Just received a text: 'Dear subscriber, you are registered [continues] as a participant in a mass riot' http://t.co/miTWyvugbx—
Olaf Koens (@obk) January 20, 2014
Someone is broadcasting creepy messages to defuse violent protests against the Ukrainian government.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance,” is a text being sent to protesters, reportedly near the Parliament building. Protesters are, in part, angry over anti-demonstration laws passed by the heavy-handed president, Viktor Yanukovych.
We’ve reached out to experts to see what company may have enabled the Ukrainian government to send the mass message — or whichever actor was trying to intimidate them.
The protests, which have been raging since last year, are in opposition to the Russian-friendly policies of the current administration and the dubious circumstances of its election to power.
Governments around the world, including the U.S. government, are increasingly brazen about their use of location tracking of dissidents and protestors. According to the USA Today, Miami-Dade police told the city council they had purchased a location-tracking system specifically to monitor protesters.
In 2012, digital rights watchdog the Electronic Frontier Foundation brought attention to companies selling technology to authoritarian regimes, including from a Nokia subsidiary, Trovicor.
We will update readers as we learn more about this incident.