In a big picture, it's not just russian politicians who tight control over the free internet. The main problem in russia is not just politicians, it's a vast majority of russian people who voted for Putin and his party and totally support current regime.
May be for western people it's hard to believe how can it be possible to support this crazy regime. I can tell you that even top managers from leading russian internet company (from my private conversation with them) dreamed about great russian firewall because in that case, they won't have competitors like Google. Furthermore even IT guys like Putin regime and don't get worry about crazy laws passed against the internet. I assure you in that because many of my colleagues really like Stalin and really like what's happening in Ukraine. Almost all people in Russia really hate western world. They don't care about currency exchange rates and inflation, they care only about imperialism. When Putin made desision about Crimea, and when people totally supported it, I stopped believe in Russia at all.
Russia is a pure soviet country, with pure 100% soviet mindset, vast majority of russian people like idea of self-isolation.
This is why Russia has no future as a liberal market-driven country.
And this is why I'm actively looking for a job abroad.
This mindset is very prevalent in Russia and should be considered its greatest enemy. Most Russians are fine living in any conditions, as long as it's better than whatever their neighbors have. They would destroy their whole society if they can come closer to the top doing that. Why improve yourself if you can sink your neighbors? I hate this so much.
Source: Russian, lived there until recently.
Try with https://126.96.36.199 and accept the certificate if it has A0:C4:A7:46:00:ED:A7:2D:C0:BE:CB:9A:8C:B6:07:CA:58:EE:74:5E SHA-1 fingerprint.
(The uploaders can be related to the companies selling VPN access to Russians.)
I think this issue with GitHub will be resolved soon.
But in general, this Internet Restriction Bill (Federal law of Russian Federation no. 139-FZ of 2012-07-28) is double purpose tool.
On the one hand it serves its first official purpose (i.e. by blocking illegal content). It often do it completely awkward and don't care about legitimate users (the issue with GitHub is the good example).
On the second hand it's very good and easy to use tool for internet censorship. For example, it's so easy to block sites with legitimate information which current regime don't like.
Just think about "sudden" blocking of GitHub or Wikipedia as a training for them (i.e. just to make sure that in case of political instability they can shutdown anything pretty quickly).
My ISP just changes DNS response. All blocked domains are resolved to local server that shows message like this: https://who.ec/iWN (Site is blocked. Legal reason: blah-blah-blah)
Some providers just block access to IPs. My friend's blog lost ~300 visits/day becasuse it used same cloudflare node as blocked site.
Rostelecom uses MitM & self-signed certificate for more accurate filtering.
Germany doesn't, there where large protests when it was attempted in 2009 under the pretext of blocking child pornography.
Actually I'm only aware of Britain and Sweden censoring the web here in Europe, but enlighten me if I missed something.
> On 13 May 2010, the Hamburg District Court ordered an injunction against CB3Rob Ltd & Co KG (Cyberbunker) and its operator, Mr. Sven Olaf Kamphuis, restraining them from connecting The Pirate Bay site to the Internet. The injunction application was brought by the Motion Picture Association's member companies.
Depending how you define censorship: can I sell a game that features Nazi symbols - such as the swastika - in Germany?
Can I burn the American Flag or (in your case, if I'm correctly understanding that you're in London) the Union Jack in a public place?
What about nudity (no clue in the UK, but I'm still laughing hard about 'nipplegate' to this very day) on TV?
Every culture probably sets acceptable limits in what you can show/express/say or do (even the US free speech isn't protecting you from being sued for libel/hate speech or similar things, as far as I can tell). Yes, Swastikas/Nazi related symbols might be unpopular and even forbidden here. I refuse to consider that censorship, to be honest.
1: Wikipedia even seems to have an english page for this example - guess it's just so popular. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a
> I refuse to consider that censorship, to be honest.
I did say it depends how you define censorship. Note that I didn't say this was bad!
"What about nudity"
What does nudity have to do with anything? The topic is political speech. Anyway, there's plenty of nudity on cable, on the net...
