The Face app T&Cs provide that they own everything you create with or share through the app. And that they can transfer it all to anywhere they have business – including their headquarters in Russia.
LiveJournal has come fully under Russian control since January of this year, and as of last week LiveJournal and its users are now completely subject to Russian law. In reality, LiveJournal (also known as LJ), a place to, well, live journal your thoughts, etc., has been owned by Russian interests since 2007, but many users either didn’t know that, or didn’t care because LJ was still being managed out of California, and the LiveJournal servers were located in California. But all that has changed. (Note: We have provided the full text of both the LiveJournal TOS and the controlling Russian law at the end of this article.)
A new Russian facial recognition app called FindFace is raising privacy concerns around the world. Unlike other recent facial recognition systems, Find Face works somewhat in reverse: rather than recognizing images of someone already known to you, it allows you to take a picture of a stranger, and then it will identify who the person is for you. Source say that so far it works about 70% of the time, based on it’s usage with Vkontakte (also known as VK), which, with 200million users, is said to be the European equivalent of Facebook, and third in size only behind Facebook and Twitter.
The United States is worrying about something that they consider a new Russian threat: increased Russan submarine activity around the undersea fiber optic cables that carry Internet communications, and the potential that those submarine cables could be severed, crippling U.S. Internet operations. Whether you see this as promoting Russia as a bogeyman, or a real possibility, the reality is that history has demonstrated that undersea Internet cables can be cut, and that it wreaks havoc.
A new logo of a flying bear, being quietly rolled out by Khabarovsk Airport in Russia, has become a Russian viral sensation. All manner of “Bearport” memes have cropped up in Russian social media, such as RuNet, and are now flying out of Russia and around the world.
Outlets such as the Daily Dot and Life Hacker are reporting the leaking of five million Gmail addresses and passwords on a Russian Bitcoin forum.
Russia is using the situation with Edward Snowden, the NSA and PRISM leaker, to push an agenda that would see the United Nations taking over primary control of the Internet, from the United States.
It can be a pretty scary thing to log into your Gmail account and be met with a blazing red banner that says “Warning: We believe your account was recently accessed from:” followed by a geographic location that you decidedly aren’t, often a place such as Russia, Poland or China, and that followed by the options “Show details and preferences” and “Ignore”. Usually you can be certain that at that moment, the first thing you need to do is change your password, because your account was almost certainly hacked or otherwise compromised. However, that’s not always true if you get a warning of a remote access in the U.S., such as “We believe your account was recently accessed from: United States (CA).”
Two giant communications satellites crashed over Siberia, Russia, earlier this week, sending debris flying. In addition to the physical fall-out from the sattelite crash, communications for the Iridium portable satellite phone – or “sat phone” – system which was serviced by one of the crashed satellites were disrupted.
While the world watched in fascination and horror as Russia and Georgia fought over the region of South Ossetia this week, it is alleged that Russia was also waging its war on another, less carefully-watched front: the Internet. If true, this marks the first time that a nation has publicly added to its arsenal of war strategies the taking out of an enemy’s national computer infrastructure.