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Russian Websites Critical of Elections Targeted In DDoS Attack 156

Posted by timothy
from the hate-to-borscht-your-bubble dept.
theshowmecanuck submits this news from Russia, where "Websites which exposed violations in Russia's parliamentary elections were inaccessible Sunday in a hacking attack they said was aimed at preventing them revealing the extent of election day fraud." Further, says the linked article, "Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose United Russia party is expected to win Sunday's polls but with a reduced majority, has denounced non-governmental organisations like Golos, comparing them to the disciple Judas who betrayed Jesus. Russia has seen an upsurge in Internet penetration since the last elections in 2007, and analysts have said the explosion of critical material on the web poses one of the biggest challenges to United Russia's grip on power."
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Russian Websites Critical of Elections Targeted In DDoS Attack

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  • It did not help (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:36PM (#38259548)

    "United Russia", the party of Putin has dropped from 64% of the votes to 48.5%.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Indeed, this is the bigger news. Putin lost majority. In a perfect democracy, he would be forced to form a coalition with one of the other parties. Of course, most representative systems are rigged in favor of the big parties, and Russia is no exception (with a 7% limit). He will have much more than 48.5% in the duma.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Allegedly there was still ballot fraud in United Russia's favor, or so at least one opposition source has claimed, so UR's popularity might be a decent bit smaller.

    • Re:It did not help (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @05:35PM (#38260444) Journal

      I think there may be a bit of a problem [imgur.com] with the electronic counting system that they've been using (these are the stats for Rostov - add up the percentages...).

      On the other hand, everything's as planned [twimg.com] in Chechnya.

      • Maybe they're not mutually-exclusive? Hell, I don't know Cyrillic.
        • The rows on the graph are party names. One person can only vote for one party in Russia, it's not a ranked system. So, yes, it is mutually exclusive.

          As many people have remarked, it basically looks like they took the raw numbers, then added 30% to United Russia (it's the top one).

    • According to Miriam Elder [twitter.com], the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian it seems that United Russia may get less than 50% of the votes, but this might not mean that they get less than 50% of seats in the parliament because of the 7% threshold for the smaller parties.
    • This Damn Internet (Score:3, Insightful)

      by artifactual (955774)
      Turns out it greatly exacerbates the peasants' lust for democracy. But we didn't know! We were just trying to build a more robust military communication system. May god forgive us.
    • by mapkinase (958129)

      According to exit polls.

      A popular nationalistic poet Emelin formulated it quite precisely, yet obscenely:

      Choke on sperm

      Sucking oil pipeline

      46% with "administrative resource".
       
      .... unbelievable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:38PM (#38259568)

    Don't post any "In Soviet Russia ..." jokes here, please. This submission is strictly for serious discussion.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Given how well the communists are doing in the election Soviet Russia may be a reality again in a few years.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 04, 2011 @04:04PM (#38259732)
        From my observations as an American it seems they have a choice between being run by a corporate mafia or run by a communist party. Pick the one that works better for you, I suppose.
      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @05:12PM (#38260228) Journal

        A significant proportion of communist vote on these elections is, effectively, protest vote against United Russia. We used to have "none of the above" on the ballot ages ago, it was scrapped under Putin. Then people started to ignore elections altogether, in hopes that, if enough do, they don't get the voter turnout needed to elect anyone - the government has responded by removing the requirement for minimum voter turnout. So right now the only way to vote against the party in power is to vote for some other party, and for preference many people vote for the second biggest one to maximize the effect.

        • by Tom (822)

          So right now the only way to vote against the party in power is to vote for some other party, and for preference many people vote for the second biggest one to maximize the effect.

          I could follow you right up to there. Then you lost me. Are you talking about Russia or about the USA here?

          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:46PM (#38261512) Journal

            I know it sounds eerily familiar to you Americans. Difference is, your parties juggle a few percent back and forth. In our case, it was the very real difference between having United Russia get 66% and a constitutional majority (Russian constitution can be amended by 2/3 of both upper and lower house of the parliament - they've already used it to extend presidential term to 6 years), or having it get 50%, even if that means that commies also get 25%. At least, with commies there, they'll be at each other's throats most of the time, which can be subverted from within the parties (like Tea Party did to Republicans).

            It's far from perfect, but it's a step ahead from what we had before, and it's a step that could actually be made.

    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:55PM (#38259676)
      In soviet russia, voters elect representatives.
    • by mark_elf (2009518)
      This upsurge in Russian penetration is relevant to my interests. I need to see more evidence.
  • Sites are mostly up (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:44PM (#38259606)

    Most of the websites are up by now. And probably some of the DDoS attacks can be explained by surge in the number of viewers.

