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WeGov

The Trolls on Putin's Payroll

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 3 2014

Self-explanatory (Wikipedia)

“If it looks like Kremlin shit, smells like Kremlin shit, and tastes like Kremlin shit too — then it’s Kremlin shit,” says Moscow-based writer and columnist Leonid Bershidsky, about Internet trolls-for-hire who have been paid to post laudatory comments about Putin and Russia on English-language news articles. Buzzfeed's Max Seddon reports on the leaks that reveal Russia's offensive strategy to win friends and influence people abroad.

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WeGov

Founder Durov On Being Ousted From "Russian Facebook": "Some of What We Managed Is Already Impossible to Undo"

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, April 22 2014

Screenshot of Durov's VK account

On Monday Pavel Durov, the founder of “Russian Facebook” VKontakte, announced that he was fired—and that he learned of the dismissal from the news media.

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WeGov

Reports Show The Dark Side of the Sochi Winter Olympics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, January 30 2014

Screen shot of The Anti-Corruption Foundation's Encyclopedia of Spending

There is a side to the Winter Olympics that won't be shown on NBC, but corruption watchdogs like Alexei Navalny are on it. Both Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation and Human Rights Watch have released interactive reports on the corruption, human rights abuse and environmental harm behind the scenes of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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WeGov

"Prism On Steroids" At The Russian Olympics

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 28 2014

Beefing up surveillance (Jedimentat44/Flickr)

New Internet legislation in Russia is scheduled to go into effect on February 1, just one week before the XXII Winter Olympics Games begin in Sochi. Less than a year after Russia outlawed “homosexual propaganda” online (or off), it has now set its sights on the use of social media platforms to organize protests. Starting in February, Internet providers can be ordered to block sites if someone tries to organize “participation in mass public events.”

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WeGov

From the Courtroom, Russian Activist Defiantly Tweets to the End

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, July 18 2013

On Thursday a Russian court found opposition leader and Moscow mayoral candidate Aleksei Navalny guilty of embezzling money from a state-controlled timber company. He was sentenced to five years in prison, and the conviction will bar him from running in political races. The ruling singlehandedly eliminates Vladimir Putin's most formidable political foe. While the judge read the full sentence, which took more than three hours, Navalny and the rest of the courtroom live-tweeted the proceedings, even after they were ordered to turn off their phones.

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WeGov

New Russian Law Makes Publication of Information on Gay Rights Illegal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 12 2013

Would this constitute "gay propaganda"? (Wikipedia)

On June 11 the Russian parliament passed a bill against “homosexual propaganda” that effectively outlaws gay rights rallies and bans informational or pro-gay rights material from publication in the media or on the Internet. Violators of the law will risk heavy fines and censorship and, in the case of a media outlet, risk being shut down. It had near unanimous support, passing in a 436-to-0 vote, with only one abstention.

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WeGov

To Protest Electoral Corruption, Putin's Opponents Hold Their Own Parliamentary Elections Online

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, October 19 2012

Screenshot of candidates for the "shadow parliament" from their website.

To protest irregularities in the Russian elections, opponents of President Vladimir Putin are putting their time where their Internet is: They are, reports Reuters, "instead holding their own Internet contest to choose a "shadow parliament" they hope will reinvigorate the flagging opposition movement." Read More

Wikipedia Russia Strikes for 24 Hours in Protest of Proposed Legislation to Create Internet Blacklist

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, July 11 2012

The Russian Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours on Tuesday to protest proposed government legislation that opponents believe is a thinly disguised attempt to censor the Internet. Democracy activists and Internet freedom advocates say the legislation would give the government sweeping powers to censor the Internet. But the government denies harboring any intention to restrict Internet access, accusing its opponents of not having read the text of the proposed legislation, which they say is designed to protect children from predators and illegal content. Read More