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Ukrainian Protesters Receive Mass Text Message Ordering Them To Disperse

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the remember-when-you-did-that-in-the-80s dept.

Cellphones 233

schneidafunk writes " Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.' was the message sent to thousands of protesters as a new law prohibiting public demonstrations went into effect." From NYTimes: "... Protesters were concerned that the government seemed to be using cutting-edge technology from the advertising industry to pinpoint people for political profiling. Three cellphone companies in Ukraine ... denied that they had provided the location data to the government or had sent the text messages, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. Kyivstar suggested that it was instead the work of a 'pirate' cellphone tower set up in the area."

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233 comments

first outing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036647)

And.... here. we. go!

Re:first outing! (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 months ago | (#46036857)

"Lets go do some crimes! Bring your phone. I want to take a selfie!"

Not a place I want to be contactable... Burner protest phone for the win.

Re:first outing! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 5 months ago | (#46037159)

This order to disperse sponsored by McDonalds- We do it all for you!

Re:first outing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037631)

This order to disperse sponsored by McDonalds- We do it all for you!

Would like some government approved fires with that?

New laws (4, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 5 months ago | (#46036649)

This chart [craphound.com] has some interesting tidbits on laws that were just put in place in the Ukraine.

Re:New laws (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 5 months ago | (#46036763)

I like how the "Participation in peaceful gatherings" one has a guy with a lit Molotov cocktail.

Re:New laws (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036975)

In no longer soviet Ukraine, a lit Molotov cocktail is just to keep your hands warm while you protest.

Re:New laws (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 5 months ago | (#46037639)

I've seen more incredible(-y reckless) stunts from that part of the world to dismiss your comment as a mere joke.

Re:New laws (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036947)

"the Ukraine" is a linguistic holdover from the Soviet Union when this was shorthand for "The Ukrainian SSR." Like terms "Moldavia", "Belorussia", and "Turkmenia", it is used by pro-putin English speakers as a linguistic barb against citizens of those countries, knowing that it can be excused as a slip of the tongue if they are ever called out on it. You should not use the term "the Ukraine" as it is outdated and belongs on the scrapheap of history.

Re:New laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037037)

Based on this news it looks like they are going back to The Ukrainian SSR.

Re:New laws (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 5 months ago | (#46037783)

Well, my world map says Ukraine. And I'm not pro-Putin and I certainly have no intention of sinking any barbs. If there's a better word...what is it?

Re:New laws (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 5 months ago | (#46037981)

The better word is "Ukraine". Not "the Ukraine".

Re:New laws (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 months ago | (#46037315)

This chart has some interesting tidbits on laws that were just put in place in the Ukraine.

This picture [nocookie.net] has some interesting commentary on protesters who carry government-regulated and controlled tracking devices with full surveillance capabilities while trying to piss in the government's cheerios.

Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036655)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Wednesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037349)

you can fucking google the lyrics at least you dumb shit.

Scorpion attack. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036671)

The question is will they be able to use the data collected about protesters in the future for retribution?

Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036727)

Foolish Westerners, you have no idea how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036919)

The ONLY thing that keeps the NSA from being the Stasi is reporters and brave people willing to leak state crimes to them.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (2, Informative)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037169)

And the fact that the NSA is, on pro rata of the population, 20 times smaller than the Stasi. And the fact that they don't have any enforcement arm, while the Stasi had the power to arrest anyone at will. And that they don't systematically create files on their citizens, you know, what the Stasi job was by design. Nor to they hire informant among the public. And they don't seem to be politically active (or if they are, they are crazy bad at it), while the Stasi was closely tied to East Germany and almost took over the country at some point, the way Poutine (ex KGB, remember) did in Russia. So yeah, exactly the same. Especially if you have no idea of what you are talking about.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (3, Insightful)

weilawei (897823) | about 5 months ago | (#46037215)

No enforcement arm? Like DHS, FBI, DEA, *insert TLA here* that have institutional procedures to falsify the origin of the evidence?

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (3, Insightful)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037251)

None of these organisations are enforcement arms of the NSA. They are separate organisations with separate mandates, and in practice, who aren't even especially friendly or helpful among each others.

The NSA cannot arrests anyone the way the Stasi could without having to tell anybody.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (4, Insightful)

weilawei (897823) | about 5 months ago | (#46037273)

Aren't especially friendly? What do you call all their fusion centers and data sharing agreements? The NSA is the intelligence arm. Those other agencies are tasked with enforcement.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (2, Informative)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037389)

Well, that's the theory. In actual reality, the relationship between the NSA, the FBI and the CIA is far from easy. In fact, lack of collaboration between them is one of the biggest reason why 9/11 happened. They roles and responsibilities sometime overlap. For example, the NSA isn't the only signal intelligence organisation in the US. The military has their own. Historically, the CIA had their own too. But the NSA never had any enforcement branch, while a shitload of US organisations have (did you know NASA has its own law enforcement division?)

