Comtuter and Internet News Channel
Many have noticed that news tapes recently began to remind “to lead from the fronts”. The result of the global confrontation between Telegram and Roskomnadzor is a lot of “fallen” network resources, millions of IP addresses have been rendered harmless, in official statements we hear offers to “surrender in exchange for guarantees” and counter intrepid “to the last drop of blood”. Naturally, as is typical of almost any war, civilians are primarily victims. And no one can reliably predict how long this carnage will last, and who of it will, at least to some extent, become the winner.
In fact, the analogy with the war is in fact not only a “poetic” character – it is a real war and there is. Informational. More precisely, the war for control over information. The bottom line is that in the modern world, information is the fundamental source of power as such. And this is a problem not specifically for Russia and not specifically for Telegram – state structures all over the world are increasingly confronted with technological successes with varying degrees of success, trying to either gain control over the information or prohibit those sources that are beyond control.
The problem is that most of the states of the modern world are to some extent the heirs of the feudal era. And if the “Motherland” is in fact a localized “community” connected by the common origin, values and interests of people, then the “State” appeared when the “prince and his team” came to this “community” and offered “for your own safety” to sacrifice part of rights, freedoms and incomes in exchange for protection from internal and external lawlessness. So there was a “social contract”, and so there was “Power”.
In those “dashing troubled” times, the basis of power, which was quite natural, were territories with a population tied to them – the more “forests, fields and rivers”, the more income and power. And the guarantor of power was a brute physical force with the necessary number of weapons. But with the development of education and technology, the role of information also grew. Even in the era of the Enlightenment, the state authorities appreciated the importance of censorship and propaganda – these technologies have become increasingly sophisticated in the course of time. And already a century ago, in the struggle for power, they sought first of all “to seize mail and telegraph”.
Now the territories with “serfs and crops” have completely lost any sense as a source of power: people move without any problems in a matter of hours between the continents, the income from raw materials and agriculture has become the lot of the third world, small countries impose on their living standards vast neighbors, and information technology has penetrated literally everywhere. The boundaries between developed states are rapidly becoming conditional, and people from disunited local communities are turning into a global society, united by a single cultural field and an information space of a planetary scale. And the control over this information space was in the hands of a generation of “geeks” who did not attach much importance to wealth and titles, which in itself denied the desire to “wear crimson pants, praise Mr. PZ and spit on the boys.” States under the pressure of new realities are beginning to gradually move to the system of “direct democracy” – in fact, a return to the times of the very “homeland-community”, where somehow they coped without the “formidable ruler”.
But for many government systems, this turn of technological and social evolution seemed unacceptable. For example, thanks to this, we have a “park of the USSR period” called North Korea – the densest “Iron Curtain” and total control over the internal information field, guaranteeing the inviolability of the power of the hereditary Kim dynasty.
Another example is China. Thanks to the policy of broad economic freedoms that was launched in 1978 (essentially the same NEP from the 1920s), the country achieved truly impressive successes – moving along ideal multi-level highways and literally “flying” high-speed trains along the streets, walking along the streets of ultramodern cities involuntarily forget that you are not in any Japan, but in a country with a communist one-party system, zealously monitoring the “trustworthiness” of its citizens. Student protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 showed that economic freedom is contagious, and China year after year carefully planned an information space monitoring system that allows it to effectively monitor the Internet and selectively block everything that carries a potential danger to the existing political system. Even VPN does not help.
At the same time, on the other side of the globe, the powerful FBI has to admit defeat from Apple, which does not want to provide backdoor to personal data of users, even just locally stored on the phone. There is a warrant, a defendant and a specific smartphone – unlock without problems, but to provide the “organs” with a tool for self-satisfaction of curiosity – here too “Indian people’s hut – figvam called “.
Russia in this respect was quite expected to occupy a “centrist position” between the East and the West – to maintain a common information space with the rest of the world, but at the same time demand the right of access to personal information of users not only from domestic IT companies, but also from any service, who has a desire to work in Russia. However, as the cinematic graph Cagliostro said, “On two horses – seats are not enough”. Constantly maintaining such a balance would be simply impossible.
Pavel Durov, in fact, was the first “victim” of this policy – his categorical position on the confidentiality of data “confused in the opposition” VKontakte users and the unhindered activity of these communities in this social network eventually led in 2014 to loss of control Over the company he created in favor of “more compliant”. We can say that Telegram itself is a kind of “vendetta” for such a rude interference in the rights and freedoms of Internet users. In other words, «I’ll be back» was inevitable.
It is noteworthy that in 2017, when Ukraine blocked access to a number of Russian Internet resources for three years, having suspected these in close cooperation with special services, the Russian authorities officially took Durov’s position. Then the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov called the decision to block Russian websites and social networks “a violation of the rights of people in Ukraine to obtain information, and an action that harms the interests of the population of Ukraine.” And the presidential adviser on the Internet, Herman Klimenko, was also looking forward to the grandiose show:
“We will have the opportunity to observe a curious event. For a long time this was not, it is like the first country that used nuclear weapons. Discussions about locks. We will see the solution for the first time and see how it will be implemented. ”
True, no “show” then happened – no one in Ukraine even tried to achieve total blocking of resources. After all, it was obvious that this is at least simply unrealistic. And the head of the information security service of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Valentin Petrov stressed that the sanctions were introduced not against the services themselves, but against legal entities that own them. And added to this separately:
“We do not touch content, and even if some user – now many recipes have appeared how to bypass: different VPNs, TORs, – please use, users will not be punished for this in any way.”
But if in the first act there is a gun on the wall, then later it will shoot. It is not known whether Mr. Klimenko finds current events curious, but now we really have the opportunity to observe the use of “nuclear weapons” in the war for control over information.
Of course, this is far from the first battle of this war, and not the last one. However, now there is an extremely significant and in many ways unique battle that can become an important precedent: a mighty state mahin and a small IT company that did not want to obey the rules imposed on it and came out against the judgment far beyond the boundaries of the field of battle “Legal field”. Both sides are driven primarily by their own principles and are ready to go to the end, putting a reputation on the record. We can only watch the “news from the fronts”.
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