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Comment Re:simple way to confirm the accounts hacked. (Score 1) 28

>please advise me if I should feel guilty about laughing at this horrible depiction of Russians, and the cultural appropriation it surely embodies

No SJW, but a Russian here. The "maybe do not eat insecurity potato" is pretty much against the core principle of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...' and thus very un-Russian. Perhaps cultural misappropriation is of better describings here, comrade.

Here's another example from Russian vernacular. "If you have a bottle of vodka that looks weird, has label badly glued on and turned sideways, not sealed tightly, there is something floating at the bottom, and emits unpleasant odor, REMEMBER - you should drink it VERY CAREFULLY."

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 307

You keep confusing culture and politics.

Indeed, there is the part of the "intellectual elite" who is basically either naively enamored with the West, or simply bought by it, that would essentially like to sell the country on the cheap to the Western business because of its alleged love for the European values and/or culture, and so willingly or unwillingly contributes to the psy-ops. These are, indeed, marginalized, and are irrelevant in the big picture; the majority, however, is neither that myopic nor hypocritical. Just because Russians believe European culture to be superior to theirs doesn't necessarily infer they feel compelled to voluntarily surrender their economy as vassal to whatever modern governments rule said Europeans today, the way countries like Bulgaria, Greece, ex-Yugoslavia, now Ukraine did.

As for the acceptance as Europeans, allow me to illustrate my train of thought with an analogy. If you paint your car red, and someone likes that color and copies it to the extent of their ability, they will still consider their car red, regardless of whether you think theirs is pink or brown, and whether you would admit them to the red car club. For the purposes of this particular topic - the Great China Firewall, - this is all that matters, and not what Europe thinks about Russians.

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 307

What you are saying is really beside the question here, whether correct or not, as what West thinks of Russians doesn't matter that much in this particular topic. I was pointing out that Russians do look westward culturally, and the oligarchs running the country also look westward in terms of where their economic interests like. My conclusion is that these two factors make Chinese Firewall scenario in Russia highly unlikely.

How successful or unsuccessful Russians are in their attempts to be accepted in the West has really little bearing on the fact that Russians perceive themselves as Europeans.

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 307

Putin, certainly, is one of them; in fact, he's often criticized for being "too soft with the West", out of the (today almost entirely evaporated) idealistic notion that West wants Russia to be part of it, as an "equal partner" (as the cliche goes). He is being rejected, for reasons that may or may not be justified, but he still wants it, progressive or not.

I agree that statement of his about the "greatest catastrophe" was an exaggeration; note however that his statement is an evaluation of a magnitude of the geopolitical effect of an event and not "pining for the old days" at all. If I were asked, I would say that the fall of the USSR ties for 2nd place with WW1, and WW2 is the undisputed leader as far as 20th centuries catastrophes go. I don't see what being or not being a progressive has to do with this historical perspective, and in any case it was not a statement to be understood as "it was good back in the day", because that was not what he said nor what he meant.

As for what you refer to as "invasions", I'm aware that's how Western media paints Russian actions, and usually avoid debates on the topic, since most people aren't really interested in debating, but rather embrace the kind of propaganda that appeals to them, whether it is Western, Russian, or otherwise. But let me restate again that regardless of whether there is agreement on who is has higher moral ground in international matters today, the European cultural choice of Russians has been made long ago - the two centuries of importing the French and to a somewhat smaller degree German culture during the 18th-19th centuries shaped Russians the nation is today. It is not up to Putin to undo this, and he is well aware of that, so he embraces it, whether or not he sincerely thinks so himself, agrees with it, or acts in a fashion that makes the acceptance of Russia in the West more likely.

Comment Re:Refreshing honesty (Score 1) 307

I doubt that very much. Culturally, Russia has been looking to the west for the last 300 years, and it is the desire of many in the intellectual elite to be recognized as a European country - no amount of sanctions, economical integration with the Asian countries and even limited military conflict are going to change that. Putin has always wanted the West to be much friendlier than it turned out to be. While there may be a desire to limit the psych-ops via the Internet, that war is being waged with similar means - the Iron Curtain is not coming back, both online and offline.

This is all very different from China where they have no cultural desire to be recognized part of the West, so the Politburo's desire of political control aligned with the policy of extreme protectionism make the Great Firewall practically a necessity. Russia is nowhere near that.

Comment Re:Hmmm ... Czar? (Score 1) 307

Yeah, the notion that a czar can be appointed, or self-appointed, just doesn't make any sense to Russians. Funny as this sounds, the expression "internet king" could be a better fit, even though "king" in this context in Russian would imply being #1 in a field rather than having actual authority over others in it.

Comment Re:In Soviet Ru- aww, screw it. (Score 1) 307

I'm pretty sure the move to impose additional taxation on the technology giants in Russia has much more to do with the government seeking a way to reciprocate sanctions in a way that hurts than with an actual strategy.

That said, the idea to rid Russian government computers away of US-made software in favor of domestic solutions has been circulated for a while. It still remains to be seen where they are today in their capability to replace the functionality, however forking a free OS and an office suit can't be that hard circa 2016, should an urgent need arise.

And that need ostensibly *could* arise. Apple is happily(?) blocking users in Crimea from accessing their services, which can be viewed as a trial balloon of taking entire Russia off internet services provided in the US, should the international relations continue deteriorating. (I'm not saying it is - just that it can be viewed as such.) Under the circumstances, I would say this direction Kremlin is taking seems to be justified.

Comment Re:Don't blame every individual (Score 1) 128

>This hack hurts the individuals more than the agency as a whole. It won't stop any of the things you listed.

If someone considers the three-letter agencies criminal, it's easy to see how demonstrating to the "innocent people" who in that person's view are accomplices that they are not safe, is going to act as a deterrent for current and future employees. This stuff scales, because it affects the organization's job market as whole, and thus may eventually have an effect on what the organization actually does. Not by itself, and not by a single act, but it certainly contributes. Doesn't make it any less unlawful, but still effective, to a certain degree.

>I hope my employer doesn't do something you don't like, because then me and 30,000 other innocent people who work for this company suddenly get on your shit list, and you think it is okay to release our personal data.

Oh yes, if you work in a non-government-related software engineering, then releasing your name, address, email and phone number is going to do so much damage to you, these FBI employees would be happy to realize they are not in your shoes! </sarcasm>

Comment security indicators? who needs them? (Score 2) 27

this is not a web browser where you have web sites that do not support https, and you have to comply.

if all users care, then all conversations should be secure, with no opt-out, and no indication is needed. (assuming there is no/really little additional cost to do that.)

if some users care, then those who care should be able to make all their conversations secure, and those who don't, well, don't need an indicator either.

is there something I'm missing here? I do not have a WhatsApp account.

Comment this basically says "they are not an accomplice" (Score 3, Interesting) 55

so cannot be forced to shut down access only on these particular grounds, but not in general. Russia, for one example, passed a law saying ISPs are required to cut access to offending web sites and services if prosecution (not even a judge) holds them in violation. I kinda expect the western world to adopt similar legislation soon.

Comment Re:SXSW are pussies (Score -1, Redundant) 478

If you're an adult, you got over being called names. Expecting others to sanitize your environment wherever you go is insanity.

I agree with this, and I don't really expect much. I'm merely pointing out that using feminine-as-perjorative is part of the problem the panel in question is about.

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