Today: March 22 2019
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The US seizes Russian programmers by force. And forced to work for themselves

The US seizes Russian programmers by force. And forced to work for themselves

Tags: USA, Technology, Russia, Analytics, Arrest

To start a good news. Russian students just won the ACM ICPC programming world championship in Beijing for the seventh time in a row. The first place was taken by the team from Moscow State University, the second - by Fiztekh, ITMO took the ninth place. The Russians took the world cup and four medals from 13, more than any other country.

Since 2000, this is the 13-I victory of Russian students. This Olympiad is the largest in the world, there are 50 thousand participants, in the finals 140 teams participate! This, by the way, is more than at the sports Olympics, in which usually three or four thousand athletes usually take part.

Perhaps you have not heard about this - they write about our programmer victory quite restrained, it's not Telegram or Armenia. And the more so not the adventures of celebrity.

Yes, we have very cool programmers. Everyone knows this. But I am quite sure that most of today's winners will leave our country on the horizon of three to five years. Eyewitnesses and participants say that the winners and prize-winners of programming olympics are surrounded by a dense crowd of recruiters from global IT companies (mostly American, naturally) - IBM, Intel, Google and others. It is clear why.

Awarding the team of Moscow State University, which won first place at the World Programming Championship ACM ICPC in Beijing

In this regard, I want to ask: where is the meeting with the leadership of the country and the distribution of BMW cars?

Genius programmers are directly related to the country's security, import substitution, digital economy, finally. Why do our young geniuses of programming receive mostly inviting proposals from the Silicon Valley, and not the same praises and suggestions that the athletes?

Of course, the leakage of our program cadres, in principle, occurs from everywhere. In fact, for the last 30 years we have been the forge of programming and mathematical cadres for the United States. Russian programmers are everywhere: in Microsoft, Google, Yahu, Facebook - and often in high positions.

We have one of the best mathematical formations in the world, for the most part - free. And there, "they", there is a machine that generously prints the world currency, there is a venture casino in the Silicon Valley with the distribution of treats to players, there is a better climate, there is abundant food, drugs are allowed there, in general they are driven. Salaries there are at least two or three times higher. They are happy to take our free mathematicians.
And why not take them? These people are a rare resource, and you can print papers (draw in computers) - as much as you need.

And at us thus in leading high schools of the country it is possible to meet a poster "Work in the USA" and office of recruiters directly at the mathematical faculty.

And the dean, if you ask him about it, will say with a satisfied smile: yes, we have a lot of graduates now in the Valley, in MIT, Kalteh, Google - this shows our level!

No, dear readers, it shows something completely different about this dean.

Where is the state's awareness of the strategic importance of this rare resource? Where is a special mortgage for programmers, where state awards and prizes for the Olympics, where benefits, media promotion, where the support program, where ...
Well, in general, it was a hint. A fairy tale here.

Among other methods of headhunting of the USA, that is, ways to cheaply take from us mathematical and program geniuses and specialists, there is one particularly effective.

Russian programmers, extradited to the US over the past few years (incomplete list):

1. Mark Vartanyan in December 2016 year was issued from Norway to the United States. In March 2017 admitted guilt, and 19 July was sentenced to five years in prison.

2. Stanislav Lisov was extradited from Spain to the United States. He was detained in Spain 13 January 2017 year, he could face up to 35 years of prison.

Detained at the request of the FBI in Spain, Russian citizen Stanislav Lisov

3. Evgeny Nikulin was detained in autumn 2016 year in Prague. In March of this year, he was extradited to the United States.

4. Peter Levashov was detained in April 2017 year in Barcelona at the request of the United States.

5. Vladimir Drinkman and Dmitry Smilianets: in February 2018 the New Jersey State Court Drinkman was sentenced to 12 years in prison, Dmitry Smilyanets released in the courtroom.

6. Nikita Kuzmin was arrested in the United States in 2010. In May 2016, the court ordered him to pay 6,9 million dollars as compensation to the victims and sentenced to 37 months of imprisonment (already served in custody), released.

7. Vladimir Zdorovenin 16 January 2012 year was extradited to the United States. In February 2012, he partially acknowledged the guilt.

8. Alexander Kostyukov was arrested in Miami in March 2012. In December 2015, he was sentenced to nine years in prison and paid a fine of 50 million dollars.

9. Alexander Panin in June 2013 year in the Dominican Republic was arrested and then extradited to the United States. He pleaded guilty in exchange for the removal of part of the charges. In September 2015 was sentenced to 9,5 year imprisonment.

