Transneft Blogging Scandal

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Date: 2011

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Internet


Censored Parties: Aleksey Navalny & LiveJournal Russia

Confronting Bodies: Federal Government of the Russian Federation

Dates of Action: 30 March, 2011; ongoing

Location: Russian Federation

Description of Speech: Aleksey Navalny blogged about corruption and kickbacks within the federally-contracted natural gas and utilities company, Transneft, in Russia; other bloggers reinforced his claims and spread the allegations.

The Incident: The popular blogging site, LiveJournal, was the platform for most bloggers in Russia trying to expose corruption. Starting on 30 March, 2011, distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) originating from federally-owned IP addresses began flooding LiveJournal Russia's servers. The site was offline almost completely until the fifth of April, when the site resumed with limited, slow service. Attacks have continued since, making the website consistently slow and to lock-ups.

Results of Incident: Russian LiveJournal's web traffic has declined 14%, and most of its blogs from before the initial attacks have suffered data loss. The exodus of bloggers has splintered what was once a somewhat-organized consortium of anti-corruption bloggers working parallel with Aleksey Navalny. Since then, blogs regarding the Transneft scandal have been erased or ceased to receive pageviews.

Source: Global Voices Online, 6 April, 2011 (http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/04/06/russia-ddos-attack-on-livejournal-has-russians-debating-internet-politics/); Russian Daily Journal, 7 April, 2011 (http://ej.ru/?a=note&id=10938)