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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia 254

Posted by timothy
from the interesting-times dept.
Linking to a story at Reuters, reader WilliamGeorge writes "Russia is further constraining access to the internet and freedom of speech, with new laws regarding public use of WiFi. Nikolai Nikiforov, the Russian Communications Minister, tweeted that "Identification of users (via bank cards, cell phone numbers, etc.) with access to public Wifi is a worldwide practice." This comes on top of their actions recently to block websites of political opponents to Russian president Vladimir Putin, require registration of prominent bloggers, and more. The law was put into effect with little notice and without the input of Russian internet providers. Sergei Plugotarenko, head of the Russian Electronic Communications Association, said "It was unexpected, signed in such a short time and without consulting us." He added, "We will hope that this restrictive tendency stops at some point because soon won't there be anything left to ban." In addition to the ID requirement to use WiFi, the new law also requires companies to declare who is using their web networks and calls for Russian websites to store their data on servers located in Russia starting in 2016." That's not the only crackdown in progress, though: former Slashdot code-wrestler Vlad Kulchitski notes that Russian users are being blocked from downloading Java with an error message that reads, in essence, "You are in a country on which there is embargo; you cannot download JAVA." Readers at Hacker News note the same, though comments there indicate that the block may rely on a " specific and narrow IP-block," rather than being widespread. If you're reading this from Russia, what do you find?
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

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  • Is that we never end them. We implement them, then due to our collective national ego that manifests most clearly in congress, never roll them back for partial success. We take a hardline of "our way or the highway" and the highway ends up looking more appealing to your Cubas, your Irans, and now your Russias.

    "The stick" only works when the donkey can see a future where it won't be beaten.

    P.S. That's not to say anything other than screw Putin and his imperial ambitions.

    • by bobbied (2522392) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:41PM (#47632671)

      Not exactly true, we do roll them back every so often.... We pretty much ended hostilities with Japan and Germany, both of which where under US trade sanctions previously... Then there is South Africa, we sanctions them previously but restored relations when they came around. Same with Iran and Turkey, we dropped sanctions on them in the past, even if we've cycled back to having them of late.

    • by Cardoor (3488091)
      who's this 'we' of which you speak? i don't remember being asked if i wanted to embargo anyone ever.
      p.s. chastising putin for imperial ambitions is probably the funniest (saddest, and ironic) thing ive heard all day.
      • You were presented with a candidate slate containing Candidate A and Candidate B. You chose to vote for Candidate A, or Candidate B, or not to vote.

        In any of the three cases, you were electing a representative that voted on the embargo for you.

        Not that I think one is wrong against Russia right now..

        • by Cardoor (3488091)
          your statement assumes two things incorrectly:
          1) that an abstention from playing a game that is rigged somehow still leaves the party culpable to the actions of said game.
          but more importantly,

          2) that voting for A, B, C, or D would have in any way shape of form influenced the outcome, as all of the above cowtow to the same deep state policies regardless.
          • The reason the so-called "deep state" is totally immune to public pressure is that most of the public likes damn near everything it does. In fact if you actually had a referendum on any aspect of the "deep state" that you personally oppose, you'd almost certainly lose damn near every point. Jack Bauer is the deep state, and he gets great ratings because as far as the American people are concerned, having a badass motherfucker oppress dirty foreigners without having to bother with any stupid paperwork is the

          • by bobbied (2522392)

            Which is why, apart from voting, you also have the right of petition.

            This country need a whole lot less complaining and a whole lot more exercise of personal rights, like voting and petition. I'd go so far as to say if you are complaining and you HAVEN'T voted or tried the petition route, I'm not very motivated to listen to your complaints..

      • by jon3k (691256)
        This sure sounds familiar [wikipedia.org]. Russia calls us out for it all the time, why wouldn't we do the same?
      • by bobbied (2522392)

        who's this 'we' of which you speak?

        In case the antecedent of the pronoun "we" wasn't clear, I was referring to the population of the United States under which authority the Government acts.

        BTW, your suggestion that we govern ourselves using a PURE democracy is a really BAD idea. We proved that with the Mayflower Compact in Jamestown nearly 350 years ago. I prefer we stick to the representative republic model which works a lot better.

