SBU conducts a search in the Ukrainian offices of "Yandex" under the article on treason

    imageThe Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), on the morning of May 29, came with a search to the Ukrainian offices of Yandex. “As part of the criminal proceedings for high treason, searches are carried out in companies in Kiev and Odessa,” said SBU spokesperson Elena Gitlyanskaya to Interfax.

    “Searches are carried out on the basis of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The impact of the article extends to the threat of information security of the country. Guilty under this article faces imprisonment for a period of 12–15 years with confiscation of property, ”she added.

    Thousands of Ukrainian marketers used such services of the company as Yandex.Metrica, Yandex.Direct and Yandex Data Factory. According to gemiusAudience, more than 11 million ordinary users use the Yandex services in the country every month. This is approximately 51% of the entire Internet audience in Ukraine. For comparison, the Vkontakte social network in this country was visited every month by 16 million people (74% of Internet users in Ukraine).

    “We do not yet have information about the reasons for today's actions of the SBU. Lawyers have already left for our offices. As part of legal procedures, we are ready to provide the necessary information to the authorities, ”commented the PR director of the Internet company Yandex.

    On May 16, the Ukrainian authorities imposed sanctions against Russian Internet companies Yandex and Group (including against its social networks Odnoklassniki and VKontakte). In addition to the resources of the listed companies, the sites of such companies as Kaspersky Lab and DrWeb, as well as the 1C representative office in Ukraine, came under sanctions. Probably, the products of these companies, antivirus software and a number of other services will also fall under the sanctions.

    The corresponding decision “On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)” was taken by the NSDC on April 28, 2017. Document textpublished on the presidential portal. According to Kiev, the Russian social networks and media were allegedly used for “illegal information gathering, propaganda, recruiting agents, and the distribution of pirated content.”

    The restrictions in question are considered an extension of the sanctions and are mainly of an economic nature. But since the services and sites referred to in the decree are considered property of Russian companies, the country's leadership decided to block them.

    A few days after the introduction of sanctions, Yandex warned Ukrainian partners about blocking accounts in the country. This is primarily about counterparties of the Yandex advertising network, company representative Asya Melkumova explained to Vedomosti: “All funds remain on partner network accounts, but for now we cannot transfer them to partners' accounts.” How much money is frozen in the Ukrainian accounts of “Yandex”, Melkumova did not disclose. Yandex is looking for ways to transfer money to partners, but this problem will not be solved quickly, the company said.

    Militiamen establishedthat the company’s management illegally collected, saved and transferred personal data of Ukrainian citizens to Russia. In particular, occupation, lifestyle, housing, residence, work, leisure, sources and amounts of income, phone numbers, email addresses and accounts in social networks. According to the SBU, the information was transferred to the special services of the Russian Federation.

    Of course, if desired, users can find the means to bypass the lock. Yes, and Yandex itself has built in a mobile version of the Yandex. Browser on Android means virtual private network (VPN).

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