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Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse 233

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the remember-when-you-did-that-in-the-80s dept.
schneidafunk writes " Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.' was the message sent to thousands of protesters as a new law prohibiting public demonstrations went into effect." From NYTimes: "... Protesters were concerned that the government seemed to be using cutting-edge technology from the advertising industry to pinpoint people for political profiling. Three cellphone companies in Ukraine ... denied that they had provided the location data to the government or had sent the text messages, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. Kyivstar suggested that it was instead the work of a 'pirate' cellphone tower set up in the area."
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Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse

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  • New laws (Score:5, Informative)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:05PM (#46036649)

    This chart [craphound.com] has some interesting tidbits on laws that were just put in place in the Ukraine.

    • I like how the "Participation in peaceful gatherings" one has a guy with a lit Molotov cocktail.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "the Ukraine" is a linguistic holdover from the Soviet Union when this was shorthand for "The Ukrainian SSR." Like terms "Moldavia", "Belorussia", and "Turkmenia", it is used by pro-putin English speakers as a linguistic barb against citizens of those countries, knowing that it can be excused as a slip of the tongue if they are ever called out on it. You should not use the term "the Ukraine" as it is outdated and belongs on the scrapheap of history.

      • by Sperbels (1008585)
        Well, my world map says Ukraine. And I'm not pro-Putin and I certainly have no intention of sinking any barbs. If there's a better word...what is it?
        • The better word is "Ukraine". Not "the Ukraine".
        • by steveg (55825)

          His point is that "Ukraine" is acceptable. "The Ukraine" is not.

          Of course, I learned my eastern European geography from my Risk board game almost 50 years ago, so it will forever be the Ukraine to me.

          • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

            I thought it was Kamchatka

          • by Sperbels (1008585)
            Hmm. That makes it sound like the difference between "China" or "Red China". Politically overcharged older people always say "Red China". However, I wasn't aware that anybody in the English speaking world had much of an opinion on Ukraine. Saying like that just doesn't sound right to me: ...opinion on Ukraine vs; ...opinion on the Ukraine.

            Did anyone else know about this? Is it really a thing?
            • by Obfuscant (592200)

              That makes it sound like the difference between "China" or "Red China".

              Many years ago I sent a letter to Radio Peking in "China". It was returned by the Chinese post office with the stamp "The correct address is People's Republic of China." It was more important to them that I called it PRC than to get a program schedule so I could listen to their propaganda broadcasts. Too bad for them, I stuck with Radio Havana, where they actually referred to the US as "running dogs".

          • by unixisc (2429386)
            In the Risk board game, Ukraine is essentially all European Russia, not just the country w/ that name. By that definition, Moscow would be a part of Ukraine
          • by icebike (68054)

            His point is that "Ukraine" is acceptable. "The Ukraine" is not.

            Its been used in print as "The Ukraine" for well over 300 years.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            His point is that "Ukraine" is acceptable. "The Ukraine" is not.

            Of course, I learned my eastern European geography from my Risk board game almost 50 years ago, so it will forever be the Ukraine to me.

            Well I'm going the other way and proposing that we add "the" in front of every single country. The England, The Germany, The Belize and so forth.

      • by icebike (68054)

        "the Ukraine" is a linguistic holdover from the Soviet Union when this was shorthand for "The Ukrainian SSR."

        That phraseology predates the Soviet Union by many decades.

        In "Pan Michael" Sienkiewicz refers to "The Ukraine" in 1893.
        In "Cossacks of the Ukraine" Krasinsku made it his book's title in 1848.
        In "An universal history: from the earliest accounts to the present time, Volume 35" (A history of Russia), which is a compilation of works of several authors, The Ukraine is referred to by several different authors. The book was printed in 1762.

        Lets not rush to revisionism. There is more than enough of that going on a

      • It's only become fashionable to drop the definite article in the last 15 years or so. "The Ukraine" was considered correct in standard English for at least a couple of centuries prior to Putin's birth.

    • This chart has some interesting tidbits on laws that were just put in place in the Ukraine.

      This picture [nocookie.net] has some interesting commentary on protesters who carry government-regulated and controlled tracking devices with full surveillance capabilities while trying to piss in the government's cheerios.

