Anonymous Website Outs Russian Anti-Corruption Demonstrators
A protester is pulled down from a lamp post during anti-corruption rally in downtown Moscow.
Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP
An anonymous Russian website is using controversial identification software to find the names and social media accounts of anti-corruption protesters who demonstrated in cities across Russia on June 12, the Meduza news website has reported.
The website, Je Suis Maidan, which launched in late June, uses the FindFace application to link photos of protesters to their social media pages and full names.
Demonstrators identified as visiting unsanctioned protests risk being detained by police, expelled from university or fired from their jobs, Meduza reports.
“We have carried out a large amount of work, dug through a lot of sources, took apart gigabytes worth of photo archives and used different means to identify the faces,” a message on the front page of the website reads. “Here is the result!
“Give up hope - we’ll find you, too!” the message concludes.
So far, Je Suis Maidan has identified around 75 people who attended rallies organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow. The website has so far outed hundreds of participants of anti-corruption demonstrations that took place across Russia on June 12.
Thousands participated in the protests, which ended in mass arrests criticized by human rights groups.
The Je Suis Maidan website features a collection of pictures of protesters, their names and links to their VKontakte social media pages.