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ezik
01-09-2012, 03:24
http://en.gazeta.ru/news/2012/08/29/a_4742245.shtml

"The ruling United Russia party is working on new amendments to the recently reintroduced slander law which will enable punishment of those who criticize authorities on the Internet, "Nezavisimaya" newspaper wrote on Wednesday.

"The Kremlin is worried about tough criticism of its leaders online. Such [critical] comments are made by journalists, too, who stick to the laws in their newspapers, but allow too much online," an unnamed source close to the administration said to the paper.

State Duma Vice Speaker Sergey Zheleznyak said that the issue would be solved "through amendments which would allow us to identify those who commit crimes online by hiding under anonymity.""

In the last half year and over, I have been wondering about when and how the expected crackdown on free-speech would hit this very forum.

It seems that finally we got hit.

The Expat.ru forum has always been open to views. As this community serves a wide range of people with many different backgrounds and, logically, different opinions, we have tried to give all opinions a place. The Expat.ru forum doesn't advocate or endorse any specific opinion. We try to give any opinion a place here, without prior censorship, without prejudice. Surely, this sometimes leads to discussions or even scandals, but generally, I think we are a peaceful community that values discussion, exchanges of thoughts, over any moral verdicts. I hope you share this analysis.
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All members of Expat.ru are here under "anonymous" names. Actually, our forum rules ask you to stick to your "virtual" identity and discourage disclosure of personal information.

Criticizing the Russian government happens a lot on this forum. In the same way, other governments are being criticized. I see that as something that is totally acceptable: every opinion should get a chance to be expressed.

I always thought of this forum to be a rather innocent platform for exchanging opinions. And criticizing politicians, who have a public role and should be ready to deal with criticism, would be a normal part of daily practice. And I still think that this community is an asset, not only to its members, but also to the others that watch it. And, clearly, the current regime is watching us, as it has been forever.

We're now faced with a situation in which any criticism of the government is made punishable. Even if you hide behind an anonymous ID

It seems our freedom of speech is going to be limited by people that don't have a proper clue but just want to shut up dissident noises.

That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!

robertmf
01-09-2012, 04:28
... We're now faced with a situation in which any criticism of the government is made punishable. Even if you hide behind an anonymous ID


:boxing: Even me here in Telford, PA USA :question:

BabyFirefly
01-09-2012, 04:34
Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.

robertmf
01-09-2012, 04:40
... It seems our freedom of speech (in Russia) is going to be limited by people that don't have a proper clue but just want to shut up dissident noises.

That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!

... I don't usually put "Russia" and "free speech" in the same sentence.

That said, citizen or not, one should obey a nation's laws. I'm assuming there is some legality involved with these newer so-called freedom of speech contraints ? Or is this simply thuggery by the relatives of the KGB :question:

I suppose from a pragmatic point, the admins/mods must be be vigilant and immediately ban any offender :question:

But who is "the offender" ? Or as The Rusmeister would say, "Define offender". Is s/he the poster ? The expat.ru website ? The ISP ? What is the penalty - a platzkart ride to Siberia :question: - 9 grams :question:

At any rate, I'm not particularly virulent as some are, so this doesn't really affect me one way or the other.

**Robert peeks out window and locks & loads**

robertmf
01-09-2012, 04:42
Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.

Shiatttttttttttt the xenophobic Russians will look at the foreigners f-i-r-s-t :bong:

BabyFirefly
01-09-2012, 04:46
Also, I don't think it's actually possible for "them" to go after every single person posting against them. I think this would be more directed at websites actually dedicated to this or bloggers who constantly post "offensive" political stuff.

robertmf
01-09-2012, 05:02
Also, I don't think it's actually possible for "them" to go after every single person posting against them.

moustaches, for example, managed to pretty much do just that :rasta:

Russian Lad
01-09-2012, 07:25
Suggestions welcome!

I think soon it will be time to hit the streets, I am ready for this moment. Also I think Russians invented the Molotov cocktail for a reason...

Molotov Cocktail V. Old Shed - YouTube

Conce Style - YouTube

robertmf
01-09-2012, 16:27
Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.

Perhaps so. Who will certainly catch on quickly are the educated & skilled.

They are now used to some internet freedoms and will vamoose|leave right down the brain drain hole.

yakspeare
01-09-2012, 16:50
PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.

Remington
01-09-2012, 16:57
PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.

America Love Putin!!! :9456:

MickeyTong
01-09-2012, 17:07
http://i46.tinypic.com/24pxcog.jpg

Apples 1984 Commercial - YouTube

robertmf
01-09-2012, 17:11
PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.

:devil:

rusmeister
01-09-2012, 17:29
Well guys, I think tyranny is bad, too.

