Net Prophet

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

How successful are websites in Russia? Ask the police

Apr 19, 2013
He’s the Mark Zuckerberg of Russia, creating the Motherland’s most popular social networking site, Vkontakte. And two years ago, Pavel Durov refused Russian security authorities’ order to remove an opposition group from the site. Read More »

Social Media in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Social media have become one of the few places where young people from Armenia and Azerbaijan can meet. Yet, not without risks Read More »

Wikipedia’s suicide mission against Russian censors

Smoking cannabis is dangerous business for people the world over. In Russia, just writing about it online is apparently enough to run afoul of federal anti-drug police, as that nation’s Wikipedians learned last Friday, April 5, 2013. It was then that state officials first informed Wikimedia Russia, the Wikimedia Foundation’s local chapter, that the government has placed its “Cannabis Smoking” article [ru] on its blacklist of illegal websites. Read More »

Fearing good fortune, Estonia crowd-sources ideas

Apr 11, 2013
Worried that success might spoil Estonia, its leader has reached out to citizens to tell the government what it should do to satisfy their fast-evolving desires, Estonian Public Broadcasting reports. Read More »

Makers of Grozny-fire spoof video will help in cleanup

Apr 10, 2013
Two men who allegedly posted online a video making light of a skyscraper fire in Chechnya last week got a taste of the fury of the Russian republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, Radio Free Europe reports.   Read More »

Estonia has high hopes for small cube

Apr 9, 2013
Before the end of the month, Estonia will try to launch its first satellite into orbit and become the latest country to join more than 50 states active outside Earth’s atmosphere. Read More »

CA overlooked again as Twitter crowdsources translation

Mar 20, 2013
Twitter has opened up its code for translation into more than 50 languages. This is a great opportunity for users all over the world to contribute to and adopt the platform in their own language.  Yet one region, as seems to be a growing trend, seems noticeably absent. Read More »

All eyes on VK after Usmanov Mail.ru stock sale

Mar 15, 2013
Alisher Usmanov, Russia's wealthiest man, sold a 7.4-percent stake in his company Mail.ru for approximately $530 million.  The 28 February move, while still leaving him still in control of Mail.ru with 58.1-percent of voting shares, has many guessing about just what he's got planned. Read More »

Cyber attackers continue to target Czech sites

Mar 15, 2013
The cyber attacks that hit Czech websites last week continued this week, but this time authorities know who some of the culprits are. Read More »

Hackers find refuge in Soviet Internet relic

Mar 13, 2013
Following the release of stolen information of several top American officials and celebrities 11 March, a little-known Soviet corner of the Internet is coming in from the cold. Read More »

Bridging the digital divide (one Central Asian language at a time)

Mar 12, 2013
The localization of Skype into the Kyrgyz language in 2011 has been the first step to opening the world's most popular messenger to the people who do not - surprise, surprise - speak Russian or English. Read More »

Chechen leader makes social network splash

Feb 22, 2013
What does an autocrat do with his spare time when he’s not busy stamping out the embers of rebellion? Apparently, he posts pictures of himself holding fuzzy baby chickens, donning historic military garb, or cuddling with a tiger. Read More »

Lithuania zooms in on Google Street View

Feb 19, 2013
Though initially hesitant to endorse Google Street View, the Lithuanian government has discovered the mapping service may be instrumental in identifying tax cheats. Read More »
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