        • by Cardoor (3488091)
          i dont see any suggestions in my statement. thanks for trying to put words in my mouth, but no thanks. you are either naive beyond words, or a shill. i hate to break it to you, but the real world doesn't work the way you learned in class.
      • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday August 09, 2014 @02:04AM (#47636173) Homepage Journal

        Putin is a dickweed.

        if there's someone that should be taken down a notch it's him, but his sort of trapped now in his politics of grandness. it's all a show to keep people off the streets in russia - which has happened before and can happen again. minority bashing, "taking back what's ours" another. but it is costing him a shitload of money.

        Why the fuck do you think he's so scared of what happened in Ukraine? Losing Trade? the people got up and threw out the russian mob leader.

        but asking the average american on the street? I doubt they'll even know where russia is or how big it's economy is(pretty fucking small for a country the size of it, think california size).

        putin should be embargoed for a number of reasons and donetks situation is just one of them.

        and I say this as a Finnish person and Finland is one of the countries hit most by the embargo because we actually do trade with Russia. I mean, do you think the Russian elite wants to eat Russian cheese or Finnish cheese? Their food sucks, their roads suck, their ports suck(thus shipping lot of merchandise to Russia through Finland), the business environment sucks(you cannot trust land leases or rule of law), Russia needs to be dragged to this century already.

        It's not just an american embargo. in fact, USA has the least to lose and EU could have given the finger to USA on the matter but fuck, enough is enough. monetary wise Germany loses the most business, but percentually perhaps Finland.

    • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:48PM (#47632751)
      You read that whole thing about what Russia is doing to control the Internet and you convert that into an anti-US rant?

      I'm surprised you didn't point out the positive side of the whole affair, which is that Russia has a legislative system which isn't in the pockets of the evil capitalist corporations since these laws were implemented without any input from the ISPs.

      • Uh, I'm pretty sure the article also addresses something the US is doing, and I directly condemned Putin. Stop writing false motivations onto me.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          Uh, I'm pretty sure the article also addresses something the US is doing,

          As large a corporation as it is, Oracle is not the US government.

          and I directly condemned Putin.

          A postscript is not directly anything. It is an afterthought.

          Stop writing false motivations onto me.

          I said nothing about your motivations, only your actions.

          • As large a corporation as it is, Oracle is not the US government.

            Ok, from the damned summary.

            "You are in a country on which there is embargo; you cannot download JAVA

            I don't think you know what embargo means.

      • Or the fact that it seems most hackers come from Russia. Having to prove identity before accessing the network, would certainly throw a wrench into the Russian hacking game. Sure the hackers will try to find a way around it (and likely will), but it will make it harder.

        The fact the one of the largest breaches apparently happened just this week involving apparently Russian hackers again, makes me wonder how biased this article is. It was the first thing I thought of, was government trying to fight illegal ha

        • by bobbied (2522392)

          Hate to break it to you, this isn't about hackers, it's about spying, political, commercial and military. Putin is clearly trying to reign in control of the internet and what his people can see. Read the back story and what Putin actually SAYS he's doing this for... "the laws are needed to fight "extremism" and "terrorism." which follows his claim that the internet is a CIA tool to distribute propaganda.

          This is Putin preparing for conflict with the west, if not an all out war.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by bobbied (2522392)

        Russia has a legislative system which isn't in the pockets of the evil capitalist corporations since these laws were implemented without any input from the ISPs.

        Yea, they pretty much pass any law Putin tells them to instead of listening to the lobbyists hired by industry. Like that's SO much better.

    • by wiredlogic (135348) on Friday August 08, 2014 @04:24PM (#47633615)

      The continued embargo against Cuba is more about pandering for Cuban-American votes than enforcing any foreign policy.

    • Is that we never end them. We implement them, then due to our collective national ego that manifests most clearly in congress, never roll them back for partial success. We take a hardline of "our way or the highway" and the highway ends up looking more appealing to your Cubas, your Irans, and now your Russias.

      "The stick" only works when the donkey can see a future where it won't be beaten.

      P.S. That's not to say anything other than screw Putin and his imperial ambitions.

      The US imposes and ends Embargoes all the time. There are a few notable exceptions like Cuba, but to claim that is the norm is a bit silly. An Embargo on Russia is the absolute least the US should have done. Remember, we signed a treaty with Ukraine that assured we would aid them in the event of a war, if in return they gave up their nuclear weapons. Currently Obama is using the excuse that this not a war, but a civil issue to avoid fulfilling that treaty.

