Russian Troops Are in Syria, and We Have the Selfies to Prove It

Image: foreignpolicy

Image: foreignpolicy

Standing against the backdrop of Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus bridge, a young man in combat fatigues poses for a photo holding up a colorful sign that says “I love you” in Russian. He’s not a tourist, though. The man’s name is Maxim Mazhnikov; he’s a member of Russia’s 810th marine brigade; and he posted the photo to social media to document his journey to war-torn Syria.

What Mazhnikov will do when gets there remains a bit of a mystery, but he is one of many Russian troops from the same unit that have been tracked via social media as they make their way towards Syria. According to a report by Russian investigative journalist Ruslan Leviev, growing numbers of Russian troops over the last two months have been sent to a Russian naval maintenance facility in Tartus, in western Syria. The apparent Russian military build-up there is sending alarm bells ringing in Washington, where the Obama administration worries that Moscow may be stepping up its efforts to help Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad hold on to power.

Leviev’s research, which relies on posts by troops on Russia’s two biggest social networking sites, notes a shift in the types of troops being sent to Syria, from draftees to experienced career soldiers. Many of the posts have already been taken down, but Leviev managed to track down several troops from Russia’s 810th marine brigade and monitor their movement to Syria through the photos and status updates they posted online.

This photo, taken from VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, shows Mazhnikov, a career soldier, crossing the Bosporus bridge in Istanbul en route to Tartus and was posted on March 29, 2015. (Click to enlarge.)

29_mart (1)

Photos taken from Mazhnikov’s profile on Odnoklassniki, another popular Russian networking site, show him in Syria at the Russian naval facility. The following photos were posted on Aug. 22, 2015.


Leviev also found Anatoly Golota, another member of the 810th brigade on VKontakte, whose status says “Off to Syria”.


Videos uploaded to the Internet in recent weeks have also sparked concerns that Russian forces are engaged in actual combat inside Syria. On Aug. 24, the Oryx blog, which monitors military developments in the Middle East and North Africa, pointed to combat footage filmed and posted by the media wing of Syria’s National Defence Force that showed a Russian-made BTR-82A armored vehicle near Latakia, in western Syria, with a color scheme used by Russian military units and not previously exported to Syria. As the armored vehicle is shooting in the video, orders can be heard in what appears to be Russian, raising speculation that troops sent by Moscow are taking part in fighting on the ground. Beyond the footage, however, there is little proof that Russian forces are engaged in Syria beyond their maintenance and advisory roles.

“The participation of [the] Russian fleet, special operation forces or aviation [forces] are all possible, but in very limited scale,” Nikolay Kozhanov, a fellow at the London-based Chatham House and a non-resident scholar at Carnegie Moscow Center, told Foreign Policy. “Putin will not send the army.”

Still, the influx of Russian troops, even if confined to Tartus, is indicative of the changing battlefield dynamics in Syria.

Since the war in Syria began, the Kremlin has been a key backer of the Assad regime, supporting Damascus economically, diplomatically, and militarily. Moscow was instrumental in helping to negotiate the deal in 2013 under which Assad gave up its chemical weapons in exchange for the U.S. rescinding plans to bomb his regime in response to his gassing of his own people. The Kremlin has been supplying weapons to the Syrian government throughout the ongoing war, and Russia has also played a role in training the Syrian military, with Russia’s former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov admitting in 2012 that Russia had “military and technical advisers” in Syria. Moreover, in October 2014, Syrian opposition fighters overran a joint Syrian-Russian listening center that was believed to be used for espionage operations.

According to Anna Borschevskaya, a fellow at the Washington Institute and an expert on Russian foreign policy in the Middle East, Moscow is using the fight against the Islamic State to try to persuade the West to allow Assad to remain in power, something that Washington and its Gulf allies have said is a precondition for any successful peace talks. Should Assad abruptly fall, the Islamic State would likely benefit the most and could control even more territory in Syria.

“This is central to Putin’s proposal on how to fight ISIS,” Borschevskaya told FP.

Moscow put forward a peace plan for Syria that envisions enlisting Assad regime and Iran in the anti-Islamic State coalition, but rounds of negotiations with Washington and Riyadh have brought no visible results.

