidan sources matter.
Good sources matter (like independent journalists reporting facts), authoritative opinions matter (like opinion about local antisemitism by local Jewish community). Opinions of some leftie guy from the different part of the Earth, who decided to mine some quotes for one side and call that "analysis" -- no, sorry, thing like these don't matter.
> Do you think the armed masked "peaceful demonstrators" storming government buildings might have something to do with it?
This has everything to do with the president who at first stole billions, then decided to shot in his own citizens killing almost 100, and then fled away cutting all communications, including communications with his own party.
> I think those armed masked people are the reason why the Ukrainian Jews wrote such a letter.
Nice conspiracy theory. Strangely, people like Joseph Zisels were not afraid to speak out in the Soviet Union (where Zisels was held in prison for some years for his anti-Soviet views), but now they are so scared that even write panegyrics about neo-Nazis.
> Here is what a chief Ukrainian rabbi has to say about "peaceful protesters" :
Oh, jeez. You just can't not to bring here all the pro-Russian lies? Haaretz lied. See "How newspaper Haaretz distorted words of Ukrainian Rabbi" . Long story short -- 1) Haaretz chronologically moved the statement by the rabbi. Reuven Azman told about it on 20 February, the day when snipers killed more than 50, so it made sense in context. Haaretz published it on 22 February, when Yanukovich already fled and the situation was stable. So Azman talked about the danger _from Yanukovich_, not from protesters. 2) Haaretz misquoted Azman, his statement was not about all Jews, but only women and children. Extended to all Kiev's Jews by Haaretz. 3) And then Haaretz claimed that Azman had connections with Kremlin -- and that was the claim Azmad actually considered to sue them for.
Now Rabbi Reuven Azman just like everybody else denies Russian lies about neo-Nazism  -- "Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine: There is no Ethnic or Religious Hatred in Ukraine".
> What an amazing argument, because there are only two media outlets in the world -- Fox News and Huffington Post. No, I prefer Völkischer Beobachter obviously.
To call a news source "leftist idiots" to contradict what they say was an amazing argument. Very convincing.
> Russian propagandists even had to leak taped Paet conversations
It would be very wrong to hide them. Who hired the snipers to shoot policemen and protesters is a hugely important question.
> Good sources matter (like independent journalists reporting facts), authoritative opinions matter (like opinion about local antisemitism by local Jewish community). Opinions of some leftie guy from the different part of the Earth, who decided to mine some quotes for one side and call that "analysis" -- no, sorry, thing like these don't matter.
You have a very complex system of criteria which news source to trust, which somehow allows you to ignore the obvious. Still, you have to convince me the paramilitary groups in Maidan are peaceful, do not wear Nazi symbols, and do not chant Nazi slogans, and their leaders are not now in the government.
> Nice conspiracy theory.
Yeah, very feasible.
> all the pro-Russian lies ... Haaretz lied.
So Haaretz (Israel's oldest daily newspaper) is a pro-Russian news source? Do you realize you insult any news source that is not pro-Maidan and then call it pro-Russian? I find it ridiculous.
Whatever Azman said and why he said that, it is not possible to take this seriously (text from your link):
There is no anti-Semitism in Ukraine’, was Azman’s comment to the Russian propagandists’ claims
if you saw this  or this  or this  or this or this  or this.
I actually feel sorry for him - something or someone forced him to say this obvious nonsense.
Haaretz verifiable provable lied, but it doesn't matter for you, because it's the oldest Israel newspaper. 3 chief Rabbis of Ukraine and the Association of Jewish Communities of Ukraine say there is no neo-Nazi threat from Ukrainians while it exists from Russians, but it doesn't matter for you, because you found few photographs of neo-Nazis in 1 million crowd. OK. I don't know, at this point the discussion as constructive as discussion with 9/11 truther, quite frankly.
Really, your photoset is hilarious. , , ,  are photographs from 2013.  is especially funny -- Tyagnibok uses his _left_ hand to point to something, but you are trying misrepresent it like he is making a Nazi salute. If you want to find a fake Nazi salute photograph, at least find one where the target uses their _right_ hand. Like Merkel on this photo: http://westsidetoastmasters.com/resources/book_of_body_langu... On ,  there is one guy with old Svoboda symbol it dropped 10 years ago and one guy with 14/88 on his shield. Not much, considering the fact there were 1 million of persons with very different background on Maidan. Look, of course there were neo-Nazis on Maidan -- there were 1 million with plenty of radicals. But it was an extreme minority, and it wasn't supported even by the leaders of notable nationalistic forces like Svoboda and Pravyj Sektor. There were very few antisemitic incidents recorded on Maidan -- most notable one was when one poetess recited antisemitic poem from the Maidan tribune (btw she was banned from tribune for that). And it was the most notable one. Compare it with Gubarev, the _leader_ of pro-Kremlin forces in Donetsk, guy completely supported by Russian propaganda, who was real neo-Nazi from RNE: http://imgur.com/a/QeuZp Compare it with Crimean Russians, who attack women for wearing Ukrainian flags  and old ladies , who kidnap journalists and shot in peaceful Ukrainian activists.
