Computer programmers and volunteer "information warriors" are attempting to counter Russian propaganda and information suppression concerning the Ukraine invasion.
The squad303 coder group has built a Website that shows a randomly selected Russian citizen's email address, phone, or WhatsApp number, plus a pre-written message visitors can send to engage in dialogue. A Polish programmer said he works alongside over 100 U.S., Estonian, French, German, and other volunteers, divided into teams focused on software development, cyberdefense, social media, and a help desk to get new messengers onboard. Some of their messages show photos of the war or tallies of civilian deaths.
Western social media companies and media outlets also have started helping Russians bypass government censorship by using Tor software, which directs online traffic through a scattered network of servers, neutralizing Russia's Website blockade. Market research data indicates that virtual private network applications, which enable Russians to access otherwise-banned sites, have been downloaded millions of times on the Apple and Google app stores.
From The Washington Post
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