Amid the uncertainty of the Syrian government’s longevity in the country, signs are pointing towards an even greater Russian presence in Syria — and the influx of more experienced troops, like those from the 810th brigade, to Tartus could be part of that shift.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concern in a phone call to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over the weekend, saying that if the reports of a Russian military buildup were true, it could dramatically escalate the conflict. Kerry’s phone call came on the heels of a Sept. 4 New York Times report that Russia had sent a military advance team to Syria, as well prefabricated housing units to an airfield near Latakia where Russian humanitarian aid and military hardware have been unloaded.

Lavrov told Kerry it was premature to talk about Russia’s participation in military operations in Syria, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman told RIA Novosti on Monday. Still, Lavrov confirmed Moscow’s military commitment to the Assad regime, saying Russia “has never concealed that it delivers military equipment to official Syrian authorities with the aim of combating terrorism”.

Photo taken from Maxim Mazhnikov’s Odnoklassniki profile.

In: foreignpolicy

Facebook: ¿Qué estás pensando?

Status de Facebook: Una triste paradoja, cuanto más conectados estamos con los demás más nos alejamos de ellos y más nos imbuimos en nosotros mismos.

La engañosa imagen que damos de nosotros mismos en las redes sociales está adquiriendo tintes de patología. Una peligrosa tendencia entre las nuevas generaciones, cuya incapacidad para gestionar las emociones está potenciada por el exhibicionismo propio de las redes sociales. Y por la dictadura del “me gusta”. Como dice el refrán: “dime de lo que presumes y te diré de lo que careces”. Y la sabiduría popular rara vez se equivoca.

El siguiente video revela un problema social que afecta, sobre todo, a las nuevas generaciones. Falta de inteligencia emocional, de seguridad en uno mismo, necesidad de refuerzos externos (“me gusta”), aunque sean efímeros, superficiales y hasta perversos, narcisismo patológico, personalidad vacía…

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Tu foto en internet puede ir a parar en cualquier parte: Mira la campaña ‘Conéctate Seguro’ en Paraguay

Compartir información personal en redes sociales siempre es un riesgo. Para advertir sobre sus consecuencias, las autoridades paraguayas compartieron un video sobre esta práctica cotidiana en páginas como Facebook, Twitter o Instagram.

La Secretaría de la Niñez y la Secretaría de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación de Paraguay tuvieron la iniciativa del clip que supera las 15 mil vistas en YouTube.

La campaña “Conéctate Seguro PY” busca concienciar sobre el aspecto negativo de las redes sociales cuando la información puede ser utilizada para fines delictivos.

En: Publimetro

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Facebook compra ‘Oculus’ un dispositivo de realidad virtual que cambiará nuestro estilo de vida

Facebook hace una apuesta a futuro con la compra de Oculus, una joven empresa fundada hace solo dos años. Se trata de visores que permiten al usuario a desenvolverse en un mundo virtual. El desarrollo de estos aparatos puede significar un punto clave para cambiar la forma en que trabajamos, nos divertimos, jugamos videojuegos y nos comunicamos.


Entrevista completa a Edward Snowden:

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’
Source for the Guardian’s NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next

Ewen MacAskill, Sunday 9 June 2013 19.27 BST

Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

A: “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

Q: But isn’t there a need for surveillance to try to reduce the chances of terrorist attacks such as Boston?

A: “We have to decide why terrorism is a new threat. There has always been terrorism. Boston was a criminal act. It was not about surveillance but good, old-fashioned police work. The police are very good at what they do.”

Q: Do you see yourself as another Bradley Manning?

A: “Manning was a classic whistleblower. He was inspired by the public good.”

Q: Do you think what you have done is a crime?

A: “We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me. They have narrowed the public sphere of influence.”

Q: What do you think is going to happen to you?

A: “Nothing good.”

Q: Why Hong Kong?

A: “I think it is really tragic that an American has to move to a place that has a reputation for less freedom. Still, Hong Kong has a reputation for freedom in spite of the People’s Republic of China. It has a strong tradition of free speech.”

Q: What do the leaked documents reveal?

A: “That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinised most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

Q: What about the Obama administration’s protests about hacking by China?

A: “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries.”

Q: Is it possible to put security in place to protect against state surveillance?

