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Russia censures EU’s sanctions extension

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Moscow: Moscow considered the European Union’s decision to extend sanctions against Russia, over its role in the Ukrainian crisis, “unfounded and illegal”, and will respond in kind, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

“Russia, naturally, considers these sanctions to be unfounded and illegal, and we have never been the instigators of sanction measures,” Peskov told reporters.

Moscow will act accordingly, he added, referring to the extension of the measures banning imports of European perishables.

“We reiterate, the reciprocity principle is the basis of our approach in the exchange of sanctions,” Peskov added.

The imposition of sanctions from Brussels on Russia “does not only prejudice the interests of economic activity participants in our country but also the interests of these countries, that is, interests of taxpayers of the European states”, the spokesperson said.

European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to officially extend the economic sanctions imposed on Russia due to its role in the eastern Ukrainian conflict until January 31, 2016, contingent upon full implementation of the Minsk peace agreement.

The foreign ministers of the 28 EU countries approved the measure at Monday’s meeting without discussion, as it had been agreed on previously on the ambassadorial level. (IANS)

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS

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