Obviously, if you see the US government (or any other government) as some kind of monolithic entity that always goes the same direction in unity, you won't care about the distinctions between all these organisations. In reality, it's far, far from being that simple. Politics is everywhere, even in the intelligence community.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037569)

lack of collaboration between them is one of the biggest reason why 9/11 happened

FUD. Pure and unstrained. You might consider that if we didn't shoot/bomb/torture so many people and left them the fuck alone, they might not hijack a plane and crash it into our buildings.

But the NSA never had any enforcement branch

Why have it in-house? What do you call an organization that prepares material for the Commander-In-Chief and supplies data to law enforcement agencies? Do you imagine the the NSA operates in a magical box, all alone, cut off from the rest of the US government, and the US government has no desire to use their information?

Fucking jackboot licking shill.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (4, Interesting)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037769)

> FUD. Pure and unstrained. You might consider that if we didn't shoot/bomb/torture so many people and left them the fuck alone, they might not hijack a plane and crash it into our buildings.

Those two things are not mutually exclusive, so I don't really know what's your point.

> Why have it in-house? What do you call an organization that prepares material for the Commander-In-Chief and supplies data to lawenforcement agencies? Do you imagine the the NSA operates in a magical box, all alone, cut off from the rest of the US government, and the US government has no desire to use their information?

I never said that they were completely isolated. But there clearly was a willingness to enforce a separation of dutie on this matter (which makes a lot of sense), this separation of duties has clearly influenced the relationships between these organisations, and this is also clearly a difference between the NSA and the Stasi (and I'm kind of surprise to see people jump on THIS difference in particular).

> Fucking jackboot licking shill

Three persons called me shill on this thread; the three were AC. Now, I'm sure it must feel very edgy from your POV, but trust me, you guys don't sound edgy at all. You guys sounds like excited dicks who would say anything for a reaction, and can't handle a real discussion when faced with someone calling your ignorance.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037989)

Three persons called me shill on this thread

I note that all your comments except one seem to be upvoted, which seems highly unusual for the political climate of Slashdot. Further, other comments in this thread have been downvoted or not upvoted at all. The discrepancy is striking, since you're the only one with your opinion in this thread (stemming from the AC OP). You're a shill with sockpuppets.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037321)

I found the shill! Do I get a prize?

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (2, Insightful)

ewibble (1655195) | about 5 months ago | (#46037451)

And that they don't systematically create files on their citizens, you know, what the Stasi job was by design.

Isn't that what gathering "meta data" is all about.

Nor to they hire informant among the public.

I would be very surprised if the didn't, the basically force companies like google to hand over information. They hire people to put back doors int encryption algorithms. Why do you think they are are above doing the same with the general public. The only reason I can see, is it maybe less efficient, than monitoring all electronic communication.

And they don't seem to be politically active (or if they are, they are crazy bad at it)

or crazy good at it, so good at it that you don't even know they are doing it, the USA is a democracy, well compared to East Germany, so they have to be a little more subtle about it.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037497)

the USA is a democracy

No, apparently it's a Republic.

I'll leave it for someone else to explain WTF that is supposed to mean.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037561)

> Isn't that what gathering "meta data" is all about.
Hum... no?

>I would be very surprised if the didn't, the basically force companies like google to hand over information. They hire people to put back doors int encryption algorithms. Why do you think they are are above doing the same with the general public. The only reason I can see, is it maybe less efficient, than monitoring all electronic communication.

The Stasi hired your neighbors to spy on you. At one point, one in 20 or one in 30 East german citizen (can't remember the exact ratio) was an informant on Stasi payroll. If you have any shred of begining of hint of evidence that the NSA is doing anything remotely close to that, please share it.

>or crazy good at it, so good at it that you don't even know they are doing it, the USA is a democracy, well compared to East Germany, so they have to be a little more subtle about it.

Again, do you have any evidence whatsoever? Because it really sounds like speculation.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037613)

You just keep sucking that NSA cock you fucking shill. (You might be willfully ignorant, but that just makes you complicit.)

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (2)

ewibble (1655195) | about 5 months ago | (#46037799)

Isn't that what gathering "meta data" is all about.

Hum... no?

Great explanation, the collect information about everybody, about who called who. How can this not be systematically storing files on everyone. Or is it that it isn't a physical file, so its different.

The Stasi hired your neighbors to spy on you. At one point, one in 20 or one in 30 East german citizen (can't remember the exact ratio) was an informant on Stasi payroll. If you have any shred of begining of hint of evidence that the NSA is doing anything remotely close to that, please share it.

As I said it maybe just that just more efficient to monitor all electronic communication, but I am sure they pay informants when they deem it necessary, I will conceded the scale is probably smaller, since they have other means, of watching you.

Again, do you have any evidence whatsoever? Because it really sounds like speculation.

