Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Russia starts cyberwar on critical bloggers

One way of finding out, whether a country is ruled by an an authoritarian regime, is to check whether it is suppressing and censuring the internet and the social media. China is a recognized leader of this infamous group, but Vladimir Putin´s Russia appears to be doing its best in order to challenge the Chinese number one position:

MOSCOW — The LiveJournal blogging site, hugely popular in Russia, on Wednesday fell victim to a major cyber attack that bloggers said appeared an attempt to to silence political discussion ahead of elections.
The attack, which began earlier this week, was a so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS), which overloads a website's bandwidth by making thousands of computers access it repeatedly, its owner said.
SUP, the company that now owns LiveJournal, has said the recent series of attacks are the worst in the service's history and have started to target the entire service rather than specific blogs.
"Somebody really wants LiveJournal to cease to exist" and its popular users to switch to standalone platforms that are easier to destroy, wrote SUP's development manager Ilya Dronov on his blog after the site was offline for several hours on Monday.
The site was inaccessible again on Wednesday morning.
The problem started with DDoS attacks on Alexei Navalny, who has used his blog to talk about corruption in the government and the ruling United Russia party, said Maria Garnayeva, an expert at Internet security company Kaspersky Lab, who posted information about the attack on her blog.
Navalny started targeting United Russia earlier this year calling them "the party of swindlers and thieves" which turned into an Internet meme. Shortly after, spammers started inundating all of his posts with derogatory comments.

Read the entire article here.

Russia desperately needs Western investment in order to be able to difersify its economy which is almost totally dependent on the export of oil, gas and other raw materials. The Russian leaders must know that this kind of cyber war against critical voices is seriously hurting efforts to allure investors. Medvedev often speaks about reforms and freedom, but so far it has not lead - and will not lead - to any real improvement. The truth is that he was chosen by Putin, and is totally dependent on the will of his master.

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