Blocking of “Vkontakte”: a few questions that remain unanswered

In Ukraine banned access to Russian Internet sites and social networks: “Vkontakte” and “Classmates”. The decision adopted by the Council of national security and defense at the end of April, and on may 15, President Petro Poroshenko has put it into effect by decree. As now, the Ukrainians will live without the usual social networks, or find loopholes to circumvent the prohibitions, and the questions related to the resonant solution, there are no answers, to understand “Apostrophe”.

Ineffective unit

The idea of banning Russian social networks made in February, the adviser to the interior Minister Zoryan Shkiryak. Arguments in favor of the initiative cited logical: VC and OK belong to the Russian “Mail.Ru Group” and are the concentration of anti-Ukrainian propaganda and Subversion in Ukraine, the Kremlin’s special services. But then he Shkiryak, and all the supporters for the blocking of VK and OK puzzled over how to legislate the ban of social networks. “I am convinced that today it is possible to abandon them (Russian social networks — “Apostrophe”) and to take a decision on blocking. At the legislative level, how to do it technically, this understanding is. Just saying: it’s not easy. In fact, as the design of legislative initiative,” — said in early April “Apostrophe” Zorian Shkiryak.

In the end, bill decided not to carry out through Parliament, but was limited to the NSDC decision and decree Poroshenko. According to the presidential decree, under sanctions for three years get not only “Vkontakte” and “Classmates”, but also all the products of “Yandex” (map, translator, weather, email, calendar, music) “Mail.Ru”, “Kaspersky Lab”, TV channels “Zvezda”, “NTV”, “TNT”, “NTV-Plus”, “RTR”, “Ren TV”, “TV Center”. The list of legal entities. 468 in addition, a separate attachment to the decree was imposed personal sanctions against individuals in 1228.

However, the expert in the field of information and psychological security Sergey Nesterenko sure that in the current Internet, to lock any resources it is unreal. “Such initiatives such initiatives, which are accepted in Russia, and suggests that people who prepare these decisions just don’t understand how the Internet works — explains the “Apostrophe” Nesterenko said. — From a technical point of view, these lock for user no value will not have. It is impossible to lock any resource in today’s Internet, because any blocking can be easily circumvented. This will promote only to increase of level of education of people in matters of free Internet. The greatest effect of this decision is psychological.”

According to Nesterenko, any locks it is possible to circumvent by using proxy servers are intermediate servers between your computer and the requested resource. “Worldwide, there are a huge number of proxy servers. To prohibit the access to them impossible. Russia is trying to do, but such attempts only cause laughter among the professionals because every day creating new proxies. The bottom line is that any lock on the Internet is by IP address. Proxy server allows you to replace any IP address, for example, a person physically located in Ukraine, but goes to the proxy server and its address changed to American, Chinese, Polish, Romanian, and therefore calmly through a proxy server to access any resource. Throughout the civilized world, no one uses a lock, because everyone understands that this is ridiculous and impossible,” — summed up Nesterenko.

Mechanisms no

One of the main questions — when will earn Ukrainian sanctions against Russian Internet services. The presidential decree says that he shall come into force from the date of its publication and on the website of the guarantor’s decree appeared yesterday, may 15. However, on 16 may, the Ukrainian users of “Vkontakte” and “Classmates” was not called for work resources, and access to them from the territory of Ukraine is not limited. Moreover, on the day of signing of the decree, on the official page of Petro Poroshenko in “Vkontakte” there was even a post about how to professionally, Ukraine hosted the Eurovision song contest. Later, however, the President went with his page, urging you to read his posts to other social networks.

Themselves Internet service providers were also unable to answer “Apostrophe” when they have to block Russian sites. “If the portals are blocked, we will not provide access to them from any gadget. If we will be the written appeal, all will be officially painted, we will have to block these social networks, and then we have no way to influence the situation. But while the official who confirmed the documents were not delivered to us” — told us in one of the Telecom campaign, which provides Internet services on the entire territory of Ukraine.

According to the decision of the Council, to ensure, as a responsible Internet service providers block access to Russian social networks, have the government and law enforcement. But the national police recognized that the mechanism of this surveillance have not yet been developed. “At the coordination center at the national security Council on cybersecurity will be a meeting, which will be fully discussed this question and determined how and how to do it,” he explained, “Apostrophe”, the head of the Department of police of national police of Ukraine Sergey Demediuk.

In addition, there is no final understanding to which responsibility can attract providers of services if they do not want to block enemy Facebook. Thus, the decision of the Council recorded that it (the decision) made in accordance with the law of Ukraine “On sanctions”. However, the law does not provide for specific penalties for violators, but merely clarifies that the national security Council decision on sanctions, which, according to the procedure put into effect by presidential decree, is binding.

“For violation of the decree of direct responsibility yet. There is something that is not allowed, and there are things that are forbidden, and people should understand the difference between these two legal concepts. Not allowed — this is the essence of the decree of the President, but the direct sanctions it is not provided for. Prohibited — when it is impossible to do something, because it will be punished, says “Apostrophe” lawyer Ivan Lieberman. But if direct is not liable, it does not mean that it is impossible to pull the ears the responsibility of the natural person, legal entity or even government bodies, which are, for example, the Yandex browser. For example, to open criminal proceedings under article “Office negligence”.

However, lawyers interviewed by “Apostrophe”, make sure that the power will not be found, and soon the mechanisms of bringing to liability of negligent providers will be worked out.