Russia’s Google Fine Announcement Delayed Until May 11

Google will have to wait until next month to learn how much it will be fined by Russia. “In March 2016, [Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service] initiated administrative proceedings against Google to determine the amount of fine under part 2 article 14.31 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences. According to the article, abuse of dominant position on the market of operating systems for mobile devices in Russia, Google (the owner of the Android OS) can pay a fine ranging from 1% to 15% of its revenues on the Russian market in 2014.”

Guide: Conducting Open-Source Research on the Russian Internet

Have you seen this new guide featured on Global Voices? It’s an extensive guide to conducting open source resource on the Russian Internet. “This research project by Aric Toler, a contributor at RuNet Echo and Bellingcat, will create a series of guides, tutorials, and walkthroughs on understanding and conducting open-source research on the Russian-language Internet (RuNet). The primary focus of the project will be providing instruction on the nuances of Russia.” These guides are intended for users who have little or no Russian. There are seven so far, the earliest being published in October and the most recent published yesterday.

Dear Google Translate: Russia Is Not Mordor

Fun with Google Translate: No, Russia is not Mordor. “The California company was forced to explain on Tuesday why translations of certain words from Ukrainian into Russian gave users controversially—and sometimes hilariously—inaccurate results. For some, a translation of the words Russian Federation from Ukrainian into Russian returned the word Mordor, the evil fictional realm in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Pro-Ukrainian groups have taken to using the term when referring to Russia.”

Former Yandex Employee Steals Source Code, Tries To Sell It Cheap

An employee of Russian search engine Yandex apparently stole the engine’s source code and tried to sell it for cheap. “The Kommersant investigation revealed that [Dmitry] Korobov downloaded a piece of software codenamed Arcadia from Yandex’s servers, which contained the source code and algorithms of the company’s search engine. Later on, he tried to sell it to an electronics retailer called NIX, where a friend of his allegedly worked. Korobov also trawled the darknet in search of potential buyers. Korobov put a surprisingly low price on the code and algorithms, asking for just $25,000 and 250,000 Russian rubles, or about £19,000 in total.”

Russian Court to Google: Pay Up

Russia is telling Google to pay up after a court action by a citizen. “The Moscow city court has dismissed Google’s cassation appeal against the decision to penalize it 50,000 rubles ($688) at the suit of a resident of Russia’s Urals city of Yekaterinburg who alleged that a search engine specialist was reading his private e-mails.”

Pro-Putin Blog Network on LiveJournal?

Lawrence Alexander looks at what he says is a huge fake account network on LiveJournal that is dedicated to promoting Vladimir Putin. “Since spring 2014, thousands of fake LiveJournal blogs have been mass-posting content promoting a pro-Kremlin stance on world events, attacking Western leaders and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin. Using custom Python code, Lawrence Alexander was able to isolate and analyze these accounts. Delving deeper into the metadata of the supporting Twitter bot network could provide further clues as to their origin.” Fascinating article. But why would you do this on LiveJournal?

Russian Wikipedia Suspends Editor Who Met With Russian Authorities

Russian Wikipedia has suspended an editor who apparently organized a meeting with Russian authorities about Wikipedia editing. “A representative of media watchdog Roskomnadzor said earlier on Friday that four Wikipedia editors had met with representatives of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and Roskomnadzor to formalize channels of communication between the website and state bodies.”

Charlie Hebdo Twitter Account Banned in Russia?

The “Charlie Hebdo” Twitter account has apparently been banned throughout Russia. “A municipal court in Chechnya has banned the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s Twitter account. The court’s ruling is dated November 23, 2015. In accordance with Russian federal law, the ban is effective nationwide.” This is actually kind of confusing because the account is apparently being banned for offensive material released in November. But the official Hebdo account hasn’t tweeted since January, so….

Russian Immigration to the US

In development: an online archive documenting Russian immigration to the US. “A new joint Russian-American project aims to digitize and make universally available archives of Russian immigration to the US with the help of Fort Ross Conservancy…. The organization behind the project, the Stolypin Memorial Center for Government Development and Reform, plans to digitalize collections related to Russians in America within the current Fort Ross Conservancy website and to make this information universally accessible and searchable.”

Russia Gives Google A Deadline

Russia is giving Google until November 18th to adjust its Android deployments. From (a translated version of) Russia’s announcement: “These include mandatory preset with the Google Play a number of other applications of the company, their placement in the priority areas on the screen, the mandatory installation of the search engine Google ‘default’ as well as a ban on the preset applications of other companies.”