      Now, I'm a libertarian (a real one) and as far as I'

  • Bye bye Internet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:43PM (#47632701)
    It was good while it lasted. Now the real owners of the world came to the conclusion that the internet undermines the total control of them, so they are eliminating it as they did with many other technologies and groups who tried to give power to the people.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      bye bye open internet.. the darknet will survive and prosper.

  • THIS might kill Java (tm).

    Oracle is Blocking Downloads to Russian IP addresses? Is there anybody who thinks this will in anyway help?

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      And the countermeasure is - block access to Russian Porn?

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        And the countermeasure is - block access to Russian Porn?

        That vile Putin fella... Doesn't he know he's going to be savaged on Slashdot for doing that?

    • Oracle is Blocking Downloads to Russian IP addresses? Is there anybody who thinks this will in anyway help?

      Some idiots at the State Department, apparently. As much as Oracle will do whatever they're told to keep the gravy train rolling, I doubt /they/ think it's a sensible idea.

      • by w_dragon (1802458)
        Perhaps they are exploiting security holes in current versions of Java that are due to be patched soon.
    • by aix tom (902140)

      Well, it might speed up the "Russian Coffee" fork of Java. Like sunshine mixed with happiness.

      And when I say sunshine I mean coffee.
      And when I say happiness, I mean vodka

    • Russia is banning java....How can I get a visa to move to Russia?
  • ...then access to the Internet no longer looks like "free speech" or an economic stimulant. It now simply looks like foreign surveillance of my citizens, who are ignorant to how they're being harvested and used for the interest of external powers. If life were a game of Civ, and I was playing as Russia, I'd cut off the Internet too.

    • by Yunzil (181064)

      So you're saying Russia is doing this out of concern for the privacy of their beloved citizens? Would you be interested in a beautiful antique bridge in Brooklyn I have for sale?

  • The internet browses you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:58PM (#47632835)

    It'll do the world a favour once Russia realizes they're the fucking third world - they're not a peer, they're not a competitor, they're a backward relic from a bygone era. The US, EU, and China represent the real powers in the globe, with a strong first-world supporting cast of Japan and other countries; a strong second-world with a developing Brazil, India and the Asia Tigers; finally you have those which time is slowly forgetting. Russia clearly fits in to a clearly defined role.

    As reported to European media, their population loves the actions their leaders are undertaking to "stick it to the west"; as far as we should be concerned, they can sleep in the bed that Vladimir makes.

    • by Tailhook (98486) on Friday August 08, 2014 @04:08PM (#47633493)

      their population loves the actions their leaders

      There you go. Mod the parent up.

      The parent perhaps goes too far in dismissing Russia's standing in the world since '91; there has been a huge flow of capital from the West into Russia to fund heavy industry beyond the reach of Western regulatory burdens and this has stimulated rapid economic growth and a resurgence in Russian military capability, including new design ICBM deployments.

      But the parent is absolutely correct about the Russian people and the leaders they empower. Russians are once again indulging a cult of personality in Putin. I know there are many Russians in IT and geekery that will say I'm all wrong because that's not what they would have, but the fact is that the majority of Russians are thrilled by their bare chested father figure, sop up every morsel of the propaganda they're being fed and have kept him in power long enough to cement his place as Russia's latest autocrat.

      Russia; publicly cultivate your masculinity and say bad things about America and you too can install yourself for life.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree that parent might be going too far in dismissing Russia's standing today, but I think you're both somewhat incorrect on the mood of the Russian people. In actuality, there is a lot of disgust and guilt amongst Russians over Ukraine, but a lot of this is suppressed by the need to show support for the government and the reactionaries who do in fact agree with the government. Think about those with cooler heads just after 9/11 who wanted more forethought and calm. The more they spoke out, the more they

    • by quantaman (517394) on Friday August 08, 2014 @04:14PM (#47633551)

      It'll do the world a favour once Russia realizes they're the fucking third world - they're not a peer, they're not a competitor, they're a backward relic from a bygone era. The US, EU, and China represent the real powers in the globe, with a strong first-world supporting cast of Japan and other countries; a strong second-world with a developing Brazil, India and the Asia Tigers; finally you have those which time is slowly forgetting. Russia clearly fits in to a clearly defined role.

      As reported to European media, their population loves the actions their leaders are undertaking to "stick it to the west"; as far as we should be concerned, they can sleep in the bed that Vladimir makes.

      I've lost some sympathy for the Russian people due to their general backing of Putin's policies.

      However, I'm extremely worried for the nations bordering Russia who are full of nice people who would rather not be invaded and turned into the USSR 2.0.

