Russia Takes on Google in an Ironic Turn of Events

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In perhaps the most ironic and karmic retribution Russia now fears for the integrity of its own electoral process and they are nowhere here yet. The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communication, or Roskomnadzor sent a notice to Google asking it to stop advertising protests on YouTube.


The Protests
On Saturday, almost 300 people had been arrested for conducting an unauthorized protest in Moscow. The people gathered to demand free and fair elections led by Lyubov Sobol, who was promptly arrested from the taxi before the demonstration started. She is a high profile ally of Alexei Navalny who also happens to be the Leader of Opposition. This, however, is not the first protest to be broken up.


Last week, more than 1300 people were arrested protesting outside the Mayor’s Office in Moscow. The riot police also dispersed crowds preemptively near Trubnaya Metro and Tsvetnoi Boulevard. The people, however, beg to differ on the validity of their protests. While Putin was celebrating the completion of 20 years in office, Russian authorities had been banning a number of independent and opposition candidates from participating in the Municipal Elections in September.


Officially speaking they have been barred because they had failed to obtain a sufficient number of signatures to be put on the ballot paper however, the opposition cried foul and that too loudly. The opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been arrested a couple of weeks ago on a jog because of the sudden rise in unauthorized protests.


Humorously so, Navalny got in the last word when his Instagram came with this brilliant quip, “People are right when they say that sport is not always good for your health. I have been detained and am now at a police station wearing shorts like a stupid man”. Sometimes I wish our Opposition leaders had this sense of humour.


The Russian Love Letter


The Roskomnador observed that the protestors had all received a push notification on YouTube about the protests. The letter they sent to Google after that was almost flowing with the overwhelming love they felt for the tech giant. “Russian Federation will regard this as interference in the sovereign affairs of the state, as well as a hostile influence and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in Russia, leaving the right to an adequate reaction.”


Of course, this isn’t the first time the Roskomnador has gotten such an outburst of love for Google. They have demanded Google drop certain results on the search engine and even fined Google for violating its demands. They even tried to ban Telegram last year from the app stores but instead managed to bungle it up and blocked the IP addresses of Amazon and even Google IP addresses. The resulting disruption of Internet lasted for weeks across the country.


Russia Takes on Google

In perhaps the most ironic and karmic retribution Russia now fears for the integrity of its own electoral process and they are nowhere here yet. The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communication, or Roskomnadzor sent a notice to Google asking it to stop advertising protests on YouTube.


The Protests



On Saturday, almost 300 people had been arrested for conducting an unauthorized protest in Moscow. The people gathered to demand free and fair elections led by Lyubov Sobol, who was promptly arrested from the taxi before the demonstration started. She is a high profile ally of Alexei Navalny who also happens to be the Leader of Opposition. This, however, is not the first protest to be broken up.


Last week, more than 1300 people were arrested protesting outside the Mayor’s Office in Moscow. The riot police also dispersed crowds preemptively near Trubnaya Metro and Tsvetnoi Boulevard. The people, however, beg to differ on the validity of their protests. While Putin was celebrating the completion of 20 years in office, Russian authorities had been banning a number of independent and opposition candidates from participating in the Municipal Elections in September.


Officially speaking they have been barred because they had failed to obtain a sufficient number of signatures to be put on the ballot paper however, the opposition cried foul and that too loudly. The opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been arrested a couple of weeks ago on a jog because of the sudden rise in unauthorized protests.


Humorously so, Navalny got in the last word when his Instagram came with this brilliant quip, “People are right when they say that sport is not always good for your health. I have been detained and am now at a police station wearing shorts like a stupid man”. Sometimes I wish our Opposition leaders had this sense of humour.


The Russian Love Letter


The Roskomnador observed that the protestors had all received a push notification on YouTube about the protests. The letter they sent to Google after that was almost flowing with the overwhelming love they felt for the tech giant. “Russian Federation will regard this as interference in the sovereign affairs of the state, as well as a hostile influence and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in Russia, leaving the right to an adequate reaction.”


Of course, this isn’t the first time the Roskomnador has gotten such an outburst of love for Google. They have demanded Google drop certain results on the search engine and even fined Google for violating its demands. They even tried to ban Telegram last year from the app stores but instead managed to bungle it up and blocked the IP addresses of Amazon and even Google IP addresses. The resulting disruption of Internet lasted for weeks across the country.


It is somewhat delighting to see the tables being turned on Russia for a change. After they managed to inflict Donald Trump on not just the US, but the rest of the world as well, it is rather heartening to witness the karmic comeback.


It remains to be seen if Google did this intentionally or not, but it seems the Russian people have some issues they need to sort out with their government because evidently there is a major disagreement with regards to the integrity of Russian elections.
- Nachiket Bhushan Kondhalkar

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Russia Takes on Google in an Ironic Turn of Events Russia Takes on Google in an Ironic Turn of Events Reviewed by EMN on August 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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