Globalists, through the the Big Tech influence, aim to establish digital totalitarian regime, trying to prevent any form of resistance in the information sphere. Thus, after the Capitol assault, an independent social network Parler that became largely popular among Trump supporters and representatives of the American far-right was simply removed from the Internet. After the unprecedented wave of censorship that even hit the U.S. President as well as thousands of his supporters, there is the largest digital migration in human history. It led not only to the strengthening of alternative social platforms, such as Telegram, but also had geopolitical consequences, giving Russia a chance to become a center of global digital resistance, which Moscow is actively using to take advantage.
First of all, the strengthening of the Russian status is evidenced by the sharp rise in popularity of Telegram, which was created by the Russian programmer Pavel Durov, and as a result is associated with Moscow, despite the fact that it has no servers in Russia and has never cooperated with the Kremlin. After attempts to block Telegram on the territory of the country several years ago, Moscow changed its policy and today is establishing effective norms of regulation of the information sphere and freedom of speech.
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Secondly, Parler, which was removed from Google and Apple stores, and blocked by Amazon, has recently partly returned online thanks to Russian firm. Parler’s domains are now owned by DDos-Guard, which is run by two Russians. DDoS-GUARD reported that Parler “defended” the company, without specifying what services it provides. According to the data on the company’s website, it provides website protection and acceleration services; secure hosting; secure virtual servers or dedicated servers; network protection and others.
By declaring that the firm does not support radical organizations, extremism, terrorism and illegal activities, DDoS-GUARD remains politically neutral and follows the laws of the countries where it provides services. It was thanks to the policy of “net neutrality” that DDoS-GUARD was targeted due to hosting QAnon and far-right platforms, as well as an alleged website of Hamas, which is not considered a terrorist organization in Russia.
After it turned out in November 2020 that one of the protected domains was linked to Hamas, it was deleted, and the group switched to the service of an American provider. This was the reason for taking active measures against DDoS-GUARD. They were asked to clear their presence at the CoreSite data center in Los Angeles. Therefore, the company fell under a wave of censorship, apparently for cooperation with the QAnon website, the 8chan imageboard and many others.
However, in addition to pro-Trump platforms and sites promoting conspiracy theories, among DDoS-GUARD clients there are several Russian media and the Russian Ministry of Defense. Most likely, DDoS-GUARD has established close contacts with the Russian government through Roskomnadzor. In 2018, when Russia banned the Telegram messenger, DDoS-GUARD was in the list of leading firms claiming to develop a new technology that could effectively block the network.
Thus, Parler is now at least partly under the Russian protection, together with all Trump supporters.
However, Parler cannot be completely associated with the Russians. It is still mainly used and financed by US patriots.
Despite some attempts to accuse the platform of having ties to Russia, in fact Parler is much closer to Kiev than to Moscow. Platform hired Ukrainian IT specialists to develop the website.
Taking into account the well-known quality of Ukrainian products, the decision to employ Ukrainian specialists at least partlyhas already led to multiple technical troubles and even leak of personal data from Parler.
Before the Parler’s shutdown, hackers gained access to terabytes of its users’ data in aim to preserve the information about the participants of the Capitol assault on January 6. Parler’s data was easily scraped from its site as it fell off the Internet.
Users, who counted on the site looking for free speech without any censorship, were dealt a parting blow from hackers, who were archiving nearly all public posts on Parler with ambit geolocation data and threaten to make them available online. The attack unveiled the lack of Parler security.
There were many suggestions that after Parler was blocked, one of his Ukrainian-speaking “developers”, Twitter user vkleber, aka Vladislav Vcherashniy in Telegram, unveiled himself online. His Twitter account lists the position as “Head of Engineering at ParlerApp”, Telegram states that he is developing an application for Apple in Nevada, where Parler’s headquarters are located.
This user not only actively posted angry posts about censorship by the Big Tech, but also does not hide his adherence to Ukrainian ultra-right ideas.
“If you support such actions – be prepared that one day Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter) will remove you for eating broccoli, for example. Internet censorship concerns everyone.”
The posts on his pages testify to his close contacts with a big number of Ukrainian nationalists, and his active efforts to support Ukrainian far right. For example, in 2017, he actively participated in the project of the Academy for Anti-Terrorist Operation veterans, where he taught programming, in particular, to members of the Azov battalion.
In the photo from these trainings, he is standing together next to the C14 nationalist Andrei Medvedko, the organizer of these courses, and one of those accused of murdering the writer Oles Buzina in the spring of 2015.
The Ukrainian nationalists, who develop or use Parler, are in a difficult situation after the platform moved towards Russia. It is interesting what would be their further actions?!
The deplorable situation of Parler provided Russia with the opportunity not only to demonstrate its status of a defender of freedom of speech and a fighter against unlimited censorship, but also in many ways to increase its influence on the Parler platform, where, on the one hand, thousands of pro- Trump Americans are communicating, and on the other hand, the influence of Ukrainian nationalists was manifested. Support to Parler and the unprecedented rise of Telegram popularity, as well as Moscow’s positive policy towards independent social networks, allow Russia to quickly gain the upper hand in the struggle for the traditional democratic value of freedom of speech.
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