    • by icebike (68054)

      This chart [craphound.com] has some interesting tidbits on laws that were just put in place in the Ukraine.

      Lots of those outlawed things are also crimes in the US, as well as many EU countries.

  • So the moral of the story is that if you are protester, then you better drop your cell phone in the river.
    • by necro81 (917438)
      That seems awfully wasteful and expensive. Just turn it off. If you are paranoid that "off" still means "trackable", then stick it in a foil pouch. Fight the (radiated) power, man!
      • Acquiesce to the power, you mean.

        At least 99% of those people aren't worth tracking. The goal is to disrupt communication from the organizers to reduce the size of the protests in the first place. The easiest way is for people to voluntarily disrupt their own communications.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      my understanding is this isn't a big deal. it would be bad if they used cell phone data to determine who was in the vicinity, recorded the names, and sent a threatening SMS. What's more likely is they set up a few fake cell phone towers and blasted out a SMS to people whose phones joined that tower. They probably weren't trackeng / don't have the capability to process actual dell pohone data.

      • Does a cell phone not have a unique identifier when it connects to a tower? Does the government not have the authority, by force if necessary, to force the cell providers to connect that unique identifier up with the subscriber? Don't be ridiculous, they have everything they need put thousands of people on a watch list. Of course, you'll get a bunch of false positives, but what's a few (extra) ruined lives in the name of state security?

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          the cell phone has a unique identifier, but isn't directly tied to a person. If you're NSA you can suss out who the person is by looking at every number that cell phone calls, and every number they call. But the Ukraine can't do that. what they CAN do is blast out an ominous SMS to all cell phones connected to a particular tower. Rather powerful troll technique actually... think of the possibilities!

  • In other Kiev news (Score:5, Informative)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:21PM (#46036833)

    I've been following this stuff all day, because this just got seriously violent:
    > Police authorized to use firearms, two dead from shooting already
    > Ban on using fire hoses in sub-zero weather lifted
    > Hospitals tending to wounded protesters have been attacked by police
    > Snipers out in force
    > Armored Personnel Carriers already deployed, an Army tank unit is being moved into the city
    > Opposition members of government resigning en masse
    > over 100,000 protesters in Kiev main square

    Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over, but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

    Everybody should scan through this - the images alone are powerful: https://twitter.com/Euromaidan... [twitter.com]

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:25PM (#46036873) Homepage

      Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over

      My guess: modernization and freedoms vs the government wishing to remain the same as in the old Soviet days.

      The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

      That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.

      • That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.

        Pretty much this. They need the money to pay their bowling league fees. The EU offered to pay enough for Tuesday/Thursday league nights, but nothing else. Russia offered to pay for four nights a week, including the cost of pizzas and beer, but with the caveat that they have to let Vladimir on their team, and if he doesn't feel like playing on a given night, then none of them can play.

      • The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

        That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays [tvtropes.org], it's a tough call.

        Fixed.

      • The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

        It is not really young vs old. Language and geography are much bigger factors than age. Russian speakers living in eastern Ukraine generally support the president and Ukrainian speakers living in western Ukraine generally oppose him. An obvious solution is to split the country. Let the area east of the Dnieper River, and Crimea, split off and merge with Russia, while western Ukraine moves toward eventual EU membership.

        • It is not really young vs old. Language and geography are much bigger factors than age.

          I think the perception of young vs old as a manifestation of age is real. I'm going to ramble with an idea a little bit...

          Language and geography among other things can and do create barriers between populations. If at least by chance, these populations will have varying resources at their disposal. If wealth leads to health (and typically a lower birthrate) and longevity, a population that has wealth will appear older than one that doesn't. So, while the young may fight on both sides, it is likely, the

          • But I would guess that those that want to go back with old Russia are the ones with the current wealth and power under Russia.

            Your guess is correct [wikipedia.org]. Eastern Ukraine, where Russian is widely spoken, is considerably wealthier than western Ukraine.

      • It's not so much a younger generation vs. older generation fight, it's more about ethnicity. Eastern Ukraine is heavily populated by ethnic Russians and they want the status quo. Western Ukraine has less Russians and they want to get out of the old Soviet sphere of influence and join the E.U.

