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    February 23, 2015

    Ukraine's "Ministry of Truth" is hiring Internet trolls (and spies?)


    By Geoboris

    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    The Ukrainian Ministry of Truth [officially the Ministry of Information Policy] debuted a new resource: There you can join the team of bots who will then proceed to troll the internet with their “objective” and “free” opinions.

    What exactly is this resource? Most importantly, who established it?

    After examining the html code, it becomes clear that the whole point of the site is to create a database of email addresses in order to distribute messages using the service. We can even see how many people have signed up. [A little over 13 thousand as of Monday evening].

    The project is hosted on the US CloudFlare hosting service. It seems that all the functions of the resource are using that hosting service. The site uses Yandex Metrika statistics as well as Google Analytics. And here we catch our hero:

    The counter number UA-3789523 can be found through search engines and, apart from other sites, also yields a personal web page belonging to Andrey Bogdanovich, a journalist and the deputy chair of the “Democratic Alliance” political party.

    He is also the director of several business projects, including the Web101 web studio, whose clients include…the Russian Embassy to Ukraine!

    Andrey is also an active member of the administrative commission at the Kiev City Administration and collects funds for the punitive operation on the Donbass.

    Here is an interesting detail: Andrey completed a number of courses for “young leaders,” including administered by Ivan Ninenko the Deputy Director of Transparency International—Russia. While international branches of foreign organizations are not the topic of this post, perhaps someone else will take up this line of investigation.

    In addition, the UA-37889523  also yields the site, on which “peaceful demonstrators” were compiling lists of  inconvenient individuals.

    This completes the portrait of a “democratic activist” who conceals the fact of his participation in a propaganda project of Ukraine’s Ministry of Truth.

    J.Hawk’s Comment: The site in question indicates that once you sign up, you will receive further instructions on the missions to be carried out on the internet. One has to also consider the possibility that, in view of that last tidbit of information, the purpose of the “Information Troops” is not just to spread propaganda but to report those who speak ill of the junta. We have seen several cases of individuals being accused of high crimes (including treason) for merely opposing the Ukrainian military mobilization. The idea may well be not merely to flood the internet with propaganda but to identify and suppress the opposition as well. 

    But, being a nationally conscious cyber-cyborg, I have signed on, and received the following reply:

    My first mission (should I accept it) is to recruit as many of my friends as possible into Ukraine's "Information Troops". Further instructions will follow shortly! I can hardly wait...
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