A: “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”

Q: Does your family know you are planning this?

A: “No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …

I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”

Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?

A: “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.

“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”

Q: What is your reaction to Obama denouncing the leaks on Friday while welcoming a debate on the balance between security and openness?

A: “My immediate reaction was he was having difficulty in defending it himself. He was trying to defend the unjustifiable and he knew it.”

Q: What about the response in general to the disclosures?

A: “I have been surprised and pleased to see the public has reacted so strongly in defence of these rights that are being suppressed in the name of security. It is not like Occupy Wall Street but there is a grassroots movement to take to the streets on July 4 in defence of the Fourth Amendment called Restore The Fourth Amendment and it grew out of Reddit. The response over the internet has been huge and supportive.”

Q: Washington-based foreign affairs analyst Steve Clemons said he overheard at the capital’s Dulles airport four men discussing an intelligence conference they had just attended. Speaking about the leaks, one of them said, according to Clemons, that both the reporter and leaker should be “disappeared”. How do you feel about that?

A: “Someone responding to the story said ‘real spies do not speak like that’. Well, I am a spy and that is how they talk. Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general.”

Q: Do you have a plan in place?

A: “The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me … My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.

“They could put out an Interpol note. But I don’t think I have committed a crime outside the domain of the US. I think it will be clearly shown to be political in nature.”

Q: Do you think you are probably going to end up in prison?

A: “I could not do this without accepting the risk of prison. You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk. If they want to get you, over time they will.”

Q: How to you feel now, almost a week after the first leak?

A: “I think the sense of outrage that has been expressed is justified. It has given me hope that, no matter what happens to me, the outcome will be positive for America. I do not expect to see home again, though that is what I want.”

En: <a href=””>

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Cuando un tercero ajeno a Facebook tiene tu usuario y password: Cuidado con el Facebook view tracker:


Engañosa imagen enviada a los contactos de Facebook para seguir pescando incautos. Práctica fraudulenta.

Como toda aplicación fraudulenta que te pide el usuario y password para poder acceder a ella se ha venido extendiendo la aplicación “Facebook view tracker”. La gracia de Facebook es justamente no saber quién te visita o cuantas veces sucede ello.

Esta aplicación juega en apariencias con el usuario brindándole al ansioso datos al azar que no pueden ser confirmados porque justamente Facebook, a través de sus condiciones de uso, prohibe este tipo de intrusiones en las cuentas.

Estas falsas aplicaciones no sirven a su finalidad y son la vía perfecta para la transmisión de virus subrepticios. Lo que es peor es que puedan ser de propiedad de hackers o piratas informáticos, acosadores y hasta extorsionadores quiene utilizarán nuestra información gracias a que les brindamos nuestra información de usuario y password a través de la aplicación. Así, tendrán total acceso a nuestros datos de Facebook y utilizarlo para sus fines.

Puedes conocer más sobre las aplicaciones de Facebook y sus principales disclaimers en:

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09 enero 2013: ¿La información de tu Biografía/Timeline del Facebook se borró?

Miércoles 09 de enero 2013 puede ser considerado el día en que Facebook se jodió. Son miles de personas quienes hasta el momento vienen reportando la desaparición de la información en su Timeline. Al parecer las cuentas están teniendo problemas y no se sabe con certeza qué esta sucediendo: una caída de los servidores, un ataque de hackers que han accedido masivamente a la información personal. Es incierto.

A continuación se coloca la página de quejas y dudas de Facebook sobre este tema: Leer más

¿Nos espiará Facebook desde lo más alto?


¿Te han preguntado dónde tomaste una foto?, ¿con quiénes estabas cuando la tomaste?, ¿qué día?, ¿te han pedido taggear amigos sin que estos lo sepan o te han taggeado sin que tu lo quieras? ¿te han preguntado quiénes son tus mejores amigos?..Con la nueva línea cronológica, Facebook conocerá tus más íntimos secretos

La nueva interfaz de Facebook permitirá a los usuarios ir agregando información de manera cronológica, de año en año, acerca de los momentos o eventos más significativos en la vida de cada persona, datos de la infancia, primera juventud, centros de estudios, fotografías de conocidos, lugares a los que ha ido, dónde ha trabajado, viajado, qué le gusta, qué consume, en fin, todo un paquete de información privada ideal para vendérselo a las agencias publicitarias o para que el FBI, la CIA o cualquier otra agencia internacional tenga la información que necesite ahí, al alcance de la mano, dispuesta de manera organizada y sin mucho esfuerzo; paranoias aparte.