Note that if the nudity does have political significance, numerous U.S. courts have held that it's protected.
the Netherlands : http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.nu.nl/int...
Belgium : http://pokerfuse.com/news/law-and-regulation/belgium-expand-...
France : http://pokerfuse.com/news/law-and-regulation/france-wants-is...
United Kingdom : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_Unit...
Germany, as you pointed out.
The Pirate Bay is also blocked here.
I spent quite a lot of time in Russia each year and these bans seem to be lifted after a few weeks if they are as absurd as this one, and you can still bypass them easily with VPN.
I actually gave Russia a big credit on patriotism and it wasted it all. It's done for me. The country where I grew up (for good or bad) no longer exists, they destroyed it.
Are you referring to ? Very worrying: like a North Korea style personality cult. How prevalent is this?
Most Russians support Putin and especially his foreign policy and when Russia got sanctioned because of that policy many were personally offended.
So they made t-shirts that referr to these sanctions, that are in their view offending them.
It is an absolutely normal response for any society that is collectively sanctioned/attacked.
For me, it is not. As an example, for me the US is completely nuts, but you know, they like what they like. You can think some things are normal just because you're used to them, but that means nothing.
> This is why Russia has no future as a liberal market-driven country.
And what if they don't want to play that game?
Ok, there are corrupt people everywhere, but there are often cultural limits on what people will let others and themselves get away with. Those limits are pretty high in the US, but they basically don't exist in Russia.
As to not being interested in figuring out how to create a good society, you're correct. They're both way too exceptional for that.
Turns out I'm half-Brazilian and I currently live in the UK. I spent part of my childhood in the 80s in Brazil so I know a thing or two about corruption.
Anyway, not sure what you were responding "NO" to as you explicitly agreed with the only assertion that I actually made rather than the stereotype that jubilantly flowered forth in your mind's eye.
The US continues to be one of the best places to live in the world even in its entitled malaise, largely as a result of momentum of post-war prosperity that was mostly dropped in our lap due to military and political strife around the rest of the planet while we sat happily on a wealth of natural resources ready to be exploited.
They didn't have a good ride that time, and it's a fact that they won't have a good ride now.
But it's a purely political question, a matter of taste... there isn't a definite answer.
Have things really changed so much?
The world has so many other problems - ecological, economical, viral, terrorists - to care of. I have sympathies for Ukraine, but it really pisses me off that we are on a brink of war and this because in a small part of Ukraina (in proportions to europe/world) there are people who want to separate. It's crazy. Just let them vote and if they want, let them go instead of having them as a burden blocking you in your future adventures. The situation with Scotland and Catalonia is/was similar, but there was no need to such drastic measures. Especially that we Europeans and Russians share the same continent. We should learn to live together.
Sorry, it's my opinion, it's not about technology, but had just to leave my chest.
Thus casting Russia back into XVI century.
I am worried that some unpredictable accident or irrational decision will turn this into a new nightmare. After all a huge majority of Russians support Putin and his politics. With more and more isolation and bad economy in Russia, Putin might maybe at some point feel that he has no other way to keep his "honor/dignity" in the eyes of his people and might start a war.
After all we do not know what happens in the heads of powerful men in this position and he might feel by the NATO expansion quite encircled.
Let's hope that people at power, including Putin, do not make any irrevocable things.
Do you feel "generally safe" leaving comments like this online? For both physical security and job security?
What's the mood out there - is opposition a safe thing or something you whisper your wife in the kitchen, at night, when children are asleep?
So your risk doesn't get higher than the background risk of living in a corrupt country with broken legal system.
Drones, mass surveillance, jailing and exiling of whistleblowers, court decisions fixed in advance, rampant racism and sexism, foreign wars for the last 150 years or so, ...
This ain't about however you define the term 'soviet', it's about politico-social power and thus the global trend in increasing violations of civil rights for excuses and legitimizations based on [insert security term here].