Neither do you, it is speculation based, the response of the government, when the NSA goes against the constitution, do the get forced to stop, no, the government goes after the whistle blower. I know its not isn't proof, but to me it strongly implies a lot of political influence.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

ZouPrime (460611) | about 5 months ago | (#46037965)

> Great explanation, the collect information about everybody, about who called who. How can this not be systematically storing files on everyone. Or is it that it isn't a physical file, so its different.

It's just not the same thing at all. If I have a security camera outside my building and I record people passing by, I'm recording a lot of information from a lot of persons, the vast majority who are innocent. But there's a difference between this and creating a file of every one of these person, and then associating each record to each files. THAT would be creepy.

> Neither do you, it is speculation based, the response of the government, when the NSA goes against the constitution, do the get forced to stop, no, the government goes after the whistle blower. I know its not isn't proof, but to me it strongly implies a lot of political influence.

You're the one saying that NSA is so good at doing something that they don't appear to be doing it. Note that such claim could be said about anything: NASA sends people to Mars everyday, but they are so good at hiding it that it looks like they aren't. That's speculation. You're the one making a claim here.

As for the rest, I fail to see how this has anything to do with what I said.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037493)

the NSA is, on pro rata of the population, 20 times smaller than the Stasi.

Translation: It's okay, as long as we do it more efficiently.

they don't have any enforcement arm

Translation: Outsourcing is the new black.

they don't systematically create files on their citizens

Translation: It's not a file if you never look at it! And it's not systematic because... we... uh... use computers to do it!

Nor to they hire informant among the public.

Translation: Paying people is SO 1980. We have Facebook now.

they don't seem to be politically active

Translation: Outsourcing is the new black.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46037595)

And that they don't systematically create files on their citizens, you know, what the Stasi job was by design.

I agree GP was engaging in ignorant hyperbole, but at what the NSA is doing seems worse: they just file EVERYTHING. So what if they might not categorize it into citizen files before they have a desire to do so?

They might not have a file on me ready to go, but I'm guessing with a few keystrokes, they could pull together all my texts, e-mails, facebook, and google searches, then with a few more keystrokes could pull up anything embarrassing on me in the event that they need to blackmail me.

Fortunately for me, my whole life is one big public embarrassment, so they got nothing, but still...

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037641)

And that they don't systematically create files on their citizens, you know, what the Stasi job was by design.

Sure, sure. Keep telling yourself that the massive, indiscriminate collection of domestic data and metadata does not include information from and about US citizens.

Nor to they hire informant among the public.

And you know this because ... ? The NSA could not collect as much data as it does without people on the inside quietly helping them do just that.

Re:Remember how the NSA is worse than the Stasi? (0, Troll)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#46037829)

Especially if you ignore that the FBI and NSA are two prongs [reason.com] of the same criminal organization and that the FBI doesn't even pretend to be primarily about law enforcement [firedoglake.com] anymore. The CIA is similarly attacked, using NSA intelligence for both domestic and foreign operations.

Oh, wait, no, there's a piece of paper on it with an org chart on it that says otherwise and another piece of paper that says the NSA isn't involved in domestic spying, so, nothing to see here, move along.

Drop your phone in the river (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 5 months ago | (#46036733)

So the moral of the story is that if you are protester, then you better drop your cell phone in the river.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036815)

Damn what a brilliant solution. Or just maybe leave it at home?

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

jandrese (485) | about 5 months ago | (#46036867)

But then the government will think you are at home! You don't want to deceive them, you need to act as suspiciously as possible.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036983)

Why be limited to one cell phone?

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 5 months ago | (#46036829)

That seems awfully wasteful and expensive. Just turn it off. If you are paranoid that "off" still means "trackable", then stick it in a foil pouch. Fight the (radiated) power, man!

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#46037247)

Acquiesce to the power, you mean.

At least 99% of those people aren't worth tracking. The goal is to disrupt communication from the organizers to reduce the size of the protests in the first place. The easiest way is for people to voluntarily disrupt their own communications.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036847)

Either that or keep it in a faraday cage with the battery removed.

More seriously: If anyone doesn't get it. This is why the NSA must be put out of business. Let something happen in the USA that "stresses" the national government's control and they face "terrorists" or "protestors" or whatever and they decide to go into their records, this message will be the most gentle response compared to what will happen. This is why Obama's reforms are simply unacceptable and worthless.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46036923)

my understanding is this isn't a big deal. it would be bad if they used cell phone data to determine who was in the vicinity, recorded the names, and sent a threatening SMS. What's more likely is they set up a few fake cell phone towers and blasted out a SMS to people whose phones joined that tower. They probably weren't trackeng / don't have the capability to process actual dell pohone data.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 months ago | (#46037013)

Does a cell phone not have a unique identifier when it connects to a tower? Does the government not have the authority, by force if necessary, to force the cell providers to connect that unique identifier up with the subscriber? Don't be ridiculous, they have everything they need put thousands of people on a watch list. Of course, you'll get a bunch of false positives, but what's a few (extra) ruined lives in the name of state security?

