- Trump congratulates Putin on his re-election.
A note to Donald Trump for his phone call with Vladimir Putin reportedly said:
“DO NOT CONGRATULATE”.
Mr Putin’s controversial win came as his opponent was barred from the ballot. As a result, several world leaders have been hesitant to congratulate him.
What did Mr Trump say?
Mr Trump said the call with the Kremlin was “very good”.
“I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on the victory, his electoral victory. The call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get together in the not too distant future so that we can discuss arms, we can discuss the arms race…
…and also to discuss Ukraine, and Syria, and North Korea, and various other things.
So, I think probably we will be seeing president Putin in the not too distant future.”
What was the reaction of the State?
US Republican Senator John McCain criticized Mr Trump over the call.
“An American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election to determine their country’s future, including the countless Russian patriots who have risked so much to protest and resist Putin’s regime.”
Was it the right move?
At home – probably not. But politics is all about diplomacy.
Personally, I think Mr Trump did the right thing for the US bilateral relations with Russia.
We shall wait and see…
- Russia orders Telegram to hand over encryption keys to Federal Security Service.
In the lawsuit, which is somewhat similar to the famous 2016 Apple-FBI encryption case, the London-registered company Telegram Messenger demanded that the FSB order be recognized as unlawful and cancelled.
Did they win the case?
No. The judge took the FSB’s side in the argument and ordered the Telegram lawsuit to be rejected. Telegram promised to contest the ruling.
Also, Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor officially warned Telegram that unless it complies with the FSB and the court’s orders, its work on Russian territory could be blocked.
What is it all about?
The package of bills that regulates the data exchange between the Russian security services and internet companies was signed by President Vladimir Putin in July 2016. The authors described it as a response to the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt and the terrorist attacks in Paris.
The new law obliges communication companies, including internet providers, to keep information about their clients’ data traffic for three years (one year for messengers and social networks) and also to keep actual records of phone calls, messages and transferred files for six months.
The bill also requires communications companies to hand over encryption keys to state security agencies on demand, allowing them to read encrypted data.
What if they don’t do it?
Non-compliance could cost companies between 800,000 and 1 million rubles in fines.
What is Telegram saying?
Quoting Telegram founder Pavel Durov:
“Threats to block Telegram unless it gives up private data of its users won’t bear fruit. Telegram will stand for freedom and privacy.”
Do you feel comfortable knowing someone is reading your texts or listening to your conversations?
Not really. But then again. If this practice ends up saving lives…
What costs more: privacy or security? You tell me.
- Russian parliament rejects cohabitation bill.
What is the cohabitation bill about?
The legislation proposes to give partners the same rights as spouses after five years of cohabitation (or two years if the couple has a child). It was submitted to the State Duma in January by the center-left party Fair Russia. The sponsor claimed that Russian citizens see no difference between registered and unregistered unions, but – from a legal standpoint – cohabitation is not recognized.
Why was it rejected?
Quoting the State Duma representatives:
“The proposed characteristics of the de-facto marriage relations are vague and it is not clear from the text of the draft who should decide on the moment when such relations start and how they will do it.”
The representatives also stated that the bill lacked a satisfactory description of a cohabitation agreement, especially, the process of division of property in the case of separation or death of a partner.
From the start, the proposal caused heated objections from conservative lawmakers. They said that couples should be encouraged to make their relationships official and that marriage is a voluntary step, which any couple could undertake if they wished to do so.
What are Russians saying?
One poll showed that 38 percent of Russians supported legislative moves to provide for equality of cohabitation and marriage, while 50 percent of respondents opposed the move.
What do you think? Should people get married? Should cohabitation equate to marriage? What is marriage for you?
Please share your opinion in the comments!