The fact the photos are from 2013 or someone at Maidan was wearing an old Nazi symbol of Svoboda does not justify the statements "There is no anti-Semitism in Ukraine" and "Svoboda has nothing to do with Nazis". Rather the opposite.
I have no problem recognizing Gubarev is/used to be a Nazi. But this does not mean the "peaceful activists" at Maidan had nothing to do with Nazis.
I obviously won't change your opinions, but here are some facts that may be relevant.
Ukrainian Jews seek urgent help from Israel Director-general of European
Jewish Association urges Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense
Minister Moshe Ya'alon to send security forces to Jewish communities
in Ukraine due to 'growing wave of anti-Semitic attacks.'
> I obviously won't change your opinions, but here are some facts that may be relevant.
No, they are not relevant, that's one more piece of disinformation. Your quote:
> Ukrainian Jews seek urgent help from Israel Director-general of European Jewish Association urges Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense...
inside the article
> Rabbi Menahem Margolin, has asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon...
Biography of Rabbi Menahem Margolin:
> Rabbi Menachem Margolin was born in Israel. After graduating from elementary studied he studied in Yeshivot in Bnei Brak and Kiryat Gat, and then in New York. From the U.S.A he left for a mission of a year to the Jewish community in Hungary and helped the local Rabbis to fulfill their rules. From Budapest he left for a mission of several months to Bangkok, Thailand. During these years he received his rabbinical ordination. In 2004 he was appointed as Program Director of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) A year later he was appointed as the Secretary General of the organization and two years later was appointed as the General Director.
Yes, that guy has exactly zero to do with Ukraine. Funny that all this hysteria about neo-Nazies taking over the country is being spread from non-Ukrainian sources, while Ukrainian sources don't see a problem.
> But there is another way to look at it, and it is that Russian views are correct from the outset: The Ukrainian coup that deposed a legitimately elected president has been spearheaded by neo-nazi paramilitaries.
Enemy invaders deposed legitimately elected leader spearheaded by antisemitic communist forces. That's one more way to look at WWII. The problem of course that this view has nothing common with reality. Jews, Russians, Georgians, and plenty other minorities actively participated on Maidan -- something that absolutely impossible in a neo-nazi coup. And sorry, your views are not Russian views, those are views promoted by Putin propaganda.
> They now control key positions in the government, intimidate their political opponents, including what has remained of the Ukrainian parliament.
I think your 'Goebbels this' and 'Goebbels that' arguments are amusing.
Thanks for confirming that 5 TV channels carrying alternative views are banned in Ukraine. That's no problem for you because you call them propaganda.
Some people disagree. A lot of Ukrainians Russian-speakers feel that their point of view is not represented in Ukrainian official media, and that Russian news provide some valuable alternative. After all, one of the first laws of new Kiev govt was an anti-Russian language law.
And then in a single breath you deny neo-Nazi issue as a bullshit. You obviously know that lenta.ru editor was fired allegedly for publishing a link to Ukrainian "Right Sector" content.
Next you of may want to deny that Svoboda and their paramilitary wing Right Sector are neo-nazis... I could refer to to European Union officials expressing concern about Svoboda's position in Kiev government, but I think my arguments will be lost on you.
> I think your 'Goebbels this' and 'Goebbels that' arguments are amusing.
Of course. Because you are completely under influence of that propaganda.
> You obviously know that lenta.ru editor was fired allegedly for publishing a link to Ukrainian "Right Sector" content.
She was fired, because Lenta became too popular and Kremlin decided to take over it.
> Thanks for confirming that 5 TV channels carrying alternative views are banned in Ukraine.
They don't hold any alternative views, or any views at all. They are just propaganda mouthpieces, their purpose is influence people in some direction -- and that's all. If they need, they straight up fabricate "news" out of thin air . If they need they'll change their political "views" in day, because in fact they don't hold any. That's the difference between legitimate media, even very biased one, and just pure propaganda.
> Next you of may want to deny that Svoboda and their paramilitary wing Right Sector are neo-nazis...
The thing is EFF article heading is misleading. These listed websites are not "major independent news sites". And they never been. When it comes to independent news sources, Russia uses a lot of newsru.com, lenta.ru, utro.ru, none of those blocked. Besides livejournal.com works from Russia as usual. Serve it from open public proxy in Novosibirsk and see for yourself.
