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posted by Blackmoore on Thursday December 04 2014, @11:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the great-firewall-of-rus dept.

Russia has blocked access to GitHub after finding a text file in a repository entitled 'suicide.txt'. Surely this is pretext for Russia's continuing move towards isolation. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8692584

Techcrunch has Russia Blacklists, Blocks GitHub Over Pages That Refer To Suicide

Developers in Russia are putting up their feet today — that is, after they have finished stomping around in frustration for a little while. It’s emerged that Russia’s regulator RosComNadzor has blocked GitHub after the popular software and coding collaboration platform was found to be hosting content related to suicide — specifically, see this file that details 32 ways to kill yourself.

The “block” effectively amounts to an order to ISPs to restrict access to the site. And because GitHub works on HTTPS, providers can only comply by restricting access to the entire site, rather than individual pages. According to Russian blog Meduza, several leading ISPs have already complied with the order, including Beeline, MTS, MGTS and Megafon.

The block reignites the debate over how Russia’s government decides what is and what is not appropriate Internet content for people in Russia. The country’s firewall, when it was originally raised in 2012, was controversial not only because of concerns that it would be used against freedom of speech (especially in cases when that speech was critical of the state), but also because it was deemed to be too heavy-handed in how it would get implemented.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @12:07AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @12:07AM (#122786)

    I can access github just fine.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @12:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @12:23AM (#122794)

      Maybe now. But an overseas co-worker couldn't develop yesterday because of it. Tell my boss that its bullshit.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Geotti on Friday December 05 2014, @12:40AM

        by Geotti (1146) on Friday December 05 2014, @12:40AM (#122796) Journal

        Tell your boss, he's an idiot for not investing 15 minutes of your admin to set up a VPN.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Friday December 05 2014, @01:03AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 05 2014, @01:03AM (#122802) Journal

          Tell your boss, he's an idiot for not investing 15 minutes of your admin to set up a VPN.

          Maybe they don't allow that either?

          Lots of those devs don't have bosses.

          I suspect the powers that be will soon be made to realize that the value of projects on GitHub are of more use to the country
          than "protecting" people from a stupid bit of text that probably nobody was looking at anyway.

          I suppose project members could set up an in-house GitHub and sync that via some vpn or ssh connection.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:27AM (#122807)

            I just spent 7 months in Russia working remotely for an American company. No issues at all.

          • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Friday December 05 2014, @05:51PM

            by Geotti (1146) on Friday December 05 2014, @05:51PM (#122977) Journal

            Maybe they don't allow that either?

            Who, the company? I hope that you don't seriously believe that VPNs are (or can be) blanket blocked in Russia, because if you do, you're wrong.

            Lots of those devs don't have bosses.

            This one -apparently- has one ;)

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday December 05 2014, @07:18PM

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 05 2014, @07:18PM (#122998) Journal

              Who, the company?

              No the authorities.

              I hope that you don't seriously believe that VPNs are (or can be) blanket blocked in Russia, because if you do, you're wrong.

              Is Russia so hopelessly behind the times that they can't manage to block VPNs? [wikipedia.org] Maybe they can get some help from the Chinese or Iranians. They have the process down pat.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:24PM

                by Geotti (1146) on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:24PM (#123222) Journal

                From your own Wikipedia link:

                as the Chinese government began using deep packet inspection to identify VPN protocols, Golden Frog began scrambling OpenVPN packet metadata for its popular VyprVPN service in an attempt to avoid detection.

                (Here's the product page, btw: http://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/chameleon [goldenfrog.com] .)

                Also, you can use steganographic tunnels (also linked to from your link), and here's some more practical advice (that beats DPI used by golden shield):
                http://www.greycoder.com/how-hide-vpn-connections/ [greycoder.com]

                Also, well, just use an SSH tunnel.

                To answer your question, Frojack, apparently it is you, who's hopelessly behind.

                One can't reliably block VPNs short of unplugging the net or switching to a carefully vetted whitelist, same as one can't reliably use copy-protection mechanisms for music/software/etc, just that in this case, governments have to beat the encryption and not the users.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:12AM (#122837)

          It takes far, far more than 15 minutes to set up a VPN that is not a security screen door. Depending on the overall system, it may be impossible to do properly. Look outside your locally-centered worldview and see the implications of actions, not just the solutions they may bring.

          • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Friday December 05 2014, @05:48PM

            by Geotti (1146) on Friday December 05 2014, @05:48PM (#122976) Journal

            And it takes far, far less than 15 minutes to set up an account on an already existing VPN, which they should have, if they have remote people. Thats 1st. Second, this should have been primarily a tunnel. Third, if you need "far, far more than 15 minutes to set up a VPN" properly, get another job.

        • (Score: 1) by radu on Friday December 05 2014, @09:17AM

          by radu (1919) on Friday December 05 2014, @09:17AM (#122873)

          Tell your boss, he's an idiot for using github and not setting up the company's own server

          FTFY

  • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday December 05 2014, @12:14AM

    by buswolley (848) on Friday December 05 2014, @12:14AM (#122788)

    ... for upgrading my barely written submissions!

    --
    subicular junctures
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by sigterm on Friday December 05 2014, @12:56AM

    by sigterm (849) on Friday December 05 2014, @12:56AM (#122799)

    I suspect the real reason the site was blocked had nothing to do with suicide, but rather that the "suicide" document was a rather cleverly worded criticism of the corrupt Russian oligarchy.

    The document appears to outline 32 ways one can kill oneself, some horrific (decapitation by train, setting oneself on fire), others ridiculous (painting your body with oil paint). Each is rated according to how it guarantees certain death and how long it will take, and there's a comment field mentioning related difficulties, the level of pain one must endure and other issues.