Yes, we should define terms and assumptions. Freedom without borders IS anarchy, but we certainly want freedom within limits. Criticism of a government ought to be allowed within reason, and if it is not then we have genuine oppression. Foreigners should necessarily have less right to criticize a government than native citizens, but the latter should certainly have a great deal of freedom to determine the form of their government and criticize its actions.

That is different, of course, from "freedom" to express anything at all, the kind of "freedom" that is claimed for TV violence and so on.

Those who identify the Church with the government are sadly mistaken. We remember too well a government that arrested, tortured and killed citizens on mere pretext of criticism, and do not support infinite power of the givernment over its citizens.

But in the end, there's not a whole heckuva lot we can do about it. I'm more vulnerable than most; I've burned my bridges and have nowhere to return to. When the government goes bad I'll appeal to God, and have faith that, even if my "appeal" is not satisfied immediately or as I would like, that ultimately justice will be done.

Remington
01-09-2012, 17:30
That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!

Knowing authorities going after anybody over minor stuff is very possible. Recently Duma passed the legistation banning public gathering which was originally designed to prevent political protests against Putin. They're using it for any unsanctioned public gathering as well. They're charging people for illegal public gathering such as extreme rope-jump in Vladivostok. On June 14, organizers were forced to cancel a yearly bike ride in Murmansk after police warned them that they could face punishment for not requesting authorization in advance. Roughly two weeks later, St. Petersburg police broke up an event commemorating pop icon Michael Jackson near the U.S. Consulate, citing the same law.

I'm afraid that Expat.ru and other expat sites are no exception to the proposed law.

The only solution I could propose that expat.ru site be effectively relocated outside of Russia to protect the anonymity of the users and authorities won't be able to raid the server to collect IP addresses of anonymous users. I don't know how much authorities knows about us since I'm sure this site is being monitored.

MickeyTong
01-09-2012, 17:33
We're now faced with a situation in which any criticism of the government is made punishable. Even if you hide behind an anonymous ID



It would be a great pity (but not a complete surprise) if this becomes law, and would affect this forum badly.

Owners/admins could be obligated to provide the IP addresses of "criminal" posters, or the forum will be shut down for allowing the publication of "seditious" ideas.

robertmf
01-09-2012, 17:57
... The only solution I could propose that expat.ru site be effectively relocated outside of Russia to protect the anonymity of the users and authorities won't be able to raid the server to collect IP addresses of anonymous users. I don't know how much authorities knows about us since I'm sure this site is being monitored.

This is certainly do-able keeping in mind that the forum is only one section of the overall expat.ru website (http://expat.ru/sitemap.php).

Looking at the expat.ru topics, I see the forum as the only potential "offensive" module, which is just a redirect link that can be physically relocated to another webhost, such as linksys.com, outside the Russia sphere of influence ... :7525: but this would still not preclude the government from ordering the local ISP to ban the IP.

Shooters
01-09-2012, 19:43
Dear Erik,

> In the last half year and over, I have been wondering about when and how the expected crackdown on free-speech would hit this very forum.

We talked a few times about this by PM, so why are you surprised now that what was announced is coming? Remember, I told you about laws that are going to pass about this, and that this forum will (IS) in trouble,

> Criticizing the Russian government happens a lot on this forum. In the same way, other governments are being criticized. I see that as something that is totally acceptable: every opinion should get a chance to be expressed.

You compare various things (speaking only about expats):

1- foreigners living in Russia and criticizing the gov of the country that hosts them,

and

2- foreigners living in Russia and criticizing foreign governments

If the second case is acceptable, the first one is questionable, as logically, unhappy foreigners in any country, just leave the country. Like it, or leave it. This is a logical position.


> And criticizing politicians, who have a public role and should be ready to deal with criticism, would be a normal part of daily practice. And I still think that this community is an asset, not only to its members, but also to the others that watch it. And, clearly, the current regime is watching us, as it has been forever.

Of course it is, is it a problem? Criticizing Russian politicians is normal for Russians, but as you, as a foreigner, are giving non Russians technical means for they criticize the Russian government, you shouldn't be surprised to get in trouble.

As far as I know, nowhere expats criticize the government of the country they are living in, as they do in Russia. Nowhere. Russian community in the US, in France, German etc, never insults the US, French, German gov as expats here insult Russian government. I have a compilation of GREAT posts, many of them have been deleted by the expatru website but could be archieved before, and believe me it is impressive! When a US citizen living in Moscow says "I expect there will be riots", speaking of an opposition demonstration some months ago, for example... So, you are surprised that things are changing? You were told this a few times, but decided to do nothing. Your moral right, but maybe not legal one.


> It seems our freedom of speech is going to be limited by people that don't have a proper clue but just want to shut up dissident noises.

Freedom of speech does not allow to cross the lines.


> That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!

