What’s New in Internet Freedom in Ukraine? Overview for July 15 – July 31, 2019

In our news overview, we will tell you the following: what legislation on the Internet should the new parliament adopt? How much did Ukrainian parties spend on political advertising before the elections? Will the sanctions against Russian social networks continue? Will Zuckerberg lose unlimited control after a 5 bln fine for Facebook? Why is FaceApp, the mobile application that makes you look old, dangerous?

We regularly monitor incidents and Internet freedom violations in Ukraine. You can see the results of our monitoring and analytics on our website: netfreedom.org.ua 


What legislation is necessary for the development of the Internet: recommendations for the 9th parliament – key suggestions by stakeholders. On July 18, during the round table, representatives of the Ministry of Information Policy, NGO “Internews Ukraine”, media experts, government professionals and representatives of civil society discussed the opinions of civil society and IT community on the necessary legislation that the next Rada should adopt prior to early parliamentary elections. More about the agenda on the Internet development that the new parliament should implement on our wesbite

Photo: Ukrinform

The ban on Russian social networks in Ukraine. NDSC Secretary Oleksandr Danyliuk said that it was necessary that the state bodies maintain sanctions against Russian social networks until they expire or are canceled. He made this statement in relation with the increasing number of messages about the possible lifting of the ban.

Results of the survey by “Internews Ukraine”

Results of the survey by “Internews Ukraine”: what Facebook, Instagram, and VK vote for. Users on Facebook, Instagram, and VK have different preferences: negative attitude towards all parties prevails in 42% of all analyzed Facebook posts, whereas positive attitude can be found in only 15%, and VK doesn’t like any of the Ukrainian parties, not even the ‘pro-Russian’ ones. These are the results of the survey Social Networks on #elections: What Do Facebook, Instagram, and Vkontakte Vote For that was carried out between May 1 and June 17, 2019.

Who gives more: how much the parties spent on Facebook advertising. The social network published an official report, according to which the political parties in Ukraine spent almost 2 million dollars for Facebook advertising in June and the first half of July. Among the leaders by the amount of spending are parties Holos (“Voice”), European Solidarity and Spilna Sprava – Power of Law. Besides, Facebook deleted dozens of accounts and pages that criticized Ukrainia government, spread disinformation about the war in the East and political news prior to parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

Facebook and the World


5 billion dollar fine and stronger privacy on Facebook. US Federal Trade Commission and Facebook made a deal on July 24, 2019 that the company will pay a 5 billion dollar fine and strengthen its privacy policy. Read more about the accusations, the agreement, and whether Zuckerberg will lose unlimited control and why the agreement with the regulator may benefit Facebook on our website

Photo: FaceApp

Danger of FaceApp mobile application that makes you look old. The new ‘looking old’ feature in FaceApp not only entertains users, but also collects enormous amounts of data. And ‘privacy policies’ warn users that the security of information is not guaranteed. In the US, the question was raised whether the creators of the program can use it to spy on users, and the FBI and the FTC were even asked to carry out a check. What else you need to know when you install FaceApp, what user data it collects, and what the program’s developers say, read on our website.

Macron signed the law on tax for technological giants. The law obliges companies with revenue over 750 mln Euro with no less than 25 mln earned in France to pay 3% from income earned in the territory of the country. The tax applies starting the beginning of 2019. The tax will primarily apply to American technological giants Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. France is the first country to introduce such regulations.

European Commission started antimonopoly investigation against Amazon. Bezos’ company might receive a $23 bln fine. The regulator will check if the company uses confidential data of independent sellers in its interests.

Libra cryptocurrency may destabilize the world economy. This is the opinion of the ministers of finance of G7 who add that such cryptocurrencies should be strictly controlled. The biggest critics of Libra are currently US, France, and Germany. “The Euro is and remains the only legal means of payment in the Euro area. The issuance of a currency does not belong in the hands of a private company because this is a core element of state sovereignty,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said

Wikipedia’s lawsuit against Turkey received priority status at the ECHR. Such status is assigned very rarely and only to very important cases that have major influence on countering government censorship on the Internet. This will considerably speed up the hearing of the lawsuit where Wikipedia demands to cancel eternal ban.


Photo from open sources

Russia to introduce the notion of ‘Internet crime.’ Such initiative was communicated in the 2018 activities report of the Russian Ombudsperson Tatyana Moskalkova. She suggests to define what exactly is considered a crime on the Internet. Besides, Moskalkova spoke of the need to improve legal regulation of different messengers, as the corresponding state bodies have ‘objectively limited’ ways to influence their operation.

Hackers broke Russia’s FSB servers and leaked data of classified projects. Cyber criminals leaked 7.5 Tb of data of Russian secret services about classified projects to deanonymize users of Tor, the browser that allows to surf the Internet anonymously, and to separate Russia’s Internet from the global network. This hacker attack might be the largest data leak about the operation of the Russian special services on the Internet.

Read the news on Internet development, Internet freedom and digital rights on our website https://netfreedom.org.ua/

The overview has been written by NGO “Internews Ukraine”.


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