Net Prophet

Welcome to Net Prophet, a blog tracking new media and tech developments across Central Europe and Eurasia

Russia’s Internet party

Does Russia's online community have anything resembling a common philosophy? New analysis of social media suggests the only idea shared right across the political spectrum is xenophobia. Emile Pain presents the research. Read More »

Kazakhstan in the dark over TV digitization

Jun 26, 2013
While digital media use continues to grow in Kazakhstan, its citizens are being kept in the dark on the digitization of broadcast TV, according to Open Society Foundation.  And while the number of Kazakh netizens has increased dramatically, they still continue  to face significant restriction over their online access. Read More »

Amazon seeking entry points to Central European markets

Jun 25, 2013
Amazon is on the verge of setting up an operation in Poland, Polish Radio reports, citing theRzeczpospolita daily and an unnamed source. But contrary to earlier reports, its new offices in Warsaw will concentrate on IT services rather than offering a full Polish version of its global online retail outlet. Read More »

Storming the Castle

Jun 24, 2013
Jan Figel, a leading Slovak politician, should be a conservative and outwardly acts that way. He is chairman of the Christian Democratic Party and deputy chairman of the Slovak parliament. But perhaps because he was a European commissioner and picked up something in Europe, he let himself become, on 16 June, the first Central European politician to publicly try out Google Glass, a revolutionary toy in the history of the Internet and mobile technologies. Read More »

Orphaned in US, SOPA finds home in Russia

America’s controversial Stop Online Piracy Act is back—and it’s poised to become law in a matter of weeks. Read More »

Kazakhstan suffers cyber attack

Jun 20, 2013
Kazakh citizens are under cyber attack. The attack in question is delivered through phishing emails, and is thought to be driven by an advanced persistent threat (APT) organisation, via software called NetTraveler. Read More »

Kazakh minister fired as netizens criticize pension plans

A Facebook-driven reaction to the government's attempt to ram through a pension reform without public discussion has given people approaching retirement age in Kazakhstan a rare voice.  Read More »

Revealing e-book shares Azerbaijan’s political secrets

Jun 18, 2013
An e-book produced by the ‘International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) has been made freely available online and is aimed at pinpointing corruption in offshore accounts. In an effort to spread this information and to shed light on those involved, including a Kazakh banking tycoon and Russian corporate executive, the e-book details cases of corruption as well as providing summaries on those involved, and the information is spreading. Read More »

PRISM infects Russia with cyberwar scare

Brace yourself. The cyberwar is coming. Since last week, when the world learned about PRISM, a vast and secret American electronic surveillance program, Russian state officials have expressed renewed concerns about foreign social networks posing a national security threat. Read More »

Disaster-mapping project helps spread reports of the Czech floods

Jun 13, 2013
The Krizová mapa Česka, or Crisis Map Czech, an online disaster-mapping project created by a Czech television channel, has provided Czech citizens with up-to-date information about the flooding in the Czech Republic. Read More »

The Moscow mayoral election will test Russia’s internet culture

When Moscow’s civil society exploded after national elections 18 months ago, pouring tens of thousands of protesters into the streets and electrifying a nascent class of Internet-connected “creatives,” it seemed to the world that the Putin regime was for the first time faltering. Read More »

Do Russian multimillionaires dream of synthetic brains?

Jun 7, 2013
Russian multimillionaire Dmitry Itskov has a plan to mass-produce human-like avatars that would grant immortality by uploading people’s brains and personalities for after they die. Read More » What’s wrong with Russia’s online petitions?

The Russian government-sponsored initiative [ru] to increase public participation in policy-making through an online petition process [GV], was met with suspicion even before its launch [GV] in April. Now, almost two months later, opposition bloggers are crying foul, claiming that the process has already been corrupted. Read More »

Russia’s VKontakte networking site banned by ‘mistake’

May 31, 2013
A “mistake” that saw Russia's leading social network site blocked for several hours 24 May may have been meant as a warning to Russian Internet users, blogger Oleg Kozyrev tells Radio Free Europe. Read More »
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