Meduza: Russia’s censorship agency seeks new fines for Twitter, Google, and Facebook

Meduza: Russia’s censorship agency seeks new fines for Twitter, Google, and Facebook. “Twitter may face another 24 million rubles ($320,880) in fines for failing to remove content prohibited in Russia, while Google and Facebook may face an additional 20 million rubles ($267,400) in fines each for the same violation, the Russian state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday, May 5.”

Foreign Policy: Russia Can’t Afford to Block Twitter—Yet

Foreign Policy: Russia Can’t Afford to Block Twitter—Yet. “On March 16, Russia’s internet and media regulator, Roskomnadzor, threatened to block access to Twitter from within Russia in 30 days if the platform failed to comply with government demands to delete content allegedly related to child pornography, suicide, and drug use. But just three weeks later, Roskomnadzor backed away from that threat, citing discussions with Twitter characterized by both sides as productive—although it then reiterated the threat on April 30. At the same time, however, the regulator expressed its intent to continue slowing down Twitter traffic in Russia, as it has done since March, through May 15, an attempt to make the platform less accessible for Russian users. What explains this seemingly confused and contradictory approach from the Russian government?”

TASS: Google promises to remove all illegal content shortly, Russian lawmaker assures

TASS: Google promises to remove all illegal content shortly, Russian lawmaker assures. “Google representatives promised to review a document from the State Duma’s commission on investigating facts of foreign interference in Russian affairs and vowed to soon remove all content violating Russian laws, head of the commission Vasily Piskarev told reporters on Friday after the meeting.”

Moscow Times: Russians Post More Profanities After Social Media Swearing Ban

Moscow Times: Russians Post More Profanities After Social Media Swearing Ban. “Russian-speaking social media users have posted 10% more profanity-laced content in the two months since a law requiring platforms to delete them came into force than before, the RBC news website reported Sunday. The Medialogia media monitor tallied 20.2 million posts containing swear words on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, as well as three Russian platforms, from Feb. 1-March 31.”

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group: Russia blocks military archives in further effort to distort the truth about World War II

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group: Russia blocks military archives in further effort to distort the truth about World War II. “Russia’s Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu has issued orders which effectively block almost all access to Russian military archives from the period of the Second World War. The move is especially alarming given the current regime’s systematic attempts to push its own narrative about that period, distorting or muffling historical facts, for example, about the Soviet Union’s collaboration with Nazi Germany from 1939 to June 1941.”

AP: Slovak Premier, Government Resign Over Russian Vaccine Deal

AP: Slovak Premier, Government Resign Over Russian Vaccine Deal. “Slovakia’s Prime Minister Igor Matovic and his government resigned on Tuesday to ease a political crisis triggered by a secret deal to buy Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. It is the first European government to collapse due to its handling of the pandemic but the move will keep the current four-party coalition in power and avoid the possibility of an early election. The coalition holds a comfortably parliamentary majority.”

Voice of America: European Medicines Agency Reviewing Russian Vaccine Sputnik

Voice of America: European Medicines Agency Reviewing Russian Vaccine Sputnik. “The executive director of Europe’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, (EMA) said Tuesday it is evaluating Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for possible authorization of use in the European Union. In comments to European Parliament lawmakers, EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said the agency is also planning inspections of the manufacturing and clinical sites in Russia to make sure production for the vaccine is adequate.”

Coronavirus: How Russia glosses over its Covid death toll (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: How Russia glosses over its Covid death toll. “A year into the pandemic, the virus this team are battling is familiar, but their careful daily routine is a reminder of the risk – it was last autumn that Covid-19 struck hardest in Perm, on its sweep from Moscow across the regions, and the number of sick and dead shot up. But there is very little talk in Russia of the death toll from Covid. The full data revealed by excess mortality is not secret, but it’s never highlighted, and the preliminary tally published each day by the government significantly underplays the impact.”

Engadget: Apple will abide by Russian law by offering government-approved apps

Engadget: Apple will abide by Russian law by offering government-approved apps. “Apple has reportedly agreed to show Russian users a prompt to preinstall some apps when they’re first using an iPhone or other device. If a user doesn’t select one of the government-approved apps, it won’t be installed, according to newspaper Vedomosti. The company is said to have agreed to the measure to abide by a law that comes into effect on April 1st.”

Washington Post: Why Russia is tightening its grip on social media

Washington Post: Why Russia is tightening its grip on social media. ” Russia is not likely to build its own version of China’s Great Firewall to control the Internet. The reasons are social (Russians like foreign social media and would hate to lose access) and technical (China’s Internet developed differently than Russia’s, making it easier to cordon off.) But the Kremlin, increasingly insecure about rising social discontent over everything from food prices to political repression, wants to crush online dissent. Can it do it?”

Ukrinform: Information policy ministry to create online museum of Russian propaganda in Ukraine

Ukrinform: Information policy ministry to create online museum of Russian propaganda in Ukraine. “The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy plans to create an online museum of Russian propaganda in Ukraine, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko has said. He stated this on the Ukraine 24 television channel, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.”

Business Insider: Russia claims a fire at a data center in France broke access to Google and YouTube. Google says that’s not true.

Business Insider: Russia claims a fire at a data center in France broke access to Google and YouTube. Google says that’s not true.. “A data center belonging to French cloud provider OVH caught on fire on Wednesday. At the same time, Russia was experiencing widespread outages meaning people couldn’t get onto Google and YouTube, which Google owns. The state media watchdog, Roskomnadzorm, claimed Wednesday the problems were caused by the fire in France. Google says that’s not true.”

CyberScoop: FBI alert warns of Russian, Chinese use of deepfake content

CyberScoop: FBI alert warns of Russian, Chinese use of deepfake content. “The FBI warned in an alert Wednesday that malicious actors ‘almost certainly’ will be using deepfakes to advance their influence or cyber-operations in the coming weeks. The alert notes that foreign actors are already using deepfakes or synthetic media — manipulated digital content like video, audio, images and text — in their influence campaigns.”