        At the root of the whole thing is economic problems. Ukraine is the shithole of Europe when it comes to economic development, with rampant corruption and vast inefficiencies still left over from communist days. The prot

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        You have it exactly backwards. They modernized already. Past tense. They were preparing to join the EU. An old Socialist sold them out to be the first member of Tsar Putin's New Russian Empire, instead.

    • As was explained to me, it's a soup sandwich much like Syria. In Syria you have the choice between a secular dictator and religious fundamentalist rebels. Now there may be some rebel groups that aren't fundie but the fundie ones are getting some of the best outside funding. The official US position is to let both sides bleed each other white to keep the conflict contained. To me that seems a bit like firefighters not trying to fight a blaze, just keep it contained so it doesn't spread and wait for the fuel

      • by guises (2423402)

        Makes a big difference for those in power, for the little guys it's just a matter of who's getting to fuck them over.

        Everyday life is significantly different for people in the EU than it is for people in Russia. Really I should have to say this, it should be self-evident from the article: you can see the difference happening in the Ukraine as it becomes more Russianized.

    • by Katatsumuri (1137173) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:20PM (#46037555)

      I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over

      A quick summary:

      The protests started small and peaceful when president Yanukovich bowed to Russian pressure and reversed the political course away from signing the association agreement and trade deal with EU. Many people had high hopes for that and got disappointed. Still, the protests were in 10,000 people bracket, demanding to keep the EU course, and were almost dissolving in a few weeks, except for a few die-hard fans.

      But then the rulers decided they could simply "clean up" the remaining protesters at night using riot police. They beat up the poor guys (mostly students) badly. Dozens of people were heavily injured and had to stay in hospital. A few have gone missing. Extreme unjustified brutality was filmed on multiple cameras.

      That's when the protests scaled up to 500,000 people at some points. They also formed militia troops from ex-military to keep them safe. And the demands shifted from the EU topic to the replacement and punishment of the police minister, prime minister, and possibly the president. Still, the protests were largely peaceful, they were just not going to dissolve this time. And the president chose to ignore them completely and wait it out. It's winter, after all.

      After two months of waiting, seeing people won't go home, they decided to criminalize the protests, free speech in press and social media, and a whole range of other common freedoms, giving more power to the police at the same time. Bypassing all due procedures (not even counting votes), a 10-pack of corresponding laws was passed. Then everyone with a brain saw it was sliding towards a dictatorship, and disagreements with the riot police got hotter and hotter, until it eventually came to tear gas on one side and Molotov cocktails on the other side, and now also bullets.

      If you want more detail, browse the BBC new archives, their coverage is generally good. The only common mistake in Western press is that they still call these protests "pro-EU", when in fact now it's more "anti-Yanukovitch and his party". The most active protesters are from the nationalist right wing and are strongly against any union either with EU or with Russia. And the bigger, more peaceful crowd is also more concerned about overthrowing the oppressive government right now, and discuss the foreign policy later.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        I knew most of that, I just figured there had to be something more to the government's response than just "fuck protesters, let's just kill them". Still a very excellent summary of the situation, presents everything in a more understandable way.

        • by Katatsumuri (1137173) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:51PM (#46037979)

          There are two things more to explain the occasional over-reacting with the police force.

          1. President Yanukovich comes from the east-Ukrainian criminal clan. He has served two terms in prison (IIRC for street robbery), which were later officially discarded with some help from his high-standing friends, allowing him to take high posts and even become a President. He received financial and other support from other ex-clan members (now respectable businessmen) and from Russia, who saw him as a better alternative to the nationalist candidates. East Ukraine voted for him and his party because they are easterners and they speak Russian. He has a deadly mix of "never give in" mentality and unconditional arrangements with his backers, so he generally doesn't like to negotiate with anyone. He also has full control over the Parliament majority and the court system, making him a de-facto dictator, so he also seldom has any need to negotiate.

          2. Not everyone is happy with Yanukovich's heavy and greedy rule, even in his environment, so there is an off chance someone occasionally mis-informs him, provoking controversial situations.

