FinCEN Include Cryptography In Russian Sanctions Evasion Alert

“It’s our smart and peaceful tool to destroy the Russian economy,” he said.

Fedorov’s strategy looks like this: he will write to business leaders, then tweet a photo of his letter. If a tech company responds to his request, he’ll usually tweet it too. It’s hard to say if his tweets alone have influenced tech companies, but Fedorov has a history of getting some tech leaders to follow his wishes.

Here’s a look at how companies and platforms have acquiesced (or not) to his calls to action.

Platforms and companies that responded to Fedorov’s requests

Netflix: On February 26, Fedorov called on the streaming platform to block russian access and close Russian content. Netflix announced two days later that it would not add Russian channels to its service, and on March 6 it suspended its service in Russia.

PayPal: On February 26, Fedorov asked PayPal to block his service in Russia. On March 5, the company announced that it would suspend service in the country.

Visa and MasterCard: Fedorov had the same wish for Visa and Mastercard as it did for PayPal. On March 5, the two suspended their services in Russia.

SAP and Oracle: On March 2, Fedorov tweeted a letter which asked Oracle to suspend its activities in Russia and SAP to cease supplying its products and services there. Oracle said it would suspend operations and SAP said it would suspend sales that day. Fedorov was not entirely satisfied with SAP’s response. He tweeted again call out company to stop supporting SAP products in Russia.

Starlink: On February 26, Fedorov appealed to Elon Musk provide Ukraine with Starlink Internet terminals. Musk responded later that day, Starlink service was activated in the country.

Youtube: On February 26, Fedorov said to have contacted the platform on blocking Russian “propaganda” channels. Later in the day, YouTube disabled monetization of Russia Today channels. On March 1, the platform blocked Russian state-controlled channels in Europe.

Companies and platforms that did not respond to Fedorov’s requests

Apple: On February 25, Fedorov tweeted a letter addressed to Tim Cook asking him to block the App Store for Russian citizens. Apple blocked RT and Sputnik from the App Store outside of Russia, but did not block Russian access to the App Store. Experts said, however, that cutting off access to the App Store could make it harder for Russians to stay informed and coordinate possible anti-war efforts.

Google: Fedorov too hurry Google to block access to Google Play. The company stopped selling ads in the country and Alphabet kicked RT and Sputnik out of Google Play, but the company didn’t completely block access to its app store.

Microsoft: Fedorov want company to cut off access to Azure, Skype and GitHub in Russia. Microsoft suspended new sales in the country but did not block access to its services.

Apple Music and Spotify: Fedorov demand both platforms to allow artists to change their album covers to draw attention to the war. The two have not responded to this request, at least not publicly.

Meta: On February 26, Fedorov noted he wrote to Meta urging the company to block Russian access to Facebook and Instagram. On March 1, the company announced that it would offer encrypted Instagram DMs in Russia and Ukraine and demote Facebook posts from users who connect to Russian state media, but it refrained from restricting access to Russians. Instead, Russia cut off access to Facebook.

Crypto Exchanges: Fedorov demand major crypto exchanges to block Russian user addresses. Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong said he won’t unless the United States requires a ban.

Fig: On March 5, Fedorov demand Figma to cease providing its services in Russia. The company has not responded, at least not publicly, to the request.



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FinCEN Include Cryptography In Russian Sanctions Evasion Alert


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