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037147)

There are no cell phone subscription contracts similar to North America in Ukraine. People get a phone and then buy a SIM card separately with a connection plan assigned to it. Then you simply add money to the account in order to talk.

Just fyi.

Re: Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037875)

Lolwut... Or they can simply, you know, record the phone IMSI/IMEI, then access carriers' logs and see which sim(s) had been used with that imei. Then, almost everywhere, you need to provide an id to activate a sim card, even a throwaway. And they can see the numbers you called...

Re:Drop your phone in the river (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 5 months ago | (#46037309)

the cell phone has a unique identifier, but isn't directly tied to a person. If you're NSA you can suss out who the person is by looking at every number that cell phone calls, and every number they call. But the Ukraine can't do that. what they CAN do is blast out an ominous SMS to all cell phones connected to a particular tower. Rather powerful troll technique actually... think of the possibilities!

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037203)

my understanding is this isn't a big deal

That's because you're an idiot and a troll. I would love to know what goes on inside of your head. How far do you let things go before you step up and at least disagree? Why are you so okay with authority? I mean, fuck you. Your personality is the reason so many awful things go so far in this world. Fuck you again.

Posting AC, because I always post AC when replying to one of noh8rz puppet accounts.

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037419)

Heh, you typed "dell" and all I could think was "Dude! You're going to jail!"
sorry :)

Re:Drop your phone in the river (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037483)

Presumably they know who the phones belonged to already by metadata. The identity > the phone itself.

Media discovers SMS Cell Broadcast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036739)

... Found in generations of SMS specs, some older than the people sensationalizing this story.

captcha: fleece

Re:Media discovers SMS Cell Broadcast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037045)

I see a business in setting up a premium sms number and moving to a place with many protests... might even join an extremist group just to get the inside scoop on where to be to get those sweet government money just popping in on the screen.

Can you ask them to shave and stop drinking too? (-1, Offtopic)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 5 months ago | (#46036807)

While you're at it.

In other Kiev news (5, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about 5 months ago | (#46036833)

I've been following this stuff all day, because this just got seriously violent:
> Police authorized to use firearms, two dead from shooting already
> Ban on using fire hoses in sub-zero weather lifted
> Hospitals tending to wounded protesters have been attacked by police
> Snipers out in force
> Armored Personnel Carriers already deployed, an Army tank unit is being moved into the city
> Opposition members of government resigning en masse
> over 100,000 protesters in Kiev main square

Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over, but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

Everybody should scan through this - the images alone are powerful: https://twitter.com/Euromaidan... [twitter.com]

Re:In other Kiev news (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46036873)

Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over

My guess: modernization and freedoms vs the government wishing to remain the same as in the old Soviet days.

The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 5 months ago | (#46037007)

That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.

Pretty much this. They need the money to pay their bowling league fees. The EU offered to pay enough for Tuesday/Thursday league nights, but nothing else. Russia offered to pay for four nights a week, including the cost of pizzas and beer, but with the caveat that they have to let Vladimir on their team, and if he doesn't feel like playing on a given night, then none of them can play.

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about 5 months ago | (#46037019)

Pretty sure this has all been over the government not wanting to cooperate with the EU, and instead favoring Putin's Russia (despite the whole USSR thing), and the people wanting the opposite.

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#46037031)

The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays [tvtropes.org] , it's a tough call.

Fixed.

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037469)

Posting a link to tvtropes? You just killed about 20% of the nation's productivity today. Are you happy with yourself?

Re:In other Kiev news (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 5 months ago | (#46037067)

The previous generation trying to hold onto power, the younger generation trying to become empowered.

It is not really young vs old. Language and geography are much bigger factors than age. Russian speakers living in eastern Ukraine generally support the president and Ukrainian speakers living in western Ukraine generally oppose him. An obvious solution is to split the country. Let the area east of the Dnieper River, and Crimea, split off and merge with Russia, while western Ukraine moves toward eventual EU membership.

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037253)

It is not really young vs old

It's always young vs old. Old people don't don balaclavas and throw Molotov cocktails. Only the young do that after they've been fed enough shit by their elders.

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037365)

There are (relatively) young people in police and SWAT, so, it's young vs. young too?

Re:In other Kiev news (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about 5 months ago | (#46037449)

There's a lot of elderly people in the protest square. Most of them aren't doing the fighting, but a lot of the fighting now is defensive - young protesters building barricades and fighting on the edges to keep police from coming in and beating the tar out of the elderly people now trapped in the center.

From what I can tell, it's geopolitical. The protests started because there was a movement to join the EU, and a seeming majority supported that, but certain political parties refused to let that happen and are trying to ally with Russia. The Communist Party has obvious reasons for that, but I don't understand why the Party of Regions is doing this, considering one of their platforms is supposedly tighter European integration. All I can guess is that it's some sort of power play, because there does seem to be a lot of corruption, which tends to lead to rulers trying to seize more power.

