New cyber tool circumvents censorship sending texts to Russians about the war in Ukraine

By | March 12, 2022

The Wall Street Journal reports:

People around the world are using a new website to circumvent the Kremlin’s propaganda machine by sending individual messages about the war in Ukraine to random people in Russia.

The website was developed by a group of Polish programmers who obtained some 20 million cellphone numbers and close to 140 million email addresses owned by Russian individuals and companies. The site randomly generates numbers and addresses from those databases and allows anyone anywhere in the world to message them, with the option of using a pre-drafted message in Russian that calls on people to bypass President Vladimir Putin’s censorship of the media.

Since it was launched on March 6, thousands of people across the globe, including many in the U.S., have used the site to send millions of messages in Russian, footage from the war, or images of Western media coverage documenting Russia’s assault on civilians, according to Squad303, as the group that wrote the tool calls itself.

The initiative is one among a number of efforts, mainly by Western media organizations and governments, that are trying to puncture the tight controls Mr. Putin’s government has imposed within Russia on reporting about the conflict, which Russian media are banned from describing as a war. [Continue reading…]

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