It is sad EFF became a channel for demonization of Russian public image these days.
I'm from Russia, and you know, average Russian didn't feel that major independent news sites are blocked. May be they're blocked, but we actually don't give a f..k about them. We have other independent news sites. So my position is like the West is trying to force hysteria.
Please don't think that we don't have freedoms here. We have much more freedom that you can ever imagine. As well, we don't need to be protected by the bulwark of democracy - US.
Feminist punk bands must be imprisoned right now because of playing shitty punk rock ever. They're real traitors of punk rock :)
Homosexuals? Why do you ask Russia about them? Go to Saudi Arabia and ask them how do they feel about that. We have our own vision of healthy society.
Murdered journalists - that's a shame, I agree. But you know what? Now it's just a tool in hands of the West. And you use this tool in order to justify your own actions.
Wanna bomb Iraq? Yes, they have mass destruction weapons.
Wanna bomb Afghanistan? Yes, they have Al Qaeda.
Wanna bomb Russia? Yes, they imprison feminist punk bands, banned homosexuals and they have murdered journalist (he was better than Assange and Snowden).
Wanna bomb Japan? Stop! But they don't have nuclear weapon. F..k that, let's bomb them anyway.
US is the only country that used nuclear weapon against other country (and this country had no any nuclear weapons).
And now you're telling me how homosexuals feel? Yes, they're fine!
Взгляните ещё раз на эту точку. Это здесь. Это наш дом. Это мы. Все, кого вы любите, все, кого вы знаете, все, о ком вы когда-либо слышали, все когда-либо существовавшие люди прожили свои жизни на ней. Множество наших наслаждений и страданий, тысячи самоуверенных религий, идеологий и экономических доктрин, каждый охотник и собиратель, каждый герой и трус, каждый созидатель и разрушитель цивилизаций, каждый король и крестьянин, каждая влюблённая пара, каждая мать и каждый отец, каждый способный ребёнок, изобретатель и путешественник, каждый преподаватель этики, каждый лживый политик, каждая «суперзвезда», каждый «величайший лидер», каждый святой и грешник в истории нашего вида жили здесь — на соринке, подвешенной в солнечном луче.
Земля — очень маленькая сцена на безбрежной космической арене. Подумайте о реках крови, пролитых всеми этими генералами и императорами, чтобы, в лучах славы и триумфа, они могли стать кратковременными хозяевами части песчинки. Подумайте о бесконечных жестокостях, совершаемых обитателями одного уголка этой точки над едва отличимыми обитателями другого уголка. О том, как часты меж ними разногласия, о том, как жаждут они убивать друг друга, о том, как горяча их ненависть.
Наше позёрство, наша воображаемая значимость, иллюзия о нашем привилегированном статусе во вселенной — все они пасуют перед этой точкой бледного света. Наша планета — лишь одинокая пылинка в окружающей космической тьме. В этой грандиозной пустоте нет ни намёка на то, что кто-то придёт нам на помощь, дабы спасти нас от нашего же невежества.
Земля — пока единственный известный мир, способный поддерживать жизнь. Нам больше некуда уйти — по крайней мере, в ближайшем будущем. Побывать — да. Колонизировать — ещё нет. Нравится вам это или нет — Земля сейчас наш дом.
Говорят, астрономия прививает скромность и укрепляет характер. Наверное, нет лучшей демонстрации глупого человеческого зазнайства, чем эта отстранённая картина нашего крошечного мира. Мне кажется, она подчёркивает нашу ответственность, наш долг быть добрее друг с другом, дорожить и лелеять бледно-голубую точку — наш единственный дом.
Оригинальный текст (англ.) [скрыть]
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Notice how cleanly he uses discussion derailing techniques, one might even think he was specifically trained for that. Misdirection, straw man, turning back criticism at you, not a single sentence from this individual is unnecessary, every word is crafted strictly by forum infiltrator handbook.
One could argue that jingoistic chest beating, on both sides of the divide is lamentable.Would we not do well to remember the unprecedented difference between our world today and that of the past; all our nations are more tightly entwined, economically, socially, culturally. Understanding and promoting this mutual dependence seems crucial and pressing to me. Can World Wars be won in this day and age? Is there any rational alternative to our peaceful mutual coexistence (a messy, muddled morass of a coexistence but one none the less). All this rampant 'nationalism' from all camps is dangerous, IMHO. Remember how the cosmopolitan european community was destroyed by World war 1 and a shift to nationalism, xenophobia and prejudice filled the void. Can we not learn from our collective past?