10. Belorossov Dmitry was arrested at Barcelona airport 17 August 2013 year, in May 2014 year extradited to the United States. In September 2015 year was sentenced to 4,5 year of imprisonment and payment of 322 thousand dollars in damages.

11. Maxim Chukharev in April 2014 year was extradited to the USA from Costa Rica. In September 2014, he pleaded guilty, sentenced to three years in prison.

12. Roman Polyakov, detained in Spain 3 July 2014 year, in 2015 year was extradited to the United States. In June 2016 admitted guilt, sentenced to four years in prison and a fine of 90 thousand dollars.

13. Roman Seleznev was detained 5 July 2014 at the airport of Maldives in the city of Male by the US special services. In April 2017, he partially acknowledged the guilt, was sentenced to 27 years in prison and a fine of 170 million dollars. In July 2017 against Seleznev, new charges were brought against cyber fraud, and he was sentenced to 14 years in prison, totaling 41 a year.

14. Maxim Senah was arrested in Finland in August 2015, in January 2016-th was extradited to the United States. In March, 2017 recognized the blame for cybercrime. In August, 2017 was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

15. Yuri Martyshev was detained 26 April 2017 year in the Republic of Latvia at the request of the United States.

16. Dmitry Ukrainsky was detained in July 2016 in Thailand at the request of the FBI.

17. Sergei Medvedev, detained in Bangkok in February 2018 year on the FBI tip.

18. Alexander Vinnik was detained 25 July 2017 year in Greece at the request of US special services.

Russian Alexander Vinnik, detained in Greece on suspicion of money laundering

Well, and so on. I removed the details of the charges and the vicissitudes of the trials from this reference, it would be another ten pages. But below I will describe the general scheme of "special recruiting".

Before I say that I know at least two cases, when the Russian state "fit" for the arrested "hacker."

This, firstly, the case of Dmitry Zubaha, arrested in July 2013 on vacation in Cyprus, to pulling out which I had to do with Russia. It was an employee of the company "Ashmanov and partners", we were engaged in programming of the advertising system. Accused him of attacking Amazon, which took place four years before he came to us, threatened him 25 years of prison. The Russian prosecutor's office demanded his extradition to Russia, Dmitry agreed, and our lawyers did not let him get to the US. And in April 2014 Dmitry arrived in Russia. He is grateful for the help, he is doing well, a child was born here, he works as a technical director in an Internet company.
And the second case - with Fedor Manokhin, at the beginning of 2017 year arrested in Sri Lanka on charges of US authorities in hacker attacks and interference in the presidential election (!), In which Manohin could receive up to 60 years of imprisonment. No evidence was provided by the US side. As a result, the General Prosecutor's Office of Russia joined the fight for Manohin, which sent a request to Sri Lanka for his extradition to his homeland. Somehow Manohin ended up at home, although I personally do not know much about this case.

This - lucky. A dozen Russian programmers are arrested and taken to the United States each year. The press almost does not write about this.

That here it is necessary to note.

First: obviously, the US considers the whole world its jurisdiction. Often they do not even bother with Interpol orders, but simply require extradition. And quite a large part of the world obediently executes: Americans are afraid.
Second: these people are like criminals. I heard such opinions: what for they to us, them correctly catch. What are we going to do with them?

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure. And that's why. If you read more carefully the list of extradited ones, one can notice one peculiarity: either the defendant goes to the deal with the investigation and gets several years in jail, or even goes completely free, because he has already served the exact term appointed by the court, or receives unthinkable terms - 25-40 years of prison. More than we are given for a few murders.

The scheme here is this:

1. The extradition court in the country of arrest of the "hacker" does not consider the case on the merits of the charges brought. He understands only whether an incriminated act is a crime under the laws of that country. If yes - automatically gives the arrested "hacker" to the United States. Assuming that already there he will be judged on the merits - honestly and impartially, of course. We know that everything is fair in the US.

2. In the US, an extradited person is told: "Look, lad, on the amount of charges you" burst "30-40 years in prison. You will leave the old man, if before this sunburnt bored fellow inmates do not torture to death with progressive love. And if you go to the deal, you plead guilty, you'll get from two to five years, or even just the time already imprisoned in a good prison - then you'll get out, get a green card and work for the best reconnaissance of the world of NSA by specialty.