    • but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

      These people wanted a new government, they got a new government.

      What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else. - Tom Clancy

      You'd think they would have learned their lesson with the USSR.

    • by rmstar (114746)

      Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over, but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

      IIUC, this is at the core about wether to join the EU at some point or not. At least, this is the culmination of an escalation that started right after the breakdown of talks between the gov. of Ukraine and the EU, followed by a move to closer ties with Russa.

      One should not be fooled by any of this. The EU is quite capable of

      • You uh... realize that the alternative to sideing with the EU is being eaten by Russia again?
        You don't think that Russia has any ability to sway politics and policy in Ukraine?

        Have you been listening to nothing but Russian news? Are they still claiming it's a few thousand gay protestors?

        There is literally nothing they can win,

        They could kick out Yanukovitch and show the future leaders that they have to respect the rights of their citizens.

        and quite a bit they can lose.

        They could die.

        • by rmstar (114746)

          You uh... realize that the alternative to sideing with the EU is being eaten by Russia again?

          Yes, I do, and I realize that this is not good,

          You don't think that Russia has any ability to sway politics and policy in Ukraine?

          Where did I say they don't? But I don't think they are behind the protests, and I don't think you do, either.

          Just to clarify. Whenever I think about these issues, I make a point of trying to see what is true, and not confuse this with what I would wish were true. A prosperous Ukraine as a

    • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @04:53PM (#46039315)

      The mess started with Ukraine basically being forced to choose between economic deal with EU, or economic deal with Russia. Right now, they have a deal with Russia. Problem is that if they also make a deal with EU, it would allow exporters to basically push their EU>Russia exports which are extremely lucrative though Ukraine to avoid tariffs.

      A very large part of Russia's budget comes from these tariffs, so Russia explicitly stated that it will not allow for such an obvious loophole, and that if Ukraine does make a deal with EU, current deal with Russia is off.

      At the same time, Ukraine is effectively divided along the linguistic lines. About half the country speaks russian, and another half speaks ukrainian. Kiev is in the ukrainian-speaking region, so it's always a mess when a pro-russian speaking government is in power and does something that ukrainian speaking leaders don't like.

      There are some other rather nasty issues, like the nature of current protests. Lviv, the home city of the current waves of protests is the home of extreme right movement in Ukraine, borderline nazi movement that wants to purge everyone ranging from russian-speaking minority to jewish and polish minorities. They have about 8% popular support across Ukraine but well in excess of 20% in their hometown of Lviv. They have been a very important power behind mobilizing the current protests, and they also appear to be the ones turning them violent.

      Majority of those protesting just want a more EU-like rule. Less corruption, more wealth to the citizens. This is actually one thing that likely unites both the part of the nation protesting and one that is not - they all agree that government is corrupt and want better rule. It's just that pro-Western leaders that were in power for years before showed to be even more corrupt then current leadership, so options are pretty slim.

      Also Eastern russian speaking part of the country is calm - it's actually industrialized and manufactures a lot of high tech things such as military helicopter engines for Russia's Mil helicopters. They have a very healthy export economy and they need good relations with Russia - Russia proposed an economic union similar to EU which would bring massive economic boon to that region. This is also why most of the Ukraine's oligarchs who own the heavy industries support the moves to approach Russia, and why they are against the EU deal - they need the current deal with Russia so that their heavy industry exports can continue. In light of the mess in Ukraine, Russia has already made some steps to isolate itself from potential fallout and parts shortage that breaking of their trade agreements with Ukraine would cause, such as laying down a new helicopter engine factory near St. Petersburg. This is very worrying for Ukrainian exporters located in the East for the obvious reasons.

      On the other hand Western ukrainian speaking half is mainly agricultural, and of those exports, they want to send as much as possible to EU as it's a very lucrative market. Right now, tariffs keep that trade low, while on Russian market they have to compete with EU companies AND Asian ones. Russian agricultural market is very lucrative, but also extremely competitive and Ukraine doesn't really have the ultra-efficiency of EU competitors, nor extremely cheap labour of the Asian countries. The deal with EU would bring at least some potential prosperity to that part of the country as Ukraine would be able to supply cheap labour-based agricultural products to EU. It's highly unlikely that any of the high-tech exports would be allowed in EU however.

