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

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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  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:27PM (#47632553) Homepage Journal

    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 Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:38PM (#47632639)

    I just hope they don't block regular people from going to Russia again before my visa expires. It pisses me off to no end that I'll probably never be able to see Havana. Freedom isn't actually free, I guess...

  • Bye bye Internet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:43PM (#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 Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:44PM (#47632713) Homepage Journal

    I fucking wish Obama had the nads to say something even close to that publicly.

  • Not a law (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:47PM (#47632743)

    Funny thing, when Putin does this he is a communist but when Obama does this he is not?

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:48PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:58PM (#47632837)

    Oh yeah, well, uh, Gaza...

  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @04:14PM (#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 rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @05:03PM (#47633441)

    dream on, meatbag. mesh networking can't make a continental network, let alone a global one.

    large providers constitute the backbone of the internet, and governments have absolute control over them. get over it.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @05:14PM (#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.

  • by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Friday August 08, 2014 @05:52PM (#47633901)

    By every definition of Imperialism I've ever seen the Russians are doing a lot more of it then the US. Putin is trying to increase his sphere of influence with the Eurasian Union. eat bits of neighbors who rock his boat, refusing to give up control of a region that included a major military base, etc.

    OTOH, Obama isn't setting up any new organizations. He's abandoned a fairly large country that included a lot of US bases entirely. He really doesn't want to go back, even tho he doesn't have much option. He's not shy about telling people he'll happily turn over two other (Afghanistan and Pakistan) allies to anyone who will take them if the Afghans decide they don't want American troops on their soil.

    It's true the US has a large alliance-system that many have likened to an Empire, but there's a massive difference between forcing Canada to coordinate it's policy with the US and letting the Canadians coordinate their policy with the US because the Canadian people have chosen to elect Steven Harper. The former is the definition of Imperialism. The latter is the opposite.

  • Re:Whatever (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 09, 2014 @03:38AM (#47636265)

    It's a propoganda technique that is so old it's practically a tradition:

    Any time Russia wants to do something bad without being seen as evil, the astroturf army will start posting comments about how everybody else is evil too, trying to deflect attention.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."