So it's basically a fight between the people who want to be EU members, and the people who want to be Russian allies (is there a new Warsaw Pact or something? Seems like something Putin would do). And it seems to be split a lot based on geography - the western parts of Ukraine want to be European, the eastern parts want to be Russian. I'm starting to think splitting the country might be a good idea for once.

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037111)

> modernization and freedoms vs the government wishing to remain the same as in the old Soviet days.
Not even close. We have had "best", "modern", "pro-western" president already. And guess what? It only gets worse. Olygarchy-backed politicians don't need any freedoms, don't need any fairness, they want power and they afraid of the President gaining more power.

> That, or the right to go bowling on Tuesdays, it's a tough call.
Actually anybody can go bowling any day or do whatever they want in Kiev even right now. All riots are very localized, the rest of the city lives it's own life and gets tired over this (some streets are blocked, huge mess on the main square for more than two months). Few country regions support protests, but again, not a majority.

captcha: circus

Re:In other Kiev news (2)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 months ago | (#46037401)

As was explained to me, it's a soup sandwich much like Syria. In Syria you have the choice between a secular dictator and religious fundamentalist rebels. Now there may be some rebel groups that aren't fundie but the fundie ones are getting some of the best outside funding. The official US position is to let both sides bleed each other white to keep the conflict contained. To me that seems a bit like firefighters not trying to fight a blaze, just keep it contained so it doesn't spread and wait for the fuel to run out. Works fine so long as the wind doesn't kick up: then you risk losing the whole block.

The Ukraine situation is described as one faction wanting to fall under the German sphere of influence in the Eurozone, the other faction wanting to ally more closely with Russia. Makes a big difference for those in power, for the little guys it's just a matter of who's getting to fuck them over.

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

guises (2423402) | about 5 months ago | (#46037577)

Makes a big difference for those in power, for the little guys it's just a matter of who's getting to fuck them over.

Everyday life is significantly different for people in the EU than it is for people in Russia. Really I should have to say this, it should be self-evident from the article: you can see the difference happening in the Ukraine as it becomes more Russianized.

issues they're fighting over (5, Informative)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 5 months ago | (#46037555)

I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over

A quick summary:

The protests started small and peaceful when president Yanukovich bowed to Russian pressure and reversed the political course away from signing the association agreement and trade deal with EU. Many people had high hopes for that and got disappointed. Still, the protests were in 10,000 people bracket, demanding to keep the EU course, and were almost dissolving in a few weeks, except for a few die-hard fans.

But then the rulers decided they could simply "clean up" the remaining protesters at night using riot police. They beat up the poor guys (mostly students) badly. Dozens of people were heavily injured and had to stay in hospital. A few have gone missing. Extreme unjustified brutality was filmed on multiple cameras.

That's when the protests scaled up to 500,000 people at some points. They also formed militia troops from ex-military to keep them safe. And the demands shifted from the EU topic to the replacement and punishment of the police minister, prime minister, and possibly the president. Still, the protests were largely peaceful, they were just not going to dissolve this time. And the president chose to ignore them completely and wait it out. It's winter, after all.

After two months of waiting, seeing people won't go home, they decided to criminalize the protests, free speech in press and social media, and a whole range of other common freedoms, giving more power to the police at the same time. Bypassing all due procedures (not even counting votes), a 10-pack of corresponding laws was passed. Then everyone with a brain saw it was sliding towards a dictatorship, and disagreements with the riot police got hotter and hotter, until it eventually came to tear gas on one side and Molotov cocktails on the other side, and now also bullets.

If you want more detail, browse the BBC new archives, their coverage is generally good. The only common mistake in Western press is that they still call these protests "pro-EU", when in fact now it's more "anti-Yanukovitch and his party". The most active protesters are from the nationalist right wing and are strongly against any union either with EU or with Russia. And the bigger, more peaceful crowd is also more concerned about overthrowing the oppressive government right now, and discuss the foreign policy later.

Re:issues they're fighting over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037651)

Well, that, and the generally poor state of the Ukrainian economy, and a pack of brutal thieves at the top with no respect to the law or the people.

Re:issues they're fighting over (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037801)

The corollary:

Well, that and the generally poor state of the American economy, and a pack of brutal thieves at the top with no respect to the law or the people.

Sounds like they're in good company.

Re:issues they're fighting over (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 5 months ago | (#46037739)

I knew most of that, I just figured there had to be something more to the government's response than just "fuck protesters, let's just kill them". Still a very excellent summary of the situation, presents everything in a more understandable way.

Re:issues they're fighting over (4, Informative)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 5 months ago | (#46037979)

There are two things more to explain the occasional over-reacting with the police force.

1. President Yanukovich comes from the east-Ukrainian criminal clan. He has served two terms in prison (IIRC for street robbery), which were later officially discarded with some help from his high-standing friends, allowing him to take high posts and even become a President. He received financial and other support from other ex-clan members (now respectable businessmen) and from Russia, who saw him as a better alternative to the nationalist candidates. East Ukraine voted for him and his party because they are easterners and they speak Russian. He has a deadly mix of "never give in" mentality and unconditional arrangements with his backers, so he generally doesn't like to negotiate with anyone. He also has full control over the Parliament majority and the court system, making him a de-facto dictator, so he also seldom has any need to negotiate.