      So there you have it. A country split among the linguistic, economic and ideological lines. And split is fairly even, right now it's something around 55% pro West and 45% pro East. No matter who wins in the current political struggle, half of the country will feel it lost. It's a mess. And in addition to that, no matter who it chooses economically, half of the country will likely get economically hit.

      On a final note, t

    • by guacamole (24270)

      It sounds like you have been reading too much into protesters propaganda.

      Here an interesting link for you.

      The video clearly shows the police doing nothing to the protesters while the protesters repeatedly set the police officers ablaze with incendiary devices:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @07:12PM (#46040969)

        Already saw that one. Yes, you can find footage of police being attacked without any apparent activity on their part. But you can find the same in reverse - police snipers shooting people who are not fighting back, or bashing people's heads in while they're already on the ground.

        This is combat. Not everyone is going to be 100% in control - you're going to have some people throwing molotovs at police because "fuck the police", just as you're going to have police brutality because "fuck protesters".

        But you know what? The protesters aren't looting buildings or destroying public property (with the exception of digging up some streets for rocks to build walls with, and one statue of Lenin). They aren't stealing TVs or clothes the way rioters did in England. They're organizing defenses, shelter, and medical aid. They're listening to speeches. They're attacking the police who have been attacking them for months. They've given the whole "peaceful protest" thing a go, and the government's response was to step up the attacks and basically start building a totalitarian regime. If they keep trying the peaceful protest route, they're just going to end up dead or in a dictatorship.

        Who are the ones hiring street thugs as muscle? The government. Who are the ones destroying hospitals or forcing doctors to not treat patients? The police. Who are the ones kidnapping and murdering people? The Berkut. Who's calling in a goddamn tank division to suppress the revolt?

        I'm listening to the protesters because, while there's always some shades of gray and no conflict is black and white, this is maybe 0xDDDDDD against 0x222222.

  • by sinij (911942) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:21PM (#46036835) Journal
    Every time advertising industry develops a new way to track you, every time you unquestionably surrender your data in exchange for some trendy app you invite and enable this kind of abuse. The only defense is strong privacy laws and consumer push-back against tracking.

    Why this technology exists? Because people accepted invasion of privacy from pioneers like Foursquare, so it was feasible to commercially develop this technology to the point where any totalitarian government can purchase 'turnkey solution' for a couple millions. Now every Banana Republic dictator can deploy it against unwilling citizens.
    • The tools for totalitarian rule in the West and other parts of the world are being delivered "for your convenience." Some government assembly required.

      You do yourself and your freedom a favor to keep a cash economy viable. Online tracking by companies for profiling is already too powerful.

    • Now every Banana Republic dictator can deploy it against unwilling citizens.

      True, but you have to admit they had great catalogs.

  • by aviators99 (895782) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @01:23PM (#46036859) Homepage

    TFA say:

    The NY Times reports that the "Ukrainian government used telephone technology to pinpoint the locations of cell phones in use near clashes between riot police officers and protesters early on Tuesday."

    The NY Times does not say that at all. It does say what the summary says. According to the NYT, The carriers claim that they did not give location data to the government, and that a "pirate cell tower" was used.

    • by weilawei (897823)
      What part of "the Ukrainian government used telephone technology" implies that the carriers gave location data to the government? You may assume, but it does not logically imply it. That says that the Ukrainian government used the technology, not the carriers. Otherwise it might read, "the Ukrainian government received location information from cell phone carriers".
      • by weilawei (897823)
        I did a bit more digging. It turns out that the NYT edited their article after that was quoted by TFA. TFA was correct, and if you google that phrase, you'll find it quoted elsewhere, by many many other sources. The NYT deigned not to mention their edit.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Use of "telephone technology" doesn't mean the carriers gave it to them.

      It means, you know, they used telephone technology. A 'pirate cell tower' -- still telephone technology.

      And, really, we know damned well that Western agencies are using the fake cell towers [wired.com] at demonstrations and for surveillance for more or less the same purpose. So except for the magnitude of the response (which I wouldn't rule out in the West either) ... this is no different from what we know is already being done elsewhere.

