Russia

Uzbekistan seizes MTS subsidiary

Sep 20, 2012

MTS, Russia’s largest mobile company, had its local Uzbekistan subsidiary seized by authorities and four of its manager’s sentenced following a court verdict on 17 September, reports Bloomberg. Read More »

Polish software giant set to take control of Russian competitor

Sep 3, 2012

Poland’s biggest software maker is setting its sights on the fast-growing Russian market. Asseco Poland has signed a letter of intent to take a majority stake in a large Russian IT firm that serves the banking and financial sectors, Asseco chief executive Adam Goral said 27 August, Reuters reports. Read More »

Russia: Millions of Taxpayer Rubles Earmarked for Facebook “Likes”

Earlier last week, blogger and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny took aim at a pending state tender [ru] for advertising services to aid the state-owned broadcasting company The Voice of Russia (VoR). Next month, an auction will be held through Sberbank [ru] to find a firm capable of meeting VoR’s publicity targets. The maximum price tag has been capped at 7 million rubles (220 thousand USD). Read More »

Russia’s top social media site to allow same-sex relationships

Aug 23, 2012

Russia’s largest social media site, Vkontakte, will now allow users to show that they are in a same-sex relationship on their profile page, according to The Moscow Times. The feature was announced just days after the social network told a user that it had no plans to do such, Radio Free Europe reports. Read More »

Can an Internet poll save the Russian opposition?

Aug 15, 2012

Russian opposition leaders are hoping a nationwide, online poll will help the country’s disparate political groups coalesce into a movement big enough to take on President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, according to Reuters.

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Russian website offers free crowdsourced legal advice

The Russian online group “Nepofigism” (a neologism that loosely translates to “giving a damn” or “not being ambivalent”) offers a free legal consulting service. The project’s creators designate no particular direction for the consulting. Their aim is to offer real help to people with any type of problem. The site is a space for professionals and ordinary Internet users with various legal and everyday problems (such as violations of consumer rights, labor laws, and family law). Read More »

Russian anti-corruption fighter says office bugged

Aug 7, 2012

Several hidden listening devices and a video camera were found in the Moscow office of Russian anti-corruption activist, blogger, and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, according to RIA Novosti. Navalny said in a blog post that devices were found after his friend and lawyer, Andrei Mishchenkov, thought to bring a bug detector to his office at RosPil, a nonprofit aimed at exposing corruption in Russian government. Read More »

Wiretapping increases across the EU and beyond

Jul 27, 2012

Wiretapping and retention of users’ data by government agencies has increased across Europe in the last years. The trend has been thoroughly analyzed in a report by the European Commission. Read More »

Online platforms coordinate aid for Russian flood victims

Floods in Kuban, Russia, have completely destroyed 640 homes, with more than 5,000 partially submerged. According to data from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Crisis Centre, the natural disaster had killed 150 people as of July 8. Read More »

Russia investing millions in high-tech campus near Moscow

Jul 16, 2012

Russia intends to diversify its economy away from dependence on the export of raw materials by funding its own version of Silicon Valley an hour outside of Moscow. While this project isn’t exactly new, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov announced earlier this week that state-owned companies will start transferring billions of rubles into an endowment fund for a flagship research institute at Skolkovo.

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Russia’s human rights council, Wikipedia protest internet ‘censorship’ bill

Jul 11, 2012

A bill proposing a single blacklist of illegal websites came under fire from the Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council because it could potentially lead to censorship on the Runet (Russian internet), according to RIA Novosti. Head Mikhail Fedotov, along with twenty other members of the council, expressed concern that, “the bill envisions the introduction of real censorship in the Russian sphere of the internet,” in a signed statement. Read More »

For Russian mobile giant, Uzbekistan is hard-knocks déjà vu

If you’re Russian mobile operator MTS, finding yourself threatened by another hostile Central Asian dictatorship must feel like a sick joke. But this time it’s Uzbekistan — not Turkmenistan — where MTS faces the unpredictable business culture of an authoritarian country.

Google takedown requests on the rise in Eastern Europe

Jul 5, 2012

Google released its transparency report for 2011 last month, revealing that more governments in Eastern Europe were monitoring the online activity of their citizens than ever before. Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Hungary appeared again, while Ukraine and the Czech Republic are on the list for the first time.

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Russian courts struggle to adhere to online transparency law

Jul 3, 2012

Two years after the enactment of a law that required all courts–except closed courts–to publish their rulings online, legal experts are increasingly concerned that it is ineffective and needs substantive reforms, despite recent praise from President Vladimir Putin. Read More »

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