2. Not everyone is happy with Yanukovich's heavy and greedy rule, even in his environment, so there is an off chance someone occasionally mis-informs him, provoking controversial situations.

Re:issues they're fighting over (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 5 months ago | (#46037893)

^-- mod up Informative!

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037627)

I've been following this stuff all day, because this just got seriously violent:
> Police authorized to use firearms, two dead from shooting already
> Ban on using fire hoses in sub-zero weather lifted
> Hospitals tending to wounded protesters have been attacked by police
> Snipers out in force
> Armored Personnel Carriers already deployed, an Army tank unit is being moved into the city
> Opposition members of government resigning en masse
> over 100,000 protesters in Kiev main square

Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over, but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

Everybody should scan through this - the images alone are powerful: https://twitter.com/Euromaidan... [twitter.com]

Update: FIVE protesters dead, already!

Re:In other Kiev news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037695)

Watch this for a basic statement from a citizen explaining what he is fighting about.

http://maidantranslations.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/ukrainian-revolution-explained-from-the-front-lines-on-night-of-jan-19th-2014/

Need more information, scan the BBC. They have been reporting fairly regularly

This site has live video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrZcAsPKK74) however the commentary is in Ukrainian..

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#46037865)

but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

These people wanted a new government, they got a new government.

What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else. - Tom Clancy

You'd think they would have learned their lesson with the USSR.

Re:In other Kiev news (1)

rmstar (114746) | about 5 months ago | (#46037923)

Things are very bad for Ukraine right now. I don't fully understand the ideological issues they're fighting over, but I can certainly recognize the nature of the government's response.

IIUC, this is at the core about wether to join the EU at some point or not. At least, this is the culmination of an escalation that started right after the breakdown of talks between the gov. of Ukraine and the EU, followed by a move to closer ties with Russa.

One should not be fooled by any of this. The EU is quite capable of funding and supporting disruptive agitators, and has about zero qualms of doing that. After all, this is about the geopolitics of power, so none of the big boys cares if a few lives are ruined. It is a tragedy that those protesting (who have, I am convinced, goals they believe to be virtuous) are being exploited and fooled like this from one side, and shot down like this from the other. There is literally nothing they can win, and quite a bit they can lose.

Ability to do this was there for a while... (4, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | about 5 months ago | (#46036835)

Every time advertising industry develops a new way to track you, every time you unquestionably surrender your data in exchange for some trendy app you invite and enable this kind of abuse. The only defense is strong privacy laws and consumer push-back against tracking.

Why this technology exists? Because people accepted invasion of privacy from pioneers like Foursquare, so it was feasible to commercially develop this technology to the point where any totalitarian government can purchase 'turnkey solution' for a couple millions. Now every Banana Republic dictator can deploy it against unwilling citizens.

Re:Ability to do this was there for a while... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46037465)

The tools for totalitarian rule in the West and other parts of the world are being delivered "for your convenience." Some government assembly required.

You do yourself and your freedom a favor to keep a cash economy viable. Online tracking by companies for profiling is already too powerful.

Re:Ability to do this was there for a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037571)

You do yourself and your freedom a favor to keep a cash economy viable.

Great advice for those /. posters living in third world countries.

Re:Ability to do this was there for a while... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 5 months ago | (#46037719)

Who wouldn't enjoy the government's finger on a kill switch for all your electronic transactions? That is harder to do with cash.

Re:Ability to do this was there for a while... (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 5 months ago | (#46037887)

Who wouldn't enjoy the government's finger on a kill switch for all your electronic transactions? That is harder to do with cash.

Non sequitur. Not the logic kind, the literary kind. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ability to do this was there for a while... (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 5 months ago | (#46037495)

Now every Banana Republic dictator can deploy it against unwilling citizens.

True, but you have to admit they had great catalogs.

Time for another revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036849)

Passing laws against protests is a good time for last revolution attempt. If not now, then the laws will just get stricter, increaing internal control, and bringing back all the CCCP mechanism of oppression.

Article completely misquotes NYT (3, Informative)

aviators99 (895782) | about 5 months ago | (#46036859)

TFA say:

The NY Times reports that the "Ukrainian government used telephone technology to pinpoint the locations of cell phones in use near clashes between riot police officers and protesters early on Tuesday."

The NY Times does not say that at all. It does say what the summary says. According to the NYT, The carriers claim that they did not give location data to the government, and that a "pirate cell tower" was used.

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

weilawei (897823) | about 5 months ago | (#46036951)

What part of "the Ukrainian government used telephone technology" implies that the carriers gave location data to the government? You may assume, but it does not logically imply it. That says that the Ukrainian government used the technology, not the carriers. Otherwise it might read, "the Ukrainian government received location information from cell phone carriers".