      As long

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        How easy is it to set up a fake tower? Could somebody set one up at home and intercept all their neighbors telephone calls? Could a company set one up in an office building and monitor all their employees telephone calls?
        • How easy is it to set up a fake tower?

          Well, that depends: did you bring the money in wheelbarrows, trucks, or shipping containers?

          • I believe you'd only need a microcell or two for something like this, assuming it's a smallish area. Looks like the people are pretty densely situated.

            • by M0HCN (2981905) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @02:49PM (#46037947)

              OpenBTS, some SDR boards, a bulding overlooking the site, total cost maybe $5K or so and a week or so of codesmithing.

              The trick is to jam the 3 and 4G services so as to force the phones to fall back on basic GSM with its notoriously broken authentication and crypto. For someone who can afford a handful of Ettus research products this is not a big deal to pull off.

              Of course the other trick is to not get caught by the powers that be, unless of course you are the powers that be....

              73 Dan.

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          For a government intelligence agency that does that sort of thing as a part of their mission? Easy. It's what they do. You can likely bring one in a truck/several trucks for better coverage.

    • They would not contradict each other had they said "location" rather than "locations", the "pinpoint" they used was likely the footprint of a portable cell tower they set up themselves. If the potable tower gives a stronger signal that the fixed commercial one then the phones will register on it and the goons can mass SMS the crowd. Communication between crowd and government is vital if you want the violence to subside, but just telling them to go home without any hint of concessions is likely to make thing
  • Someday I'm just going to buy a prepaid mobile phone. And register it to:

    Joseph Biden
    9800 Savage Road
    Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6623

    [I'll save you the Google lookup - that's the NSA headquarters]

    • But, when the NSA tracks you, they'll find out that you're not really Joe Biden, and charge you with fraud.

  • I've been many times to Ukraine, although the last time I went there was 8 years ago and I have no reason to return any time soon. I was actually in the country, by blind chance, during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and had a chance to see it first hand and talk to various Ukrainians at the time. Everybody knew the election results were crooked, even those who liked the original outcome, and the result was that when the army refused to intervene and the police decided to stay out too and the Ukrainian Sup
    • by unixisc (2429386)

      Part of the fault would be that of the pro-EU part of the country still wanting to keep Russian parts of the country in Ukraine, rather than letting them secede & rejoin Russia. If the majority of Crimeans or people in Kharkov are Russians, might as well let Russia have those areas.

      But one thing - since 1991, people in different Soviet republics have migrated back to their native republics. For instance, Kazakhstan in 1991 was

      Hasn't that been the trend even more in the European part of the Ex-USSR

      • by unixisc (2429386)
        I dunno what happened, but should have been

        For instance, Kazakhstan in 1991 was 47% Russian and 44% Kazakh. Today, it is 70% Kazakh, since most Kazakhs from other republics have returned there, most Uzbeks have returned to Uzbekistan, most Russians have returned to Russia and so on.

      • The divide between the parts of the country is not that big actually. As far as I remember, in the last more or less adequate poll before Yanukovich's U-turn about integration with the EU, the numbers were like 35% for joining the EU (as a strategic goal maybe 10 or 15 years later, not about the current agreement on association, which was nearly signed couple of months ago), 28 against, and the rest is undecided or not care about it. So, it's not the case of 90% in the East strictly for Russia, 90% in the W
  • Creating draconian laws to supress the right to peaceful assemble and protest is an increasing (and worrying) trend.

    It happens all across the globe and it is mostly as a reactive mechanism from the governments against the number of massive popular protests facilitated (but not created or organized) by the social media.

    Some examples of these protests (there are others, these are from the top of my head):

    February 15, 2003 anti-war protest [wikipedia.org]: The February 15, 2003 anti-war protest was a coordinated day of
  • by T.E.D. (34228) on Wednesday January 22, 2014 @03:38PM (#46038511)
    It is interesting how "piracy" originally indicated a company (group of private individuals acting cooperatively) taking property or resources a government felt belonged to it or its citizens. Now it has come to mean a government or its citizens taking what a company considers its property or resources.

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