In short, oil prices being high means they have 'fuck off' money. When it's low, the government feels it has to focus on creating a collective nationalistic spirit to pull through.
These are just my thoughts on seeing Russia behave over time in the context of oil prices. Look at how they behave now when oil prices are low and NATO is making a push eastwards, and compare it to a few years ago when oil was high.
I would say 80 percent are more likely the truth
Sadly, situation in Belarus is almost the same with a little difference
>And this is why I'm actively looking for a job abroad.
Even then, Putin got just 52% on elections in my town and the neighboring towns of Moscow area. I guess even Obama had it more secure.
However if they do, they're likely vote for Putin because other candidates would have even less appeal to them, even if they've heard of them.
My bet is on "no".
I hope Russian citizens get a big fat boost of morality from blocking Github.
Really, it's not the alcoholism, injustice, corruption, poverty and now economic collapse that causes people to commit suicide in Russia, it's... Github !!
This just shows how braindead the people holding power in Russia are. Oh, and these censorship 'laws' have been adopted by people who've stolen billions and who've built a corrupt police state, which is really scary, because the same people have their fingers on the red button.
I'm writing from one another West European country. Here even teens share the IP numbers of the video sites banned on the DNS servers of the providers, to type that in the browser's link bar. The providers were served the court orders. It's just on the DNS level at the moment.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_and_surveil... doesn't support that
It says that the UK doesn't censor the Internet yet we know that there are two levels of censorship in England:
i) the IWF lists - these cover sites that distribute images of child sexual abuse
ii) court order - these cover sites like the PirateBay.
The third is the opt-out censorship to protect the children from file sharing, vpn & privacy related info, extreme content (gore), extreme political content (neo-Nazi, maybe even Britian First related but not confirmed), sex related, etc.
By censoring file sharing & privacy related content, it does damange the "path" to becoming a programmer for some people. I know that if these were filtered by default I'd have never learnt how to program.
Not like it helps, but it's much better. The whole current situation in Russia is a bit different - there are no court orders at all (that is, the whole censorship is completely unaccountable), and every ISP has to blindly comply or risk getting their license to operate revoked (or at least not prolonged).
Don't take what a TV box tells you this literally. The currency exchange rate going up is not an economic collapse. I lived through Perestroika years - that was nasty, but current situation is even less of a "collapse" as what the US economy had during the mortgage crisis.
Local businesses might come out on top of this due to their goods being more competitive vs imports, but the population is screwed again. Rich guys become richer, poor guys become poorer.
But that's just the exchange rate. Credit rates hiked up significantly and foreign investment into Russia dwindled. Big projects are put on hold due to uncertainty. My outlook is negative.
The situation itself reminds of those sanctions, because just like how this thing mostly affects and hurts Russians themselves, those Russia's sanctions too are mostly hurting ordinary people, driving food prices high, limiting options etc.
I live in Russia, too (St-Petersburg, to be precise), and I would like to discuss the issue on a different angle. Russian government is done anyway (economic situation will finish it in a few years), so why bothering? What is more important, I believe, is GitHub's attitude here.
You see, GitHub is sending polite-but-firm emails right now, asking users that hosted the file in question to remove it and hinting that they otherwise will remove it themselves. I'm deeply worried about this, because GitHub faces a tough decision: either it will stand to it's ground and stay banned in Russia, or it will comply, possibly changing TOS to be able to remove content if it's illegal in some god-forsaken country. Think LGBT-supporting groups and Nigeria, if not Russia.
In the first case, they will moderately annoy a most active part of Russian society and loose SOME subscribers — GitHub is for programmers, after all, we can handle VPNs. It will remind people that something is broken about their country, serving a good purpose. In the same time, GitHub will prove itself trustworthy to it's true customers — programmers.
In the second case, the ban will be lifted, but now they have to comply more and more, as more and more programmers will deliberately post that suicide satire in their repos. GitHub will probably lose less subscribers in the short term, but in the same time they will help the devious "divide and conquer" KGBsque strategy, which is no good. Additionally, GitHub case will become a poster child of Russian Propaganda Machine Winning, which is no good, either.