    Then at the very end comes method #32: Provoking an important official. It is described as being an instant and pretty much fool-proof way to commit suicide, which is probably true, and I would guess the sarcastic publication of this truth (typical Russian humour, BTW) for everyone to see made some of the higher-ups in the Russian government throw a hissy fit.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:08AM (#122803)

      Good to see I am not nuts. I wrote similar 2 decades ago. For a laugh.

      • (Score: 2) by Subsentient on Friday December 05 2014, @02:46AM

        by Subsentient (1111) on Friday December 05 2014, @02:46AM (#122826) Homepage Journal

        We're all crazy around here. I'll get you a tinfoil hat, compliments of the undead gerbil swarm.

        --
        “Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by pnkwarhall on Friday December 05 2014, @04:56PM

          by pnkwarhall (4558) on Friday December 05 2014, @04:56PM (#122965)

          If our current culture is "sane", I'm proud to be considered crazy.

          --
          Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @03:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @03:12AM (#122832)

      Number 33.
      Upgrade your pacemaker software to include systemd.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:20AM (#122840)

        #34 Upgrade your pacemaker to Windows

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @01:01AM (#122800)

    The Cloud is all nebulous and insubstantial and it just flows around censorship like a fog! Burn the lands and boil the seas, but you can't take The Cloud from me! Oh wait.

    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday December 05 2014, @01:29AM

      by buswolley (848) on Friday December 05 2014, @01:29AM (#122808)

      +2 reference buffs

      --
      subicular junctures
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @11:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @11:24AM (#122886)

      With big clouds, don't be surprised if you'll find yourself left out in the rain.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday December 05 2014, @04:29PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday December 05 2014, @04:29PM (#122954)

      Mixing a Firefly quote with pimping a corporate buzzword service damns you to the 3rd level of nerd hell, I'm pretty sure.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by zeigerpuppy on Friday December 05 2014, @02:33AM

    by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Friday December 05 2014, @02:33AM (#122820)

    Once again, a good reminder that using a third party service may not necessarily be an extra point of failure,
    but it is a point of failure that you have no control over when it goes down.
    https://about.gitlab.com/ [gitlab.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @02:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @02:42AM (#122824)

      Managers love insourcing because they can just walk over to the cubicle where the IT weenie sits and yell and yell and yell when things go all wrong. But then the IT weenie was outsourced to that country full of dancing brown people. Now Mister Manager has no control over points of failure and no one to yell at either.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:08AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:08AM (#122836)

    There are good reasons to create a publicly accessible repository for your source code.

    There are no good reasons to rely upon it as YOUR primary repository of source code.

    Ancient sysadmin says, yet again, that you must identify ALL dependencies.

    As if writing, or not writing, object-oriented code had anything to do with it!

    Those whom do not study the lessons of history ... ah, fuck it. You'll figure it out.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05 2014, @04:37AM (#122845)

      With git, every clone of the repository contains the entire backup (shallow clones excluded, but they get so little support they practically don't exist).

      When GitHub goes down, it takes 5 mins to make a public repository on Gitorious or somewhere else, faster than that if you have a box everyone involved has ssh access to.

      • (Score: 2) by tonyPick on Friday December 05 2014, @09:39AM

        by tonyPick (1237) on Friday December 05 2014, @09:39AM (#122875) Homepage Journal

        With git, every clone of the repository contains the entire backup

        Sort of - to get all the refs from the original you actually need to do a "git clone --mirror" (and most people don't...)

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by morgauxo on Friday December 05 2014, @04:28AM

    by morgauxo (2082) on Friday December 05 2014, @04:28AM (#122844)

    Method number one was to go against Putin.

    I think number 2 had something to do with Polonium or was that number 1 too?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Yog-Yogguth on Friday December 05 2014, @05:36AM

    by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 05 2014, @05:36AM (#122850) Journal

    That's the key part, that is the memo: it is Russia who is isolating itself. Write it a hundred times on the blackboard.

    Never mind China or the rest of the world (not including the EU, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Norway): it's isolation! Not “our” fault at all, they forced us to it! See? Our hands are squeaky clean.

    According to Kerry, this story, the US house of representatives [rt.com], and the US government the Russians forced the US to act to isolate Russia which means that it is Russia who is isolating itself. That's the message. It is what you are expected to believe.

    By the same logic the US will bomb itself into a lifeless radioactive wasteland before christmas¹ because the Russians forced them to.

    Nobody playing nuclear chicken? People shouldn't be so sure about that [rt.com]².

    ¹ not that I believe the US has the capability any longer.
    ² I have no idea who this Paul Craig Roberts guy is, ‘Reagan economic ex-advisor’ doesn't really say all that much (there could be hundreds who could claim the same title).

    --
    Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 1) by Noble713 on Friday December 05 2014, @10:58AM

      by Noble713 (4895) on Friday December 05 2014, @10:58AM (#122884)

      I too immediately picked up on that whole "Russian isolation" propaganda angle...

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday December 05 2014, @08:45AM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Friday December 05 2014, @08:45AM (#122870) Homepage
    Given that the Russians are the world leaders in suicide, there's nothing that a simple text file can teach them.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday December 05 2014, @02:59PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday December 05 2014, @02:59PM (#122931)

    China has the "Great Firewall", I propose we call Russia's version the "Iron Firewall" sort of like the Iron Curtain.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Friday December 05 2014, @10:05PM

    by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 05 2014, @10:05PM (#123043)

    So can we use this to keep all those "russian hackers" out of our systems? Post a copy of the same file where it's easily indexed and presto!
     
    /Sarcasm>

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:26PM (#123269)