    Well, the good news is that Putin's party has lost constitutional majority in the Parliament (constitutional majority is required to be able to modify some parts of the Constitution of the Russian Federation). The bad news is that they still get majority in the parliament. And Internet has been instrumental in that - it's about the only remaining independent source of information in Russia.

    The Russian Internet meme "United Russia is the party of crooks and thieves" got so popular that it has even jumped into official United Russia propaganda.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    according to exit polls and votes counted so far, United Russia will not be in the majority.
    CNN source [cnn.com]
    • Re:no Majority (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday December 04, 2011 @04:43PM (#38259984) Homepage Journal

      according to exit polls and votes counted so far, United Russia will not be in the majority

      You want to hear something interesting? The United Nations uses exit polls to judge the fairness of elections worldwide. If the "official" results differ from the exit polls substantially, it cannot be certified as a fair election.

      In the US, official results have been deviating from exit polls to a greater extent in every election starting in 2000. Of course, we are told that this just means that exit polling just isn't that good.

      You decide.

  • mafia party (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:48PM (#38259624) Homepage Journal

    United Russia is a mafia party, literally, it's full of mafia bosses, it's a criminal syndicate that took over the country and destroyed the democracy in its infancy, plunged the country into the age of corruption.

    Of-course it doesn't help that Russia has too many people that are made dependent upon the government for survival, that's how a criminal party takes hold and doesn't let go - the bosses literally gather people in the meetings and tell them that they will dole out money based on voting participation and the voting outcome, they also want people to prove their voting record (illegally obviously), the votes are bought and voters are intimidated.

    US and the rest should take notice - once most of your businesses are just a few large ones, and the small/medium sized businesses disappear and are constantly under pressure to pay huge 'fines'/bribes to local 'politicians' and often the businesses are destroyed - illegally taken over with police force from their owners and just handed over to local mafia/United Russia party bosses, then you build a huge dependent class of people, who don't have jobs, they can't have jobs because the largest (oil/gas/metal/wood/whatever raw material) companies only need so many workers and the service sector is all monopolized.

    Without a thriving middle class (and I mean BUSINESS class) the economy only allows 3 classes of people: bottom dolers, top mafia bosses and owners and monopolists in every business sector, very few monopolists that run every business.

    Then you the country can't get out of this predicament - the people are poor and they don't know how NOT to be poor anymore, their only way of living depends on being fully subsidized by the government and they can't afford any change of government and any instability carries a promise of hunger.

    Of-course Russia still has some protesters from the middle class and students, but right now it seems to be irrelevant, the special forces there don't hesitate to apply massive amounts of damage to the protesters. Beating somebody and even killing them is really not a big deal - people who live off the dole are really just insects in a system like that.

    That's why you don't want socialism or communism or totalitarianism or dictatorship or any kind. You want many independent individual capable of taking care of themselves and by proxy of the economy by doing creative stuff, providing products and jobs and investment opportunities. But a large number of people like that not only improve the economy, but they are too independent to be held in shackles of oppression, they don't want a large parasite mafia class above them taking everything from them and deciding for them what kind of a country they will live in.

    • Re:mafia party (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @03:54PM (#38259662)

      Dude, Russia is capitalistic to the extreme. Socialism had died in Russia in 1993.

      "United Russia" is the end result of a capitalistic society without democratic checks and balances. It turns out that pure capitalism soon becomes indistinguishable from feudalism.

      That's quite easy to understand, because giving business the ability to influence the government creates a feedback loop and pretty soon government becomes indistinguishable from business. Alternatively, giving business power to weaken the government results in business _becoming_ the government.

      • Re:mafia party (Score:5, Informative)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @04:07PM (#38259758) Homepage Journal

        Capitalism is just a word, which has nothing to do with the political system. It's not capitalism that turned into this authoritarian system, it's literally the fact that various former KGB and mafia bosses got together and used all sorts of violence in order to prevent any competition in the political arena. Khodorkovskiy is in jail not because of 'capitalism', he is in jail because a criminal is at the helm of the government and he put him there.

        Here is an example of 'carousel' [youtube.com] - the people are instructed that they will be voting in 16 different schools (these are the same people), they are explicitly told who to vote for (United Russia obviously) and how to behave, which tables to approach, what to say to any authorities if they are questioned, etc.

        The guy who shot this video asked if it makes sense to join the Party and he is told: obviously if you join it, you get material benefits, money whatever.

        Then the video shows scenes of this same guy voting in multiple locations, by 5:30 it says: I voted 12 times already, almost done.

        • In a way, they have truly applied cutthroat capitalism's win at any cost to democracy.
          • by roman_mir (125474)

            again, what does 'capitalism' have to do with the political system?

            capitalism is an economic model - you overproduce, under-consume, use the savings as an investment capital.

