• How Protonmail is getting censored by FSB in Russia

    • Translation

    A completely routine tech support ticket has uncovered unexpected bans of IP addresses of Protonmail — a very useful service for people valuing their Internet freedoms — in several regions of Russia. I seriously didn’t want to sensationalize the headline, but the story is so strange and inexplicable I couldn’t resist.


    TL;DR


    Disclaimer: the situation is still developing. There might not be anything malicious, but most likely there is. I will update the post once new information comes through.


    MTS and Rostelecom — two of the biggest Russian ISPs — started to block traffic to SMTP servers of the encrypted email service Protonmail according to an FSB request, with no regard for the official government registry of restricted websites. It seems like it’s been happening for a while, but no one paid special attention to it. Until now.


    All involved parties have received relevant requests for information which they’re obligated to reply.


    UPD: MTS has provided a scan of the FSB letter, which is the basis for restricting the access. Justification: the ongoing Universiade in Krasnoyarsk and “phone terrorism”. It’s supposed to prevent ProtonMail emails from going to emergency addresses of security services and schools.


    UPD: Protonmail was surprised by “these strange Russians” and their methods for battling fraud abuse, as well as suggested a more effective way to do it — via abuse mailbox.


    UPD: FSB’s justification doesn’t appear to be true: the bans broke ProtonMail’s incoming mail, rather than outgoing.


    UPD: Protonmail shrugged and changed the IP addresses of their MXs taking them out of the blocking after that particular FSB letter. What will happen next is open ended question.


    UPD: Apparently, such letter was not the only one and there is still a set of IP addresses of VOIP-services which are blocked without appropriate records in the official registry of restricted websites.

    Read more →
  • Flightradar24 — how does it work?

      I’m going to hazard a guess and say that everyone whose friends or family have ever flown on a plane, have used Flightradar24 — a free and convenient service for tracking flights in real time.



      But, if my friends are any indication, very few people know that the service is community-driven and is supported by a group of enthusiasts gathering and sending data. Even fewer people know that anyone can join the project — including you.

      Let’s see how Flightradar and similar other services works.
      Read more →
    • A small notebook for a system administrator

        I am a system administrator, and I need a small, lightweight notebook for every day carrying. Of course, not just to carry it, but for use it to work.

        I already have a ThinkPad x200, but it’s heavier than I would like. And among the lightweight notebooks, I did not find anything suitable. All of them imitate the MacBook Air: thin, shiny, glamorous, and they all critically lack ports. Such notebook is suitable for posting photos on Instagram, but not for work. At least not for mine.

        After not finding anything suitable, I thought about how a notebook would turn out if it were developed not with design, but the needs of real users in mind. System administrators, for example. Or people serving telecommunications equipment in hard-to-reach places — on roofs, masts, in the woods, literally in the middle of nowhere.

        The results of my thoughts are presented in this article.

        Figure to attract attention
        Read more →
      • PVS-Studio 7.00

          PVS-Studio C#\Java\C++Today is an important day — after 28 releases of the sixth version we present our PVS-Studio 7.00, in which the key innovation is the support of the Java language. However, during 2018 we have acquired many other important changes related to C++, C#, infrastructure and support of coding standards. Therefore, we bring to your attention a note that sums up the major changes that have happened in PVS-Studio for the last time.
          Читать дальше →