On Tuesday, I did a GV translation on the situation with the LiveJournal in Russia: many people (including Mishah) could neither post, nor comment for a few days.
DPNI (the Movement Against Illegal Immigration) acted the most hysterical, claiming they were being censored by the Russian authorities.
Six Apart, the folks in the U.S. who run LiveJournal, issued a statement, explaining that the problem was both technical and political:
DDoS Attack. Official reaction from Six Apart
According to the explanations we’ve received from Six Apart this morning, a powerful DDoS-attack is being carried out against the LJ servers in California since Friday, June 1. The source of the attack is allegedly located in Russia. Servers are receiving 50,000 requests per second. The attack’s main goals are dрni, ru_рolitics и ru_nаzbol communities. To resist the attacks, the LJ administration introduced filtration of incoming packages and limited access to the server for large blocks of Russian IP-addresses beginning last Friday. These are temporary measures that had to be taken. Technical services of Six Apart decide on the specific lists of words and addresses to be blocked, taking into account the analysis of incoming requests.
These filters make it impossible to post LJ entries and comments that contain the words “ru_рolitics,” “dрni” и “ru_nbр.”
Nasty business, but to call it censorship carried out by Putin's regime is an exaggeration, definitely.
Well, on Wednesday, Reuters ran a piece that further promoted DPNI's distorted view of things:
Russia monitors Internet to dampen ethnic violence
By James Kilner
MOSCOW, June 6 (Reuters) - Russian authorities for the first time blocked nationalists from using a popular Internet blog to organise anti-migrant demonstrations, one of the leaders of a nationalist group told Reuters on Wednesday.
In January President Vladimir Putin ordered the security services to stamp out growing extremism and racism partly fuelled by envy towards successful businesses run by Caucasians and Central Asians and two wars in Chechnya from 1994.
Authorities monitoring the livejournal Web site made it hard to organise protests on Tuesday against Chechens in the southern city of Stavropol, Alexei Mikhailov, one of the leaders of Action Against Illegal Immigrants (DPNI), told Reuters by telephone.
"I think we should organise a protest but in Stavropol everything is under police control," he said.
In a fight between Russians and Chechens on May 24 in Stavropol, a city of 350,000 bordering Chechnya, a Chechen man died. Ten days later unknown attackers killed two Russians in what many think was a revenge attack.
On Tuesday hundreds of angry Russians gathered in the city's main square after the Russians' funerals.
In September Chechens fled the northwestern town of Kondopoga after Russian rioters avenged two murders by torching their businesses, homes and cars.
DPNI, which says it is against violence, has organised marches in Moscow and helped the demonstrators in Kondopoga.
Media said Stavropol had all the hallmarks of another Kondopoga. But in Stavropol the police were organised and DPNI were missing.
"It's a southern region with more immigrants and relations are more tense and more explosive than Kondopoga," Mikhailov said.
Police detained 50 protesters at the rally and Mikhailov said police held another of DPNI's leaders for nine hours when he arrived in the city, preventing him from reaching a meeting.
Crucially, Mikhailov said, the authorities had extended their watch to the Internet and any blog on livejournal containing DPNI failed to be posted.
"It is a significant part of our work and the most politically active people read livejournal and write there," Mikhailov said. "This group is a priority group."
Nowhere in this piece do they question what this Mikhailov dude is saying about LiveJournal. They also fail to point out this contradiction: Chechens are not illegal immigrants in Russia, they are this country's citizens, which undermines DPNI's cause - and their credibility, if there was any - a great deal.
And this being Russia, it's hard to guess who is behind what: the regime may be attacking LiveJournal, but, in some murky kind of a deal, it may also be behind DPNI, who, on April 14, were allowed to rally and scream all they wanted, right after Kasparov's people and anyone who happened to be nearby had been detained. And maybe I'm as wrong here as DPNI is about LJ - but hey, this blog ain't Reuters, right?