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (2)

weilawei (897823) | about 5 months ago | (#46036995)

I did a bit more digging. It turns out that the NYT edited their article after that was quoted by TFA. TFA was correct, and if you google that phrase, you'll find it quoted elsewhere, by many many other sources. The NYT deigned not to mention their edit.

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#46036955)

Use of "telephone technology" doesn't mean the carriers gave it to them.

It means, you know, they used telephone technology. A 'pirate cell tower' -- still telephone technology.

And, really, we know damned well that Western agencies are using the fake cell towers [wired.com] at demonstrations and for surveillance for more or less the same purpose. So except for the magnitude of the response (which I wouldn't rule out in the West either) ... this is no different from what we know is already being done elsewhere.

As long as we continue to act like this is a legitimate thing to do, other countries will say "it is when we do it as well".

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 5 months ago | (#46037039)

How easy is it to set up a fake tower? Could somebody set one up at home and intercept all their neighbors telephone calls? Could a company set one up in an office building and monitor all their employees telephone calls?

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#46037133)

How easy is it to set up a fake tower?

Well, that depends: did you bring the money in wheelbarrows, trucks, or shipping containers?

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

aviators99 (895782) | about 5 months ago | (#46037267)

I believe you'd only need a microcell or two for something like this, assuming it's a smallish area. Looks like the people are pretty densely situated.

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (4, Informative)

M0HCN (2981905) | about 5 months ago | (#46037947)

OpenBTS, some SDR boards, a bulding overlooking the site, total cost maybe $5K or so and a week or so of codesmithing.

The trick is to jam the 3 and 4G services so as to force the phones to fall back on basic GSM with its notoriously broken authentication and crypto. For someone who can afford a handful of Ettus research products this is not a big deal to pull off.

Of course the other trick is to not get caught by the powers that be, unless of course you are the powers that be....

73 Dan.

Re:Article completely misquotes NYT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037579)

This easy. [youtube.com]
From DEFcon 18. And to answer your question: YES!

hipsters just love their phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46036993)

It's so sad. The only way to get a hipster's attention is through their phone.

Hipster Tip: put phone on vibrate, shove it down your pants. Then you'll enjoy it when the government is fucking you!

Why use your real identity? (1)

acidradio (659704) | about 5 months ago | (#46037359)

Someday I'm just going to buy a prepaid mobile phone. And register it to:

Joseph Biden
9800 Savage Road
Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6623

[I'll save you the Google lookup - that's the NSA headquarters]

Re:Why use your real identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037393)

Dude, that's like, fraud.

Re:Why use your real identity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037805)

Dude, that's like, fraud.

It isn't like fraud. It is fraud. Nevermind that I am not certain you can even get a prepaid phone without registering it to a credit card or band account anymore.

Phone tracking and the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46037541)

Did you know the USA was the FIRST nation on Earth that passed a law demanding that EVERY mobile phone sold in America would be constantly location tracked, multiple times a minute, if the phone had any capability of communicating with local cell towers? The excuse for this NSA demanded feature? Well the sheeple of the USA were told such functionality was essential in case a 911 caller used a mobile, but was unable, for any reason, to describe their current position.

The new law FORCED every phone company in the USA to provide direct connections from their computers to NSA facilities, so the NSA had complete access to the location of every mobile phone, in real-time.

Now, for a time, US movies and TV shows, aware of the implications of mobile phone tracking, used plots based around the fact that the ownership of a mobile phone was the same as having a location tracking bug on the person. Stories with hackers had their targets constantly pinpointed via their phone. Law enforcement drams, likewise, reminded viewers that a mobile phone would be the main downfall of the stupid criminal. Then everything changed.

The US government contacted every major entertainment and media outlet in the USA, and demanded that they no longer informed their viewers of the tracking features of mobile phones. The excuse was that real 'criminals' and 'terrorists' were covering their tracks more efficiently because they realised the vulnerability of mobile phones, and the reason for this caution was the constant dramatic reminders of cell phone location tracking.

During the last few years, films and TV shows made in the USA have SPECIFICALLY informed viewers that ordinary mobile phones do NOT location track the user- an out and out lie. In the US remake of 'Shameless', the ultra-intelligent 'hacker' kid is attempting to find the location of a person trapped in a shipping container on the back of a truck travelling in the USA. The 'hacker' has contact with the person via his mobile phone, but at no time does the hacker state the mobile phone can be used to identify the current location of the trapped person.

During the same year, there was a major Hollywood movie about a person kidnapped and held prisoner in the trunk of a moving car. She has a mobile phone and calls 911. Over and over, the film states that unless a mobile phone has a functioning GPS chip, its location cannot be found. The entire conceit of the movie revolves around the rescue, by the 911 operator, of the victim. The film, a major movie called "THE CALL", was specifically designed to mislead the average US viewer as to the location tracking capabilities of their mobile phone.

