: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Disturbing precedent: U.S.-registered and U.S.-hosted domain maidanua.org blocked by Russia


Now, after a wave of letters from Maidan activists, the website maidanua.org is unblocked. But it  is very disturbing  precedent .

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request to American government, non-governmental and business leaders who may find it appalling that a Russian government agency is now capable of shutting down American websites. A domain name used by my non-profit organization, maidanua.org, has been blocked, apparently because our U.S.-based registrar and website hosting provider, GoDaddy, has yielded to a fraudulent and overreaching request from Roskomnadzor, a Russian telecommunications regulator. Specifically, it appears that our domain name was blocked on July 10, 2015, starting at approximately 20:42 (East European Summer Time). Our domain name is registered with WildWest, a subsidiary registration reseller of GoDaddy. What’s worse, we were not even given an opportunity to respond to false accusations that were leveled against us by the Russians before GoDaddy effectively took our website off the web.

We would like the domain maidanua.org to be restored immediately so that we can pursue our mission of peace, reforms and human rights. In addition, we would like to alert you about Russia’s new practice of shutting down U.S.-hosted websites that may be critical of Russia.

Neither WildWest nor GoDaddy has sent any advance notice to the domain name’s registrant or contact persons, whose real names and valid contact email addresses and phone numbers are readily available. For example, our contacts are listed at

http://www.whois.com/whois/maidanua.org

Customer support at WildWest and GoDaddy did not reply to our email messages on this matter. When we reached these providers by phone, we were told that “Your domain blocked for some reason we cannot speak about via phone, we will send you an email”. That conversation occurred around 22:30 on July 10, 2015 (Kyiv time). We still have not received any follow-up communication from either GoDaddy or WildWest regarding this issue, even though more than 24 hours have passed. Meanwhile, our website at http://maidanua.org is down, which severely downgrades our ability to reach our constituents, including English language readers. The complaint from Roskomnadzor which presumably led GoDaddy to disable our website is attached to this letter. Claims made in the complaint are as false as all the rest of anti-Ukrainian propaganda which the Russian government has produced since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began.

From the year 2000, our website at http://maidan.org.ua has been hosted on U.S.-based servers because we assumed that our content would be safe and secure there. Our second domain – maidanua.org – was registered on February 21, 2001. We registered it with a U.S.-based registrar as an alias because we were afraid of censorship attempts from Ukrainian authorities at the time. The threat of censorship in Ukraine has dissipated after the political breakthrough of March 2014, but now, ironically, we are being censored by a U.S.-based company.

Our organization is active in a wide variety of democracy building projects. Yes, most of us also passionate Ukrainian patriots while others are counted as friends of Ukraine. You can read about us in English here:

http://world.maidan.org.ua/mmic

Right now one of our biggest projects is the Ukrainian PeaceBuilding School (http://peace.in.ua), which focuses on borderline conflicts transformation and prevention. It is being coordinated with the staff of Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine. Our NGO has also been recognized as an expert on information warfare since mid-2000, which is most likely, why the Russians have targeted our website.

We are seriously concerned by the fact that a U.S.-based business acts in such peculiar and illegal way, which violates ICANN’s rules. We kindly ask you to help us to restore the domain to our control.

Thank you.

Nataliya Zubar,
Chair of Maidan Monitoring Information Center
Skype: nelliza111
Tel (via skype): +44 20 7097 1546
http://twitter.com/NatalieZubar
http://ua.linkedin.com/in/panimaidan

 

The original complaint from Russia

Notice of infringement of the order of information dissemination in the territory of the Russian Federation

We are sending the notice on restricting access to the information resourcehttp://forum.maidanua.org/T-%D0%91%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B8-%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%85-%D0%BB%D0%BB in information and telecommunication networks including the Internet on the basis of the demand of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation No. 27-31-2015/Ид2120-15 of 06.07.2015 as containing appeals to mass riots, extremist activities, and participation in mass (public) actions held with infringement of the established order.

Within one day from the time of receipt of this notice the hosting provider or the other person ensuring placement in the information and telecommunication network including the Internet shall inform on it the owner of the information resource served by them and to notify him on the necessity to immediately remove the information containing appeals to mass riots, extremist activities, and participation in mass (public) actions held with infringement of the established order.
In case the information resource owner has removed the information containing appeals to mass riots, extremist activities, participation in mass (public) actions held with infringement of the established order he shall send the notice on it to the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications for the purpose of checking and renewal of access upon confirmation of the fact of removal.
Such notice may be also sent via web form available at the web-address:

http://398-fz.rkn.gov.ru/toproviders/?entryKey=559a9fd12bb80#form

The notice on removal of information may be also sent in electronic form to 398-fz@rkn.gov.ru.

The information about the resources the access to which is restricted on the basis of demand of the Office of the Prosecutor General is available round the clock in the Internet at the address:
http://398-fz.rkn.gov.ru.

Yours faithfully,
FEDERAL SERVICE FOR SUPERVISION IN THE SPHERE OF TELECOM, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND MASS COMMUNICATIONS.

UaPositon

UaPositon

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