Foreign forces used YouTube video hosting during the August 10 rally on Moscow’s Sakharov Avenue in order to manipulate Russian citizens, the chairman of the Federation Council’s temporary commission for the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of interference in Russia’s internal affairs, Andrei Klimov, said on August 11.
“Simply speaking, people started receiving on their gadgets information from the sources, for which they had never signed up,” the senator said.
He added that the provided information was of instigative nature, encouraging citizens to violate law by sending them to protected federal facilities.
These technologies cannot be used without the assistance of certain Western organizations and owners of network companies, Klimov said. He also warned that these developments won’t be left unanswered.
Klimov recalled that on August 8, the temporary commission for the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of interference in Russia’s internal affairs cited the facts of blatant and illegal foreign meddling in Russia’s sovereign affairs in connection with the election to the Moscow City Duma.
The August 10 rally was the fourth in support of opposition candidates that failed to collect signatures to participate in the election to the Moscow City Duma (local parliament). The “non-system opposition” (the hardcore pro-US part of the opposition that declares an intention to overthrow the Russian government) called this a blatant example of anti-democratic actions by ‘the Putin regime’.
Responding to the Google meddling, Roskomnadzor, Russian telecom and media watchdog, sent a letter to Google demanding that it stop using YouTube video hosting for promoting unauthorized rallies.
“Roskomnadzor has sent to Google a letter demanding that it take measures to prevent the advertising of unauthorized mass events on YouTube video hosting owned by the company,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement on its website.
The statement said that “some structures” were buying YouTube advertising tools (push notifications) with the goal of disseminating information about unauthorized events aimed at disrupting elections at various levels across Russia. Roskomnadzor clarified that these push notifications are also sent to the users, who have not signed up for YouTube channels of these structures.
Roskomnadzor said that, unless Google takes response measures, Russia will consider this as meddling in its sovereign affairs and hindering democratic elections in the country. In this event, it would give an adequate response to these actions.
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