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Belarus Dictator Hoisted on His Own Tech Initiative

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#1 LFC

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 01:52 PM

This is why a dictator must destroy their country and keep it ground down to remain in control.


One of the rare successes chalked up by the regime of Europe’s last dictator has been the establishment of a kind of East European Silicon Valley, which spawned a booming industry of Belarusian programmers and tech start-ups.

The autocratic president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, now fears he has created a monster.

An army of 30,000 tech-savvy professionals is turning against its creator. Coders and software engineers, many of whom are linked to the state-sponsored Hi-Tech Park in Minsk, have formed a hacking collective called Cyber Partisans which is wreaking havoc as Lukashenko tries to quell a growing revolution.

Thousands of Belarusians have been arrested since August’s presidential election, which was condemned as rigged by foreign observers. Opposition leaders claim Lukashenko was voted out of power amid huge demonstrations against a brutal quarter of a century in power.

Hundreds of those who were arrested have been beaten and assaulted, some have allegedly even been raped and killed in jails. Lukashenko has tried to emulate his ally President Putin’s iron grip on dissent.

Over the weekend, Cyber Partisans hacked into the Belarusian TV and Radio Company website, the national state media organisation, and showed 30 minutes of footage of security forces using violent force against protestors instead of the usual state news. “The guy who created this is a real hero,” one of the hackers told The Daily Beast. “He spent about one week to prepare everything. He was a few days without sleep.”

That was just the latest act of online civil disobedience.

Over the past three months, a common sight in the streets of Minsk—often in broad daylight—is the image of a desperate civilian being dragged, kicking and screaming, into an unmarked police vehicle by masked men, often in plain clothes. The vast majority of the individuals behind the violent crackdown and aggression have remained nameless and faceless. Abuses and crimes committed against the population were likely to go without consequence—until now.

In a small office in central Warsaw, Yan Verbitsky, who works for NEXTA, an independent, anti-Lukashenko media organisation, sat at his computer admiring a spreadsheet he recently procured from the hackers filled with the personal details of Belarusian police. “We want to show that they will not be able to hide behind masks and remain anonymous in their atrocities” he says. Mumbling to himself in Russian, he plots the best way to present the list to the public and declares that he has no sympathy towards those he is about to unmask.

“NOBODY STAYS ANONYMOUS,” was the message eventually sent to two million Belarusians. It came at the start of a post releasing the names, addresses, dates of birth, and car registrations of 12 senior OMON police officials, accused of violence against citizens in Belarus. OMON is a special unit of the police, seen unbadged, armed with sticks, batons and pepper spray, and regularly pictured brutalising and harassing citizens countrywide.

Sounds like the very scenario the Storm Trumpers wish to avoid which is why they go around in unidentifiable uniforms with no names or badge numbers.
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#2 baw1064

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 02:24 PM

View PostLFC, on 30 September 2020 - 01:52 PM, said:

Sounds like the very scenario the Storm Trumpers wish to avoid which is why they go around in unidentifiable uniforms with no names or badge numbers.

DHS even said explicitly that they're hiding identities specifically to prevent doxxing.
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