TechCrunch: Google confirms some of its own services are now getting blocked in Russia over the Telegram ban . “A shower of paper airplanes darted through the skies of Moscow and other towns in Russia today, as users answered the call of entrepreneur Pavel Durov to send the blank missives out of their windows at a pre-appointed time in support of Telegram, a messaging app he founded that was blocked last week by Russian regulator Roskomnadzor (RKN) that uses a paper airplane icon. RKN believes the service is violating national laws by failing to provide it with encryption keys to access messages on the service (Telegram has refused to comply).”
New Zealand Herald: Russia blocks some Google, Amazon servers after Telegram ban. “Russia’s communications watchdog says it is blocking access to some servers owned by tech giants Google and Amazon in order to comply with a court order to block a popular messaging app.” That’ll get messy.
Wired: How Russian Facebook Ads Divided And Targeted US Voters Before The 2016 Election. “WHEN YOUNG MIE Kim began studying political ads on Facebook in August of 2016—while Hillary Clinton was still leading the polls— few people had ever heard of the Russian propaganda group, Internet Research Agency. Not even Facebook itself understood how the group was manipulating the platform’s users to influence the election. For Kim, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the goal was to document the way the usual dark money groups target divisive election ads online, the kind that would be more strictly regulated if they appeared on TV. She never knew then she was walking into a crime scene.
EurekAlert: RAND identifies new strategies for countering Russian social media . “A new RAND Corporation report finds that Russia is waging a social media campaign in the Baltics, Ukraine and nearby states to sow dissent against neighboring governments, as well as NATO and the European Union. In addition to employing a state-funded multi-lingual television network, operating various pro-government news websites and working through Russian-backed ‘civil society’ organizations, Russia also employs a sophisticated social media campaign that includes news tweets, non-attributed comments on web pages, troll and bot social media accounts, and fake hashtag and Twitter campaigns.”
Neowin: Russia blocks Telegram – company responds by saying that updates will bypass ban. “Russia’s Tagansky court has announced that Telegram access in the country will be blocked due to a failure of Telegram to provide encryption keys to the Federal Security Service (FSB) that it could have used to decrypt user messages if the need had arisen. The court’s judge announced that the ban will be made instantly and that it will remain the case until Telegram provides encryption keys to the FSB.”
CNET: Reddit boots hundreds of accounts linked to Russian trolls. “Reddit said Tuesday that it has identified and removed several hundred accounts suspected of being connected to Russia’s alleged campaign to spread disinformation on social media.”
TechCrunch: Facebook shut down Russian APT28 trolls before the 2016 U.S. election. “The most interesting part of Mark Zuckerberg’s prepared testimony for Congress that was released today shows that Facebook has been fighting Russian election interference since before the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Facebook shut down accounts related to Russian GRU military intelligence-linked group APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, which had created an organization called DCLeaks run by fake personas to seed stolen information to journalists.”