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Team Navalny denies storing IP-addresses after alleged database of ‘Smart Vote’ participants’ personal details goes up for sale online

Source: Meduza

On June 1, several regional news sites, as well as the Telegram channel Data Leak, reported that an announcement about the sale of “a constantly updated database of Smart Vote subscribers” had appeared on a deep web forum.

The announcement claimed that the database contains the IP-addresses, email addresses, and residential addresses of Smart Vote participants from Moscow and the Moscow region. “Upon request [and] for an additional fee, it’s possible to add a field to the database with the registration date,” the announcement said.

The person selling the data released a screenshot of the database that shows the addresses of alleged “Smart Vote” participants, adding that “this isn’t the same database that leaked from the site,” but rather “a completely different database of larger volume.” The price of the database wasn’t included in the ad. 

Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK), told Meduza that the organization doesn’t store the IP-addresses of Smart Vote participants. “We ourselves don’t know them,” Zhdanov said. He also pointed out that the screenshot attached to the ad shows an entry with a telephone number instead of a street address. “[On our website] you can’t write down [a phone number] instead of an address,” Zhdanov said.

Data Leak administrator Ashot Oganesyan, who is also the founder of the data leak intelligence service DLBI, told the independent television channel Dozhd that he is unsure about the authenticity of the database.  

On April 15, a database with the email addresses of Navalny supporters who had registered with the website was made publicly available. Team Navalny confirmed the authenticity of the database and apologized for the leak. On May 31, Navalny’s associates announced that the St. Petersburg activist Fedor Gorozhanko, who worked for the FBK from 2016 to 2019, was involved in the data leak. Gorozhanko denies the allegations. 

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