Vkontakte social network targeted by security services

first_img RussiaEurope – Central Asia December 9, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Vkontakte social network targeted by security services Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing News Pictures: Ekho Moskvy, Yuri Timofeyev (RFE/RL), Ridus News ————Journalists and bloggers arrested during Moscow demonstration 2011.12.09 Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s arrests of reporters, photographers andbloggers while covering a street protest in Moscow against the results of the previous day’sparliamentary elections and the irregularities that accompanied the polling. “There was no justification for preventing journalists from covering a political event of thisimportance.” Reporters Without Borders said. “It was their job to cover it. The media should nothave to pay the price of the government’s paranoia. The judicial authorities should immediatelyrelease the journalists and bloggers still in police custody.”Yesterday’s protest by between 5,000 and 10,000 people on Chistye Prudy Boulevard wasauthorized, but the police used force to disperse them when they began to march towards theCentral Electoral Commission’s headquarters. Around 300 demonstrators were arrested, including the leading opposition blogger AlexeyNavalny. Several journalists who were there to cover the protest were also arrested. Theyincluded Ilya Barabanov (The New Times), Yevgeny Ershov (Izvestya), Aleksandr Borzenko(Echo of Moscow), Ilya Vasyunin (Dozhd TV), the blogger and photographer Ilya Varlamov andthe correspondents of the Reuters and Bloomberg news agencies. The police released most of the reporters almost immediately after verifying that they werejournalists. But Alexey Kamensky, the publisher of the magazine Forbes Russia, is still beingheld. Like Navalny, he has been charged with refusing to comply with police instructions and isfacing the possible of 15 days in detention. Forbes Russia editor Grigory Punanov told Reporters Without Borders: “The police refuse to tellus when he may be brought before a judge. We demand his immediate release. As a journalist,he had every right to be at the scene of the demonstration. He did not break any law.” With both the ruling United Russia party and the opposition announcing more demonstrations,the police have been reinforced in Moscow and surrounding areas and special forces have beendeployed on the city’s main thoroughfares.Around 5,000 people have responded to a call on the Russian online social network Vkontakte todemonstrate this evening on Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square. More disturbances are likely andReporters Without Borders urges the security forces to act with restraint and to respect the rightto news and information.Read our previous press releases on the Russian elections:- 05.12.2011: Political debate disrupted by cyber-attacks and arrests- 30.11.2011: Authorities tighten control of all media in run-up to elections to go further RussiaEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts News Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Help by sharing this information May 21, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more News Organisation RSF_en Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Pavel Durov, the founder and director general of the Russian online social network Vkontakte, was summoned to the Saint Petersburg prosecutor’s office today after a spokesman for Vkontakte said it would not censor the network and would not comply with an order from the Federal Security Service (FSB) to block seven groups calling for demonstrations in the next few days.Most are opposition groups that are protesting against the results of the parliamentary elections. One is a group calling on supporters to defend the ruling party. Vkontakte has more than 5 million users in Russia.“This unreasonable order aims to deprive Internet users of the freedom of expression, opinion and assembly,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The authorities are using prevention of violence as a pretext for reinforcing control of the Internet. Most of the online groups that the FSB wants to shut down have been clearly urging their members to respect the law and not respond to provocation.”According to one Russian blogger’s estimate, up to 185,000 people are registered with the protests groups.As well trying to suppress online protests directly, the Kremlin is using cyber-warfare. Thousands of Twitter accounts have reportedly been flooded with pro-government messages by hackers using hashtags popular with protesters – such as #navalny (referring to a leading opposition blogger) or #триумфальная (Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square) – in order to swamp the flow of information on social networks. Follow the news on Russia May 5, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more