      • Not all Russians support Putin, you know. The majority do, but there's always the minority - and they are, in fact, the first ones do be targeted; nations bordering Russia would only be second.

        "Fifth column" and "national traitor" are already the words of the day ever since Putin used them in his presidential address.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:02PM (#47632865)
    There's no crackdown on WiFi. The quoted rule only applies to publicly-owned free WiFi hotspots: http://slon.ru/fast/russia/pra... [slon.ru]
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:04PM (#47632893) Journal

    Those luck bastards!

    If we wanted to punish them, we'd make JAVA usage manditory. JAVA Desktops for everyone! JAVA ME phones only! and Java Jackpot. Who the hell knows what the point of Jackpot was, but starting now every Mother and child in Russia must figure it out, and use it!

  • It would be interesting if this "embargo" lasts any length of time. Given the importance of Java in today's IT world, it would be interesting if our colleagues in St. Petersburg would produce another clean-room implementation of Java. But it'll never happen. All trade embargoes are leaky. Consider, for example, Kim Jong-il, the North Korean un-leader, and the iMac on his desk [cultofmac.com]. That certainly wasn't bought at the local Pyongyang Apple store

  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:14PM (#47632981)

    I don't know why anyone is surprised that Putin and company act like dictatorial thugs. Their nation is imploding and they need to bring out the rod to keep control.
    Russia is going through the tyranny playbook chapter by chapter. Demonization and scapegoating of minorities, directly state controlled media spewing nationalistic propaganda, massive corruption and crony control of all major industries, suppression and murderer of political opponents. The list goes on. You name it, they do it. Anything not on the list will happen soon. Things will get worse before they get better.

    This is now getting to be an old story in Russia. Something makes me wonder if their culture yearns to be under the boot of monsters and tyrants, because it's been that way for the past few hundred years.

    And for the tired, trite "America does it too" blowhards that are already typing up their scathing reply:

    Fuck you. Yes. Fuck you, how you think, how you act, what you believe. Fuck everything about you. YOU are the problem. America isn't perfect but your deaf, self serving, wildly out of scale comparisons are poisoning the debate and will frankly will be the end of us all. And not just with Russia. With everything. The Republican party is an out of control monster (Full stop. End of story. No debate. You are a child that does not deserve to participate in adult conversation) and you show up with your limp wristed cynical "Dems do it to so nothing matters!" bullshit and nothing gets done. Fuck you again, for good measure.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      I don't know why anyone is surprised that Putin and company act like dictatorial thugs. Their nation is imploding and they need to bring out the rod to keep control. Russia is going through the tyranny playbook chapter by chapter. Demonization and scapegoating of minorities, directly state controlled media spewing nationalistic propaganda, massive corruption and crony control of all major industries, suppression and murderer of political opponents. The list goes on. You name it, they do it. Anything not on the list will happen soon. Things will get worse before they get better.

      This is now getting to be an old story in Russia. Something makes me wonder if their culture yearns to be under the boot of monsters and tyrants, because it's been that way for the past few hundred years.

      And for the tired, trite "America does it too" blowhards that are already typing up their scathing reply:

      Except for that last rant and one small detail, I agree with you. This was my impression of what Putin is doing. He's prepping for conflict, internal and external and following the well worn paths of world history in general and Russian history in particular. We are going to all look back on the Olympic opening "show" of Putin's and see the story line play out yet again.

      The small detail has to do with how long this has been going on. I think we can safely say it's been thousands of years that the same br

  • where we still have some freedom, Putin is a hacked up, soggy, cheese-curd potato.

  • Putin has said he thinks the Internet is a CIA project. Though he's wrong (it's a DOD project), he's also a man who's all about that spy stuff. He probably sincerely believes it's in his countries best interest to suppress internet usage, perhaps replacing it with one of their own design.

    Considering a Russian gang has stolen over 1 billion user names and password hashes from hundreds of thousands of websites, and considering all such problems of that kind that the world has with Russia hackers, I think the

  • There is no embargo on Java and similiar technologies. Also the "author" haven't read the Law he mentioned. There's no crackdown on Wi-fi. This is all just about informatioal war that is going on in press and on "freedom space" of internet where every ignoramus person can write an article.
  • run anywhere.

    Unless you have the wrong Java version. Or it turns out to be not quite as portable as promised. Or there is an issue with security settings. Or you are in Russia.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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