So, it's money-vs-face situation, when GitHub is forced to choose between helping one or another party. I strongly hope that they will choose The Right Thing To Do™.
Wishful thinking. Cf. how the economic situation has finished Kim Jong-un.
The problem I do see is that the "other side", specifically the UN, is not really any better. Freedom of religion is constantly under attack in the general assembly, and so is freedom of speech.
Take for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation_of_religion_and_the_... (TLDR: attempts to introduce blasphemy laws world-wide supported by the UN) ... details a constant campaign against freedom of religion that's entering it's third decade now of majority support in the general assembly. And this is but one of many examples. This makes it clear that defending human rights using either the UN of the ICC is like asking Putin to solve Ukraine's internal government crises. Whatever the solution is to guarantee freedom, it's not the UN.
Sad part is, if anything, these groups are growing, not shrinking.
I know it doesn't look like it in the middle of the US, but you should remember that the US is barely 350 million people. The number of people that would like their country to attack the US today, no matter how stupid an act it would be, world wide, is bigger than that. The number of people that would like to see the US taken down several notches even includes >50% of Europeans, so you can imagine what it is in the rest of the world (talk about a moronic position : China will replace the US should that happen, and it is blatantly obvious that will not be an improvement, not even for Chinese, although most Chinese I've talked to argue otherwise). In most places it doesn't even have anything to do with the US, other than that the US culture is leaking into their countries perhaps. In Europe, it's mostly political jealousy, the US has all this power, and is not using it "for good" (good can mean climate change, economic stuff, various wars, and now that 10% of europe or so is muslims "because it is destroying islam", not that you can ever get a straight answer of what that means, though references to Gaza seem common). It's not exclusively the US either. India seems to be as hated as the US sometimes, except for in Europe. And this is ignoring the wild cards, like how >30% of Europe constantly votes for the extreme right, more than that even in some countries (and less in Germany, but it's being repressed, so there's no real data on the actual number). Japan is re-arming at a speed that if you told me 5 years ago that might happen I would have laughed).
Russia is but one example of a nation that seems to be regressing to the situation before WWI. Turkey is similar. As we know, most of the middle east and northern Africa sees a return to the pseudo-roman-empire caliphate of the 7th century as a solution. China pretty much is an empire, including conquered colonies, and however dictatorial the current government is, from talking to Chinese people here I believe it would actually win an election, should there be one. All want an empire, and of course their own empire to win.
None of these attitudes seem rational to me, as people are worse and worse off, yet that only seems to fan the flames. All of these empires are calling for war, to some extent. I fear that as time goes on, the amount of sparks needed to light the powder kegs seems to be going down, and I feel really queasy about how little energy it took to start the ISIS war in the middle east, for example. How much sparks would it take to start something similar in Europe ? (yes there's less muslims there, but it's not like ISIS has even 10% support in Iraq)
Can a broad statement like 'the strongest argument against democracy' even be made when democracy takes many forms and has varying degrees of adherence to the principles behind their expression?
What of countries that had laws against racial intermarriage or same-sex marriage and have changed those laws because there was a means for people to instigate change (i.e. democracy)?
Assuming you do not consider this a desirable situation, it forms an argument against democracy itself.
However, I can tell that you are confusing democracy per se (or even ochlocracy) and liberal democracy.
Edit: downvoted again. My mind is just not made for this hateful community here.
But in the same time, it's a strong signal to avoid to do software related business in Russia. The blocking works both ways. Just look at what happened in China, they do have their own tools and networks but almost nobody is outsourcing work to China compared to other countries.
It might as well be SO or any other site with user content.
It would go offline after few months. It's government agency, not some use support forum!
The area is: golang, python and js mostly.
alex @plugaru org
p.s. I speak russian.
"Skopostnye train DURING topmozhenii ppohod more about kilometpa" (...)
(The sentence makes advice where the person doing suicide is best to do it, related to trains. Don't correct it and please don't post it in full here).
