Posts Tagged: Russia

Russia demands large tech companies set up local offices by 2022

Russia is getting serious with demands that foreign tech companies set up shop within its borders. Reuterssays the country's telecom regulator Roskomnadzor has called on 13 foreign and mostly American companies to launch official Russian presences by 2022 so they can comply with a law that took effect July 1st. The list includes familiar tech names like Apple, Google, Meta (Facebook), Telegram, TikTok and Twitter.

The law demands local offices for "internet companies" with over 500,000 daily users. Some of the companies already have offices, though, and it's unclear just what constitutes an official presence. Those deemed violating the law could be subject to either complete bans or limits on their ads, data gathering and money transfers.

As you might have guessed, the concern is that Russia might use the law to wield more control over those companies and their content. Russia has clashed with Apple multiple times, for instance, including a fine for allegedly abusing App Store dominance — this law might give officials more leverage. The move might also help Russia pressure companies into censoring content the government deems objectionable, such as social media posts backing the political opposition to Putin's regime.

The announcement makes a tricky situation that much more difficult. Russia is a significant market some companies can't always afford to lose but honoring the request could also mean enabling censorship and other rights abuses. Companies may soon have to make decisions that are painful regardless of the outcome.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Commerce Department limits sale of hacking tools to Russia and China

The US Commerce Department has announced new rules related to the export and resale of cyber intrusion software. Once the limits come into effect in 90 days, companies that want to sell their hacking tools to countries “of national security or weapons of mass destruction concern” will need to obtain a license from the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The policy also covers nations that are under a US arms embargo.

Per The Washington Post, the rule is complicated. There are already many limitations on the export of intrusion software. Similarly, there are opportunities for companies to obtain exceptions. The main point is that the policy would cover the sale of software to countries like China and Russia. It would also limit the sale of programs like NSO’s Pegasus spyware, which some governments have used to target dissidents and journalists.

“The United States Government opposes the misuse of technology to abuse human rights or conduct other malicious cyber activities, and these new rules will help ensure that US companies are not fueling authoritarian practices,” the Commerce Department said.

Among the 42 countries involved in the Wassenaar Arrangement, a pact that sets voluntary export controls on military and dual-use technologies, the US is one of the last to impose limits on the sale of hacking software. Part of the reason for that is that the country has spent years working on the rules to ensure they don’t prevent cybersecurity researchers across the globe from working together to discover new flaws.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Spotify expands to Russia and 12 other countries in eastern Europe

Spotify is expanding to 13 additional markets. Starting today, music fans in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine can check out the platform….
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Russia busts card fraud ring that included an infamous hacker

Russia tends to turn a blind eye to some fraudsters and hackers, but it just clamped down on a particularly large group. Investigators have charged at least 25 people involved in a credit card fraud ring that included a notorious hacker. While Russ…
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Russia tests new Soyuz rocket by sending a humanoid robot to the ISS

Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, has just launched a new Soyuz booster on a trip to the ISS. Unlike other Soyuz flights that blast off to bring astronauts to the space station, this trip has no humans on board. It does, however, have a passenger: a…
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Russia to start blocking major VPNs after censorship refusal

Russia's hatred for censorship-dodging VPNs is well-known, and it's now prepared to follow through on its . Telecoms oversight chief Alexander Zharov told Interfax that he expected to block nine major VPNs, including ExpressVPN and NordVPN, for refu…
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The Morning After: TESS takes off and Russia battles Telegram

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Twitch has a tiny Russian problem, and Intel has pulled the plug on its smart glasses. We also have an update on what Pornhub is (not) doing about deepfake videos and everything you need to know about last night…
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White House also blames Russia for NotPetya attacks

The White House has officially joined the UK government in blaming Russia for last year's NotPetya attacks. Shortly after the UK publicly accused Kremlin of unleashing the wiper worm on various organizations around the globe, particularly in Ukraine,…
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Russia added to list of countries where Android Pay is available

Today Google announced Russia has become the 11th country where Android Pay is available for use. In their announcement, Google goes over all of the basics about Android Pay including things like how to use it with your device via NFC at a physical retailer or using the Android Pay button with online retailers. Like […]

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Russia used a cybercriminal’s botnet for a spying campaign

It's no secret that the lines between state-sponsored hacking and cybercrime are fuzzy. After all, relying on professional crooks offers plausible deniability if the intruders are ever caught. However, it's now apparent that those lines sometimes dis…
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NBC: Russia ‘considers’ sending Snowden back to US

A report by NBC News cites unnamed US intelligence sources claiming that Russian officials are deliberating a handover of Edward Snowden as a "gift" to the Trump administration. Since leaking information on the NSA's "PRISM" surveillance, the former…
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Russia is blocking LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is still waiting for the ink to dry on Microsoft's $ 26.2 billion deal, the Russian government is gearing up to ban the professional networking site altogether. As the New York Times reports, a local court in Moscow has ruled that Linke…
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Russia plans to build its largest data center on top of a nuclear power plant

While most of the world still balks at the notion of using nuclear energy to power large-scale enterprises, Russia recently announced plans to build what could be its largest data center right on top of the Kalinin nuclear power plant.

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