            • Re:mafia party (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @04:21PM (#38259860)

              Let me quote you:

              "That's why you don't want socialism or communism or totalitarianism or dictatorship or any kind"

              If capitalism is just an economic model then why do you have problems with socialism which is also just an economic model?

              • by roman_mir (125474)

                I don't need to repeat the same thing twice, that's what hyperlinks [slashdot.org] are for.

                • Re:mafia party (Score:5, Informative)

                  by circletimessquare (444983) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <erauqssemitelcric>> on Sunday December 04, 2011 @07:16PM (#38261286) Homepage Journal

                  No, he made a point, and you ignored him or you don't understand it.

                  Unfettered capitalism has just as much capacity for totalitarianism as communism. Capitalism, left to its own devices, naturally results in a few large players, who, if allowed to, will subvert and take over the government, simply buy it off. Plutocracy. This is why you need a strong government with strong regulatory powers to keep the marketplace fair by preventing the largest players from performing inevitable abuse, and breaking them up if necessary.

                  Your problem is that you only understand one narrative: the narrative of oppression from communism, where the government IS big business. That is not the only way oppression can form or function. The government can be the mafia, which you understand. But an uncontrolled corporate sphere can also function like a mafia, and it can simply turn a weak government into its puppet. This is what you see forming in the USA. You don't seem to understand that.

                  You NEED a strong central government, and you need a healthy marketplace of corporations kept in check. If you weaken the government, the power vacuum is simply filled by the largest corporations, who simply buy the government. Do you understand?

                  • by roman_mir (125474)

                    No, he made a point, and you ignored him or you don't understand it.

                    - no, I directed him at my other comment in this same thread that addresses that exact question. Maybe you don't understand the meaning of the word 'hyperlink'.

                    Unfettered capitalism has just as much capacity for totalitarianism as communism.

                    - capitalism is an economic system that can exist within different political systems, what you don't understand is that capitalism is not itself a political system.

                    Combined with a political system (as I explained in this thread and this is an unfortunate repetition) that is able to

                    • capitalism is an economic system that can exist within different political systems, what you don't understand is that capitalism is not itself a political system. ... When a company like BP has so much money and we have an ELECTION system that requires money and can take it from Corporations -- that means a lot of Judges and Politicians OWE BP. Your semantic point doesn't change the reality of the situation; Capitalism without restraint BECOMES the government.

                      Haiti, Mexico, Honduras and many other totalita

                  • by roman_mir (125474)

                    Before I leave here, big powerful government is what people with money want to buy.

                    Small insignificant government that doesn't have authority to make winners and losers in the market, to decide on who gets the bail out and who doesn't, gov't that can't print money and dole out success/failure - this is not what people with money want to buy, capitalists or otherwise.

                    Big, powerful government is the root of all evil that human societies have to deal with.

                    • then you have no understanding of history

                      human history did not start with the russian revolution in 1917. you seem to have only one reference point by which autocracy exists

                      small hint: the bolsheviks and the labor movements of the period were fighting SOMETHING. what was it they were fighting? of course, their ideology recreated the something they were fighting, but you don't seem to be aware of what that preceding something is. your understanding of history is lacking

                      this is what you get with a weak govern

                    • I'm with CircleTimesSquare on this .... "Big Government" is a useless term.

                      What you meant to say is "strong centralized government" -- which should be understood independent on how much money is spent, or how many people hired to work for government.

                      We have a military and about 1 million people working in organizations like; TSA, NSA, HMS, CIA, etc. I think we could SHRINK that part.
                      We also have bureaucrats who do reports on economics. We have the FDA, EPA, CDC -- all necessary functions if they weren't cor

                    • I think the BEST example of "profits before people" is the Irish Potato famine.

                      All tyrannies can be chalked up to; "Unresponsive to the common good of the people."

                    • next time try thinking instead of dictating (ironically enough ;-)

                      you didn't respond, you just performed the perfect kneejerk. i supposed that is as close as i will get to an admission from you that i've actually made a impression on your closed mind on the subject

                      so be it

                  • Can we MOD this up to 11 please?

                    You nailed it quite succinctly. The COMPLAINTS about our systems are not necessarily "anti-capitalism" -- they are anti-corruption. And as you point out, corruption is inevitable if you don't make RULES that force the market to remain open.

                    The reason the OWS protests are in front of Wall Street and not the Government -- is that they recognize that Hank Paulson allows Obama to be President -- not the other way around.

                    • you oppose the idea that there can be sources of tyranny outside of the government. so you are a closed minded fool. a shame, we have enough useless braindead partisans in this world. please try thinking again at some point in your life, right now, you are a useless repeater

        • by Cyberax (705495)

          "Capitalism is just a word, which has nothing to do with the political system"

          Sure. So is socialism.