3. What does the "hacker", which has long been cut off from the family, motherland, friends, who usually can not afford a good lawyer, is exhausted by the persuasions and scarecrows placed in the cell "hen" and begins to believe in these 30 years of prison ahead? Naturally, he agrees to a deal. He does not have any other alternatives in the face of the most powerful repressive machine in the world - we, Russia, do not offer him anything.

4. And then the court should not consider any evidence. The deal is the same. Full confession of guilt. Very convenient - because the evidence is usually absent or unfit.

And to find out already, whether the "hacker" was actually guilty, is already impossible.
US intelligence received another specialist in gray operations, operatives of the NSA and the FBI - stars on epaulets, the "hacker" jumped out of the most horrible nightmare of his life and exhales, gets used to the new reality.

Now exactly this scheme is developing with Alexander Vinnik, arrested in Thessaloniki in 2017 year. He was first charged with creating a BTC-E crypto exchange, not licensed in the US. A couple of US citizens (FBI agents) specifically set up accounts on the stock exchange to show that this exchange is also working with US citizens, and therefore is in American jurisdiction.

Citizen of Russia Alexander Vinnik surrounded by police officers at the airport in Thessaloniki. 29 September 2017

True, creating exchanges that are not licensed in the US is not a crime under the laws of Greece. And the Americans, realizing the error, just changed the accusation within a couple of weeks: now they took the entire turnover of the stock exchange for the entire time of its existence - four billion dollars - called it proceeds of crime, and accused Vinnik as the owner of the exchange in laundering this sum.

Everything in this business - props. In addition to the desire of the US special services to take Vinnik to himself and receive passwords. Vinnik is not the owner of the exchange, he is a technical specialist. The exchange does not launder money, it allows you to trade in crypto-currencies. Turnover is not an income. The volume of trading is not criminal money. Vinnik does not have billions: he is not rich, he pays a mortgage. Well, and so on.

Why did the US cling to Vinnik? There is still an important reason, except for what they really need as a key specialist - along with passwords, of course.

The crypto-currency world was created by the Americans as a new global project in the field of world finance. In fact - as a replacement for the dollar. Surprisingly, in it, unexpectedly for the United States, prominent Russians (and the Chinese) took a prominent place.
The Russians created a huge number of independent currencies, services and exchanges. The process went wrong and began to get out of control.

Americans want to return it under their control.

At the same time, it seems that the "hacker", according to the deal, will also need to participate in media campaigns against Russia, recognition in attacks on elections in the United States, and the like. Approximately as from the "exposer of Russian doping" Rodchenkov.

Americans (as in the case of Zubakha) go to Vinnik's cell and directly tell him exactly what I wrote above: let's not fight, consent to extradition to the United States. And your tools, passwords and source codes - try not to forget. You'll sit for a year, write a green card, you'll work. Otherwise, still get out and get your thirty!

And Vinnik has a seriously ill wife, two small children, parents, Motherland. He does not want to work in the US and does not want to work for the NSA. He does not agree.

Lawyers file appeals, requests for political asylum, while they keep him. But they will not be able to do it for a long time - without state help.
And where is our state? Why does not it help?

You can ask why we need Vinnik, even if he is not a criminal? But why.

First of all, he (and others like him, who the United States with impunity and unhindered grab and drag around the world) is a really cool specialist, a carrier of completely unique theoretical and practical knowledge of the most advanced fields of information technology, with more than 20 years. We have few such people, they are washed out by the HYIP in the Silicon Valley.

The lawyer of Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik in Greece Alexandros Likurezos

To us these their knowledge are vital for those technological breakthroughs, which the leadership of the country speaks about.

Secondly, he is a Russian citizen. That should be enough already. If we tried to detain and judge a US citizen on similar charges, an absolutely monstrous media storm would rise. And now everything is quiet. We do not extradite our citizens under the Constitution from our territory, but we issue them from a stranger, from a vacation. Why is that?

We, too, must protect our citizens. If they really are to blame - this should be determined by our court, Russian, not American.
These are our citizens.

Now the departure of any technical specialist for a vacation or business trip abroad is a huge risk, especially in conditions when, in fact, they are hunting. And we do not have a mechanism to automatically include state protection and rescue procedures.

We need the arrest of any Russian citizen abroad to become an event of national scale. To the status of a citizen of Russia was similar to the status of a Roman citizen of the Roman Empire. To immediately reported to the very top, to create immediately interdepartmental working groups, diplomats began to work and so on.

And even more so when trying to seize strategic intellectual resources "a potential enemy."

Igor Ashmanov
RIA News
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