Looks like message author has replaced cyrillic 'р' with latin 'p' in original text.
If you really want to provoke, try with those with which you share the language, get something banned in the UK, as the example:
I'm sure you can do it and also tell us how UK officials do senseless decisions. In fact, AFAIK, almost every European country has some form of internet censorship.
What's better - to have HN possibly banned, or to play along the tune and practically comply with the censorship?
It's the latter why we have it. Should Twitter, Facebook and YouTube haven't complied the whole issue would be likely non-existent by now.
Also, original: http://www.opennet.ru/opennews/art.shtml?num=41171
Edit: it does not look like sth about suicide. Words in order:
High-speed (adj), Train, Customs (on the border), Passage, More, About, (of) kilometer.
Higher-speed rail passes at least kilometer while slowing down.
>it does not look like sth about suicide
I can't imagine anybody will gain any insights from that "banned" information. kasthack links to the Wikipedia article that was an obvious starting point for the text, to which the "funny" parts were added.
If only that was true :(
It works like this:
- they push some content deemed illegal in Russia to a github repo (something like instructions on committing suicide or on growing marijuana).
- then they themselves post a complain to the Russian internet regulator, accompanied by the link to illegal content;
- the ugly bureaucrats machine (which is mostly automatic) bans the whole of Github.
- at some point later in the day a human intervenes and unblocks the site, as happened several times in the past.
However, by that time the media has picked up the story, and many oppressed Russian developers who don't know how to use a US proxy, have received job offers.
2. (some) Content in question is work of satire about censorship agency and ridiculous laws written and hosted on github in Feb 2013
3. (some) of the links in question are not even posted by Russian citizens or residents, not even speaking about political activists
Here you are. Posted by a Russian citizen from a commit labeled "Privet, Roskomnadzor!" Such a rebel! Demonstrating the world unspeakable horrors of the Putin's regime.
With all seriousness - I think the whole situation just can't be solved otherwise. All this censorship things went generally unnoticed and went along the "oh, they're blocking evil child molesters' sites, it's alright" line of thought. To raise the awareness, some high-profile sacrifices are necessary. Hope they'd also block Wikipedia.
Disclaimer: yep, I'm Russian. Had some issues accessing GitHub. Between inconvenience and censorship I'd chose the former any day.
I really don't now what to do and how to affect the situation. The most fun thing - that 85% of persons in this country now think that "it's just some another porn site was blocked, Putin care us and our children's". Sad reality.
Guys, let's face it: we have a Great Firewall of Russia now, like in China.
Everyone who wants to continue to work with Github should install TOR, here's how to do it for Linux Mint 17: http://procedural.tumblr.com/post/104233731883
Also, you can discuss it with me on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8695299
What does it take to get the privilege to get blocked in Russia and China? Is it enough that someone on HN post things like "Justin Bieber is so cute I wish I was gay" or "the only difference between a suicide and a martyrdom really is the amount of press coverage"?
I work with some people from Russia on some stuff on GitHub and this is not going to help. :(
How could you imagine that one person in this planet do not know Google? And this will be happen in China.
Here, some freedom has already been lost.
There is something about suicides on github in russian.
Oh. People won't deal with changes from outside GH pull requests? Damn.
I literally facepalm'd.
(And, no, that wasn't about the issue tracker.)
The reason I'm confused is that most of the examples I was able to find that match the claim are text files in otherwise unrelated repositories. It is odd to find a text file describing ways to off yourself in a source code repository that has nothing else to do with suicide.
Also, unless it's a more complex document (e.g. an e-book), sites like GitHub Gists or Pastebin would seem to be more likely choices than GitHub proper.
Some are. Some other just host blogs or something with funny satiric poetry.
They've blocked YouTube once for a day or two.
btw, russian constitution/article 29/paragraph 5:
"The freedom of mass communication shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall be banned."
GitHub, or, for the matter SO, will be a big hit.
Personally, I don't recall last time I had to deal with it.