Concentrate on practical questions about life in Russia for non Russians. This is THE logical and interesting thing to do. Moralists will go to the other site, so this one will be shutdown faster :)

Shooters
01-09-2012, 19:47
This is certainly do-able keeping in mind that the forum is only one section of the overall expat.ru website (http://expat.ru/sitemap.php).

Looking at the expat.ru topics, I see the forum as the only potential "offensive" module, which is just a redirect link that can be physically relocated to another webhost, such as linksys.com, outside the Russia sphere of influence ... :7525: but this would still not preclude the government from ordering the local ISP to ban the IP.

The IP won't be blocked as any proxy/tor/etc would bypass the firewall, but simply as the expat.RU website will redirect, the domain name will be confiscated and turned off.
It happened recently for a few ones already.

TolkoRaz
01-09-2012, 19:50
Owners/admins could be obligated to provide the IP addresses of "criminal" posters, or the forum will be shut down for allowing the publication of "seditious" ideas.

Russia's FAPSI can access such details without the agreement or knowledge of this site's administrators, but I suspect that they might also seek to request certain details as part of the legal process.

As mentioned beforehand, posters should think twice before typing 'seditious' words about their host country and also avoid posting any personal details, especially those involving crime and slander etc.

robertmf
01-09-2012, 19:57
...
As mentioned beforehand, posters should think twice before typing 'seditious' words about their host country and also avoid posting any personal details, especially those involving crime and slander etc.

especially if posters live anywhere a Black Maria can go.

Russian Lad
01-09-2012, 20:07
As mentioned beforehand, posters should think twice before typing 'seditious' words about their host country and also avoid posting any personal details

Meanwhile, those Pussy Riot girls are probably millionaires already, they have a globally recognized trademark now, they are officially recognized as prisoners of conscience and can seek political asylum whereever they want in the West. All that for just two years in prison... I will curse anyone under these conditions, here or elsewhere, with the exception of my own mother! :12035::rofl:

bydand
01-09-2012, 20:24
Anyone interested in forming a new group "Dick Riot"?

Remington
01-09-2012, 20:40
Russia's FAPSI can access such details without the agreement or knowledge of this site's administrators, but I suspect that they might also seek to request certain details as part of the legal process.

Authorities don't need search warrant to search and seize business equipments unless if the business is on private property such as home. I wouldn't be surprised if they walked in and took the server without any warning.

I know I've criticized the Russian government few times especially about absurd visa or resident permit rules in the past and many others have also criticized US government being international bully as well. It's a honest discussion and no offense intended. I usually don't like to get involved in political discussion as it can get tense or protracted discussion at times. But I can't speak for other expats who have hardline stance against Russian government and I agree if they don't like it here then they should leave. I know nothing is perfect in Russia but I'll have to live with that. I knew this day will come as Russia began cracking down on protests and reigning in the media.

Shooters
01-09-2012, 21:02
There is a difference between groaning about the visa hassle, the traffic jam etc, and calling for riots against the government, supporting (actively for a few expats) demonstrations against the Russian gov, publishing BS "facts" and insults against Russian president, etc.

The 1st case is constructive dialogue, the 2nd is the open door to be asked to leave.

Once more, after all nobody is detained in Russia, right? Anybody unhappy may go back to his country or another one where he will feel better.



I know I've criticized the Russian government few times especially about absurd visa or resident permit rules in the past and many others have also criticized US government being international bully as well. It's a honest discussion and no offense intended.

MickeyTong
01-09-2012, 21:18
Personally, if I had some responsibility for Internal Security I would welcome a web forum where people are encouraged to freely express themselves. I would even have some agents provocateurs join the forum to place posts critical of the government.....and make a note of who enthusiastically agrees, so I could identify "foreign saboteurs" and local "Fifth Columnists". These people could then be dealt with in various ways: foreigners could have their visas cancelled or residence permits revoked, locals could face criminal charges - in both cases a bit of pressure could suborn them into co-operating with Big Brother.

robertmf
01-09-2012, 21:34
I would even have some agents provocateurs join the forum to place posts critical of the government....

Ah :idea: Who are likely suspects :question: "Jas" ? "GalinaP" ? :neiner: "DDT" ?

:10518:

robertmf
01-09-2012, 21:36
Authorities don't need search warrant to search and seize[-] business equipments unless if the business is on private property such as home. [/-]
I wouldn't be surprised if they walked in and took the server without any warning.


You don't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs

MickeyTong
01-09-2012, 21:45
Ah :idea: Who are likely suspects :question: "Jas" ? "GalinaP" ? :neiner: "DDT" ?

:10518:

Galina is a sweetie, Jas is "different", DDT was a paranoid fickwut. I would worry about brothel-keepers who advocate violent insurrection.