Somebody is emailing Internet Service Providers, pretending to be Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal censor. The emails, which reportedly use ordinary electronic mail services, contain phony orders to delete supposedly illegal online information. The perpetrators are doctoring forms used by the agency’s Central Federal District, signing the documents with the names of nonexistent Roskomnadzor staff.
According to the human rights group “Agora,” there were 115,706 separate violations of Internet freedom in Russia last year. During that same period, Roskomnadzor added more than 88,000 websites to its Internet blacklist. Every day in Russia, roughly 244 websites are banned.