#FreeBogatov: Russian Man Jailed For Sharing A Kanye West Video

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A public hearing for the case against Dmitry Bogatov is taking place on June 28th at 3pm, at Presnenskiy court in Moscow, the #FreeBogatov campaign tweeted today. Family and supporters of Bogatov are calling for maximum support for the Russian Software developer who was arrested on April 6th, 2017, for running a Tor exit node,  “incitement to mass riots” and “incitement to terrorism”. He denies the allegations.

Bogatov, 25 years old, is also a math lecturer at Moscow’s Finance and Law University and a free software supporter.

freebogatov.org explains why he is innocent:

Follow The Time Line To See What Happened!

March 29th 2017

William Cohen for advox.globalvoices.org explains:

“On March 29, someone with the username “Ayrat Bashirov” and Bogatov’s home IP address wrote a series of posts on the website sysadmins.ru, an online forum for systems administrators. One post called for protesters to go to an unsanctioned, anonymously organized—and ultimately under-attended—demonstration on April 2 with “rags, bottles, gas, turpentine, styrofoam, acetone.” Another post linked to the music video for Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” or, as investigators put it, “a video recording with insubordination to the legal demands of the police, and mass disorder.”

The video depicts a young man with a Molotov cocktail also known as a petrol bomb.

Stills from Kanye West & Jay-Z’s music video for ‘No Church in the Wild’

Cohen goes on to explain that:

“Surveillance footage shows Bogatov and his wife leaving a supermarket four minutes before one of the posts was made on March 29. Given that the supermarket is half a kilometer from their home, it is unlikely that Bogatov could have made it home and posted online within four minutes.”

“Furthermore, since Bogatov’s detention, the profile for Ayrat Bashirov has remained active online, making numerous posts, commenting on his own supposed arrest, and even exchanging private messages with a journalist from Open Russia, saying that he is “of course not Bogatov.”

“It appears likely that Bogatov was running a Tor exit node from his home computer. As a user on Geektimes pointed out (and as Tor’s records confirm), several hours before Bogatov’s detention—likely around the time authorities were searching his apartment and seizing his computer equipment—an exit node that had been operating for more than a year and a half under Bogatov’s name went offline. The email address associated with the node matches the address listed on Bogatov’s Github page.”

April 1st 2017

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a case—without naming names—against the person posting as Ayrat Bashirov.

April 2nd 2017

Accoring to Amie Stepanovich reporting for accessnow.org, ” The arrest comes in the midst of an online crackdown related to anti-corruption protests in cities across Russia on April 2.”

April 5th 2017

William Cohen for advox.globalvoices.org explains:

“On the night of April 5, investigators came to Bogatov’s apartment where they seized his computer equipment. They took him into custody the next day. Some hours later, a judge denied the Investigative Committee’s request to hold Bogatov in custody, ruling that the charges were not serious enough to warrant his continued detention. Investigators then added a second and more serious charge of inciting terrorism, and he was brought back into court the following day. This time, a judge approved his detention for another 72 hours.”

April 6th 2017

Bogatov is arrested April 6th on bogus charges and risks a 20 year sentence.

April 10th 2017

On April 10, the court upheld the charges, formally arrested Bogatov and ordered that he be held until his trial on June 8.

May 29th 2017

April 13th 2017

The Tor Project made a statement, see highlights of this below.

“The Tor Project has been following with interest the case of Dmitry Bogatov in Russia…”

The Tor Project does not collect any information or data that can be used to identify users of the Tor network. We do collect and publish information about Tor exit nodes and relays when relay operators voluntarily choose to send such information to the Tor Project servers.

What we know right now is that serious accusations of wrongdoing have been made against a valued member of our community, a person who has, among other things, been a Tor relay operator, Debian Developer, GNU developer, and privacy activist. We are collecting facts, monitoring the situation closely, and sharing information with allied organizations and individuals.”

April 17th 2017

Debian made a statement, see highlights of this below. The Debian Project is an association of Free Software developers who volunteer their time and effort in order to produce the completely free operating system Debian GNU/Linux.

“The Debian Project is concerned to hear that one of our members, Dmitry Bogatov, has been arrested by Russian authorities.

In the meantime, the Debian Project has taken measures to secure its systems by removing Dmitry’s keys in the case that they are compromised.

The Debian Project honours his good work and strong dedication to Debian and Free Software, and we hope he is back as soon as possible to his endeavours.”

 

June 11th 2017

12 April 2017

choojoy posted the following on Hacker News:

“Dmitry’s lawyer, Alexei Teptsov, presented videos from surveillance cameras, that proved that, during the moments when the “incendiary messages” were posted, Dmitry was away from his computer. He was coming back from a fitness center with his wife, Tatiana, a genetician, and then went to a supermarket, where cameras were also working. Moreover, “Airat Bashirov”, the author of the provocative messages, continues to post on sysadmin.ru, while Dmitry is under arrest. The last post was seen on the forum on April 11.

Dmitry will stay in pre-trial detention center until June 8 at least. Now the Investigation is examining all his seized devices.”

There were more anti-corruption protests on June 12th.

Yulia Koshelyaeva, a freind of Bogatov’s, showing solidarity even during her own arrest.

April 24th 2017

The Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF runs a story on Bogatov.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. They work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as use of technology grows.

Access Now defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining innovative policy, global advocacy, and direct technical support, Access Now fight for open and secure communications for all.

June 14th 2017

#FreeBogatov on medium.com writes,

“Family, friends and his lawyer are asking for international help in protesting this horrible injustice as Dmitry remains in detention/jail.”

“#freeBogatov would like to see protests all over the world on June 19th and 20th. If you are close to a Russian Embassy or consulate, go there and take a selfie/photo of yourself in front of the building holding a sign with his name on it. If you are far from any Russian entity, take a photo of yourself in front of a local landmark. As an example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”

June 16th 2017

Sarah Illingworth interviewed Raymond Johansen for impolitikal.com Johansen is a high profile writer and activist, who sits on the board of Pirate Parties International. He said:

“On June 19 and 20 we ask people all over the world to find any Russian diplomatic mission and take a “selfie” or a photo with #freeBogatov on a piece of paper. If they are not close to any such we ask them to do the same in front of a local landmark. As an example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We will have descriptions of how to do this published in many languages shortly.”

June 17th 2017

Bogato’v story runs in the Huffington Post:

June 19 and 20

Family and supporters of Bogatov took part in a two-day online-offline event to raise awareness about the case.

Here are some of the tweets people contributed with some well known people joining in such as Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

Bogatov’s wife contributed a selfie.

Also notice that people from all around the world are supporting Bogatov and know about his case.

Information To Help Readers Understand The Story

What is Tor?

Tor, also known as “The Onion Router” is a network originally built by the U.S Navy that allows a user to browse the internet anonymously without fear of exposing the user’s IP address. According to Wikipedia, “…tor directs internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than seven thousand relays [servers] to conceal a users’ location…”

Explain how someone could have posted things from Bogatov’s IP address

A malicious user could utilize the tor network and specify something known as an exit node which is the “out” relay, the relay that is the server making the requests to a specified website.

In this example, my exit node is located Panama a 185.170.41.8.

What is Debian?

Debian is an open source operating system that is community developed by multiple volunteers, built upon the linux kernel, similar to other open source operating systems such as Ubuntu.

Let us know what you think about this in the comments. Do you use tor? How do you feel about what happened?


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The post #FreeBogatov: Russian Man Jailed For Sharing A Kanye West Video appeared first on We Are Change.

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