News

Roskomnadzor, Ukraine Digital Book Collection, War Crimes, More: Ukraine Update, March 10, 2022

NEW RESOURCES

Jerusalem Post: Anonymous hacks Russian federal agency, releases 360,000 documents . “The Ukrainian Anonymous hacker group hacked into Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal agency responsible for monitoring and censoring media, and released 360,000 files, the group announced on Twitter on Thursday. Among the censored documents released by Anonymous, some of which are dated as late as March 5, are documents that show Russia censored anything that referred to the war as a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Publishing Perspectives: Exact Editions Invites Publishers to Join a Ukraine Collection. “As the London-based Exact Editions opens its Ukraine Digital Book Collection, hashtagged #PublishersForUkraine, key international book publishers–including some of the most influential university presses–are contributing to the effort, adding pertinent volumes which will be freely available for the public to read through April 15.”

Reuters: Ukraine opens website to submit Russia war crime allegations . “A new Ukrainian website will allow those that submit claims of Russian human rights abuses to fill out accusation forms, describe the violation, and attach evidence.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Mashable: Russia cracks down on Zello walkie-talkie app amid ongoing war. “First Facebook, then Twitter, then Facebook again, and now… Zello On Sunday, Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal agency responsible for censoring the media and internet, announced it was moving to ‘limit’ the walkie-talkie app Zello. At issue, according to an official press release (translated from Russian by Google), is the Texas company’s failure to prevent discussion of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine on its platform.”

Independent: Russian VPN use has increased 1,000% as citizens bypass Putin’s censorship. “Russian remand for VPNs has increased over 1,000 per cent in the past month, as citizens look to get information from outside of the country in the face of external sanctions and internal censorship. The Kremlin has been blocking external news organisations such as the BBC, as well as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; meanwhile, companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Google, and more have been pulling services from Russia and Belarus.”

The Guardian: Twitter removes Russian embassy tweet on Mariupol bombing. “Twitter has removed a post from the Russian embassy in London about the Mariupol hospital bombing claiming the facility was no longer operational and that images had been faked, following criticism from Downing Street.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Guardian: Social media turn on Putin, the past master. “In Russia on Friday, Vladimir Putin, a man who is now scared of his own shadow, took the extraordinary step of attempting to outlaw information. He banned Facebook. He shut down Twitter. He passed a new law that declares journalism a criminal offence: any journalist found to have published ‘fake news’ on the war in Ukraine now faces up to 15 years in prison. It is, like so many things in the last week, incredible, unprecedented, horrifying – but more importantly it’s also desperate and absurd.”

Scientific American: Russia Is Having Less Success at Spreading Social Media Disinformation. “Russia’s Internet Research Agency used similar disinformation campaigns to amplify propaganda about the U.S. election in 2016. But their extent was unclear until after the election—and at the time, they were conducted with little pushback from social media platforms. ‘There was a sense that the platforms just didn’t know what to do,’ says Laura Edelson, a misinformation researcher and Ph.D. candidate in computer science at New York University. Since then, she says, platforms and governments have become more adept at combating this type of information warfare—and more willing to deplatform bad actors that deliberately spread disinformation.”

Washington Post: Twitch in wartime. “Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Twitch streamers have worked to unpack the crisis for the viewers in real time. The war’s coverage on Twitch is a new wrinkle in the international reporting of a war that is being viewed by millions on live streams, where the standards and format for sharing and discussing information on the conflict vary distinctly from traditional news outlets.”

CNBC: Google will use office space in Poland to support Ukrainian refugees. “The Big Tech company said it will use its Startups Campus in Warsaw as a space for local nongovernmental organizations to provide legal and psychological services to refugees. Last week, it pledged $25 million in aid, including $10 million for local organizations helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland. It also said it’s helping to protect from cyberattacks.”

Washington Post: Schadenfreude at sea: The Internet is watching with glee as Russian oligarchs’ yachts are seized. “There’s just something satisfying about watching online as a billionaire’s luxury yacht moves around the globe — and then gets snagged by law enforcement as part of sanctions designed to crack down on Russia. Alex Finley thinks of it as schadenfreude, or getting pleasure from another’s troubles. Finley, an author and former C.I.A. officer, is online tweeting names, locations, ownership and the latest status of various yachts owned by Russian oligarchs.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

ABC News (Australia): Russian hackers including FancyBear targeting Ukraine and allies, says Google. “Google says it has seen Russian hackers well-known to law enforcement, including FancyBear, engaging in espionage, phishing campaigns and other attacks targeting Ukraine and its European allies in recent weeks.”

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