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LATEST BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

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May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

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May 15, 2008 in Face Control

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May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Shwarma Shuttle Expo This hopped-up "Kopeika" Lada shows off its rubber-burning power to an awed provincial audience...
May 11, 2008 in eXile TV

He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not ... He Loves Me! Why does this woman wear her shiner...
May 1, 2008 in Face Control

Russia Toying With Internet Censorship?
Yasha Levine ( Email ) on February 29, 2008

With Russian TV networks under government control and most newspapers and radio stations under tight Kremlin screws, the internet was supposed to be Russia's last bastion of free speech. But late last week, it became clear that the Kremlin might have other plans for it.

Last Friday, February 22, site administrators at the popular muckraking news aggregate site compromat.ru learned that their site was being blocked by about a half dozen Russian internet providers. The companies (which include big Russian telecom names like Rostelecom, MegaFon, Skylink and Transtelecom, among others) didn't notify their clients about the blockage. Instead, they used a common firewall technique known as a "black hole"in which requests to access a site's IP addresses are silently dropped, making it look like some sort of weird computer connection glitch.

blog_photo
Compromat.ru screen shot. Click to enlrage.

It's not clear how long the block on compromat.ru has been going on, but judging by the fact that I couldn't access the site from my old Rostelecom-wired apartment more than a year ago, the answer might be quite a while.

Transtelecom canceled the filtration as soon as compromat.ru filed an official complaint and leaked information about the block to the press. As of February 27, the remaining providers have not resumed access.

Compromat.ru has not totally been blocked from Russian internet users and can still be accessed through the dozens of other Russian internet providers, including the one I'm on now. So why have these companies in particular blocked access?

blog_photo
Reiman: Big Brother's Little Helper

It doesn't come as a surprise to learn that they're all in some way connected to the government. Russia's state-owned railway company Russian Railroads owns a controlling stake in Transtelecom, while the state-owned telecommunications holding company Svyazinvest has a majority take in Rostelecom. Both Skylink and MegaFon are connected to the IT and Communications Minister Leonid Reiman, who also happens to be the Svyazinvest's Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Is Russia toying around with a version of China's internet censorship? Probably. According to Transtelecom, the block was a result of the company "testing content filters." Apparently they work.

                                             —Yasha Levine 

 
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LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscows Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
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eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywoods Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

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