Now the suggestion that the 'location' of a mobile phone is enough for law enforcement to have evidence of a crime by the owner is EXACTLY THE SAME as US courts who permit prosecution of copyright infringements, because a given IP address has been recorded by an ISP as having been part of a BitTorrent. The USA, via monsters like Obama, set this precedent that Team Putin is taking advantage of in the Ukraine.

And by the way, the Ukraine will be traded for Syria. Team Obama will get their way, and will carry out a holocaust via the largest air bombardment seen in Human History, in Syria, and Putin will complete his recapture of the Ukraine. Putin's victory will cost thousands of lives at most. Obama will murder more than ONE MILLION Syrians within the first month of his air based holocaust.
   

Why Ukraine is a mess (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 5 months ago | (#46037891)

I've been many times to Ukraine, although the last time I went there was 8 years ago and I have no reason to return any time soon. I was actually in the country, by blind chance, during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and had a chance to see it first hand and talk to various Ukrainians at the time. Everybody knew the election results were crooked, even those who liked the original outcome, and the result was that when the army refused to intervene and the police decided to stay out too and the Ukrainian Supreme Court demanded another election, Viktor Yushchenko won.

Yushchenko was a friend of the West (EU and USA) and while as best I can tell he had served competently as Prime Minister in the past, he was as incompetent a man as could ever be put into the presidency. His incompetency led to Yulia Tymoshenko (the Sarah Palin of Ukraine) exploiting the situation and trying to grab power legally via the office of Prime Minister. Under enormous pressure and horrible circumstances she negotiated a truly horrible long term deal with Russia to pay historically high prices for natural gas. This deal quickly haunted Ukraine as natural gas market prices fell far below what Ukraine was now legally obligated to pay their "friends" in Russia. This deal has had a very large and very negative impact on the Ukrainian economy as they can't live without the natural gas and are still obligated to pay prices far above current market prices to Mother Russia for it.

Yushchenko made some feeble attempts to implement true reform and start cracking down on corruption, but when faced with opposition he quickly gave up and nothing really changed. Tymoshenko refused to cooperate with him, trying to position herself for a future run for president. The Sarah Palin link is pretty accurate with the exception that Palin probably knows on some level that she can't ever be president (too polarizing and even a majority of her own party don't back or respect her), Tymoshenko's ego refused to allow her to cooperate with Yushchenko, so they became bitter enemies and in fact Yushchenko was forced at one time to get his mortal electoral enemy, Viktor Yanukovych (the current president and loser of the 2004 re-vote), to serve as Prime Minister as working with him seemed better than working with the self-serving Tymoshenko.

Yushchenko ran for a 2nd term and since he and Tymoshenko hated each other so much, they split the anti-Yanukovych vote with Tymoshenko coming out on the better end of that split. The country is roughly half pro-Russian thanks to the Krushchev era decision to enlarge the Ukrainian SSR with what had always been Russian speaking and ethnically Russian lands. The half of the country that considers itself Ukrainian is pro-EU and very anti-Russia, remembering well how poorly Ukrainians were treated in the USSR days (even today most Russians think of them as being something like country bumpkins or rednecks). The country is roughly split 50-50 along those lines, so when the pro-EU side has no unified candidate (Yushchenko and Tymoshenko hated each other so much that neither would give up a run for the presidency to consolidate behind the other), the pro-Russia side wins. Yanukovych is fairly smart and devious but he fails to realize that the pro-EU half of Ukraine still has no unified candidate to oppose him (there are currently roughly 3 candidates splitting support), so while half the country hates him, they can't get enough votes to defeat him in the next presidential election (2015 I think). Unfortunately Yanukovych is an old school, Soviet era politician and he remembers the failure of the 2004 cheating to give him the handoff victory he expected (he was the handpicked choice of the outgoing president), so he is going to change the game where the opposition simply cannot legally mount the kind of protests they need to get rid of him. Since the various self-serving members of the pro-EU side refuse to unite behind a single candidate, the pro-EU opposition remains hopelessly split and unable to effect change. Tymoshenko, although rotting in jail, refuses to give up her dream of being president one day, so the egos of the opposition party leaders all have them wanting everybody else to give up and support them, with nobody being willing to do so.

What amazes me, and I have no explanation for it, is that it seems that the Ukrainian military and police are now firmly in the pro-Russia camp after 10 years ago being extremely pro-EU and pro-West. If anything I would have expected the younger generation to be more anti-Russia as the older guys knew very well that they can't trust Russia, but somehow it seems that those in power are the pro-Russia forces. At this point the only thing that could stabilize the country is for the army to enact a coup and force new elections with Yanukoych being imprisoned on some kind of charges, but they seem completely disinterested. So far they haven't been willing to crack heads, but if you read about the Ukrainian army being mobilized to put down the protesters, then I can promise you that the opposition is finished in Ukraine and Ukraine will continue to be run by the pro-Russia forces for decades to come.
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