Pues bien, más allá de estos detalles íntimos que Facebook le pide al usuario, éste dispondrá de todo un arsenal de contenido al alcance de la mano: todo en una misma web. Se dice que esta gran feria online que va a ofrecer Facebook se encuentran Spotify, Raphsody, Netflix, DirectTV, Cinemur y Hulu, en otras palabras, habrá de todo y para todos: contenido musical, películas, prensa online, libros y mucho más, con juegos interactivos incluidos.

Por último, los administradores de Facebook han decidido ampliar la utilidad del botón Me Gusta, como referencia, para facilitarle a los usuarios dejar su estado en la red a través de acciones tan elementales como leer, escuchar y ver entre otras opciones disponibles. O sea, que Facebook estará presente en todo, con todo, listo para escudriñar en nuestras vidas más intimas, conociendo nuestros sentimientos, gustos simpatías y antipatías, será nuestro Hermano Mayor al que debemos agradecerle, incluso, el que nos de entretenimiento “gratis”, por supuesto, además de espiarnos placenteramente.



Se fugó de la policía y publicó su estado en Facebook

Seattle (AP). Travis A. Nicolaysen está prófugo, pero aún así encontró tiempo para actualizar su estado de Facebook.

Nicolaysen, de 26 años, ha eludido a las autoridades desde el miércoles, cuando hubo dos persecuciones a pie, así como una operación de rastreo por un barrio de Port Angeles que incluyó un perro policía. Este solamente halló una pañoleta azul que usaba el prófugo.

En su primer día a la fuga, un amigo colocó en el de Nicolaysen: “La Policía te está buscando”. Nicolaysen respondió: “Me escapé. Gracias, hermano”.

Un mensaje de otro amigo le dijo que se cuidase. Otro le exhortó a que se entregara y que les diera un mejor ejemplo a sus hijos. “No eres un niño y te aguarda un largo tiempo en la cárcel”, escribió el amigo. Una foto en la página de Nicolaysen le muestra con dos niños pequeños.

Nicolaysen fue declarado culpable de cinco delitos, entre ellos violencia doméstica, invasión de morada y robo de un arma de fuego, dijo la Policía. Es buscado por el departamento de reclusorios del estado de Washington por no reportarse ante su agente comunitario desde enero.

Fue acusado además de agredir a su novia el 28 de marzo. Mejor dicho, su ex novia, según su página Facebook. En un mensaje en su página del sábado, Nicolaysen cambió su status a soltero, dijo el diario Peninsula Daily News.

La Policía está atenta a la página. “Estamos acostumbrados a revisar bases de datos y otras fuentes de información”, dijo el subjefe policial Brian Smith a The Associated Press. “Es normal que revisemos cuentas en Facebook”.

Smith constató además el creciente número de mensajes en la cuenta de Nicolaysen -algunos burlándose de la Policía- mientras el hombre seguía prófugo el lunes. “No creo que eso vaya a facilitarle las cosas”, dijo Smith.

Mucha gente puede comunicarse abiertamente en Facebook y permanecer fuera del alcance de la ley, al menos por un rato, dijo.

Facebook advierte a sus usuarios que puede compartir información con las autoridades si recibe un pedido de la Policía y que puede rastrear a las personas con base en la dirección IP o la ubicación por GPS.

Presentarle a Facebook una orden judicial es una posibilidad, pero no hay planes inmediatos para ello, dice Smith. Por ahora, la Policía espera que la publicidad sea suficiente para sacarle de su escondite en una ciudad de apenas 19 mil habitantes.

“En una comunidad pequeña, es muy difícil desaparecer y permanecer anónimo”, dijo Smith. “Esperamos que alguien que le conozca llame a la Policía”.


En fin, Google, Yahoo, y todo internet esta metido en esto..qué le vamos a hacer, en el futuro no existirá la privacidad:

Última Actualización 28/05/2012: Facebook compra empresa de reconocimiento facial Leer más

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