STRUGGLE AGAINST CORRUPTION:
With the impending Russian presidential elections in March 2018, pressure on all opposition advocates, including those working abroad, is increasing and the Russian authorities have not concealed their irritation with the fact that a list of corrupt Russian officials is detailed on our website, among them persons holding senior state posts, judges and law enforcement officials.
As a part of their wide-ranging campaign to pressurise opposition voices, in 2017 the website of the International Anti-Corruption Committee (IACC) was subjected to more than 10 attacks by hackers, completely blocking the site for several weeks.
These repeated hacking attempts have been accompanied by continual requests from the Russian authorities to our International Anti-Corruption Committee website Administrator seeking Administrator-access privileges to our website and all relevant supporting documents for those individuals featured in the list of corrupt officials.
This pressure increased, especially in July and August 2017. The last time that these faceless online assailants blocked our site on the 15th July 2017, they managed to destroy the entire database of our website. On the 11th August 2017, as the head of the International Anti-Corruption Committee, I received requests to provide access to our website and all supporting documentation. I received menacing anonymous SMS messages to my British cell number with threats that the safety of my children and I could not be guaranteed in the event that I rejected their overtures. I reported this incident to the London Metropolitan Police Service, which is investigating this matter. On the 23rd of August 2017, an attempt was made to crack the mailbox, to which our website domain is assigned, in order to gain access to the rights of the owner of our domain and hosting.
Apparently, the same people took an interest in the website of Russian newspaper «Novaya Gazeta», where on the 10th February 2012 the first list of 126 corrupt officials was published. For an entire month from mid-July 2017, the online page where the article featuring the list was posted on «Novaya Gazeta», ceased to be available. It should be noted that this article incensed Russian society five years ago, because no-one could raise a voice to the elite cabal that comprise “the powerful of this world” in Russia and suddenly there appeared those who were ready to fight corruption with fearlessness, despite the status of those in power.
We will continue our work despite attempts by individual corrupt officials or the Russian authorities – who are dissatisfied with the fact that their name(s) feature on our list – to block our website. Our programmers have learned from these attempted incursions and upgraded our technology to repel the ongoing attacks and restore the work of the website in the shortest possible time. We of course realise that, faced as we are with these sustained attacks, we could yet be “cut down” in the most unexpected and important period for us. Much as we would dislike that, the reality is that Putin’s subordinates do not want to feature on the list of corrupt officials in the run-up to the elections. We will continue to strive to improve our technology and protect our website as much as possible. The more attempts are made to hack us, the more we learn, which allows us to engage with the threat on an equal footing.
In the near future, the territorial scope of the International Anti-Corruption Committee will expand. Our analysts have already started work to expand the International Corruption List, to encompass the most corrupt officials globally.
In the autumn, we will upgrade our site design adding new interactive and visual formats. We will also try our hand at promoting the activities of the committee through the release of videos about specific corrupt officials.
We will signal to all those enriching themselves through corruption, that our position is firm, our resolve is strong and we will never depart from the principle of radical transparency. No-one will stop us by attempting to hack or block our online presence and no-one will force us to abandon our principles or our activities under threats of reprisal or attempts to fabricate criminal cases against us.
In response to threats, we will continue to fight cancerous corruption, pursuing with renewed determination, all necessary measures to stop those in positions of responsibility and trust who rob their people. This is both our moral duty and one of the best strategies for fairer, more ethically meaningful and balanced economic development in all countries across the world.
International Anti-Corruption Committee
Presently on the website you will be able to see the following projects:
The list of corrupt officials Version 2.0
Corruption in faces
International Anti-Corruption Committee