          "Here is an example of 'carousel' [youtube.com] - the people are instructed that they will be voting in 16 different schools (these are the same people), they are explicitly told who to vote for (United Russia obviously) and how to behave, which tables to approach, what to say to any authorities if they are questioned, etc."

          "United Russia" just uses its "market power" to influence election results. And they a

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I met a Russian woman once in Germany (nice woman, very smart) and I cracked a joke about Russian corruption. She spent the next half-hour ranting about corruption in Russia and how while Europeans are shocked by a corruption scandal, Russians simply think: "Fuck I wish I thought of that first". She *hates* Russians. Can you blame her?
    • Part of the problem (only a part) was that the West focused on "democracy" in Russia (and the rest of Eastern Europe) after the fall of the Soviet Union, when what they should have focused on was rule of law. If one looks at history, one discovers that democracy without rule of law inevitably ends up in some sort of authoritarian system (whether it maintains the trappings of democracy or not depends on other factors). On the other hand, any country that follows rule of law governance ends up as some sort of
    • But, in light of "the book every American needs to read right now" on Huck's show, your should have plugged http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf [mises.org] , which dissects the point you were making perfectly!

      Thanks for this and you other comments below, let's keep up the good fight (stalemate in RF today, hope for a win in USA next year).

      In Liberty,

      Pavel B.

  • by the linux geek (799780) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @04:02PM (#38259720)
    Of the three major parties, United Russia (while authoritarian and vaguely socialistic) is probably the most moderate. The Liberal Democrats are led by a leader who has said he wants to completely seal the borders, institute a police state, use nuclear weapons in the Caucasus, and reconquer Eastern Europe; the Communists are the kind of Communists that venerate Stalin and long for a return to the 1930's.
    • The Liberal Democrats are led by a leader who has said he wants to completely seal the borders, institute a police state, use nuclear weapons in the Caucasus, and reconquer Eastern Europe; the Communists are the kind of Communists that venerate Stalin and long for a return to the 1930's.

      OK, I give... what's the _real_ difference between the Liberal Democrats and the Communists?

      • what's the _real_ difference between the Liberal Democrats and the Communists?

        Primarily, it's that one of them is completely serious, while another one will say or do anything for the lulz (or at least no-one has devised any other rational explanation).

        For example, here's what the LibDem leader had to say during the bird flu scare:

        "We must force the government to stop the bird migration. We must shoot all birds, field all our men and troops... and force migratory birds to stay where they are. "

        or here's on the subject of the previous elections, which I think takes the cake:

        "Political

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @05:18PM (#38260296) Journal

      You have now enumerated what the parties say about themselves, which is quite different from what they actually do. United Russia, for example, is simply the party of crony cleptocracy, judging by their ten-year track record. LibDems are the party of "just for lulz", they can say one thing today, do something else tomorrow, and say something completely different from either on the next day.

      Communists, though, are not Stalinists. Part of their electorate is that - mostly old (60+) people who remember the USSR fondly because they weren't living in poverty back then, and pensions were actually big enough to provide for a decent living. But that electorate has been consistently dwindling as they age and die. The new one comes from younger people who are dissatisfied with crony capitalism, and want something along the lines of democratic socialism. Their program largely matches that later group - e.g. they officially endorse small and medium private businesses, while arguing for nationalization of oil industry and other "big guys". Also, unlike commies of old, these are quite religious and socially conservative - sometimes fervently so.

    • United Russia is the party of Putin's yes-men, put in parliament to approve anything that Putin proposes. Stupendously corrupt and proud of it. A Just Russia are random leftists who make a show of being in the opposition, but are for the most part too scared to oppose Putin on important matters. Liberal Democrats are assorted wingnuts, clowns, mafiosi, and nationalists who try hard to be more Putinist than Putin himself. Communists are Soviet dinosaurs, supported by old people nostalgic for the USSR and by
  • oh wait, she can't. because she works for RT.

    yes all journalists have certain instructions from their corrupt bosses. It just hurts more when its A. M. who has to kowtow.

  • by temcat (873475) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @06:17PM (#38260836)

    Here you can see a nice statistical graph that clearly demonstrates election fraud (in Russian; the blue curve is for United Russia):

    http://podmoskovnik.livejournal.com/129632.html [livejournal.com]

    Plotted here is the number of votes cast for each party as a function of voter turnout. There is only one party whose peak is abnormally widened to the right with a huge second near 100% - and this is the United Russia.

  • I guess these were the normal visitors. People do not trust official information sources and visit opposition websites. All they had to do is to prepare light versions for such a surge. Anyway the website of Echo of Moscow radio is up again.

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