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[liberationtech] Documenting police brutality in Kiev

Walid AL-SAQAF admin at
Wed Dec 4 00:41:40 PST 2013

Thanks to both of you for sending your comments,

But I tend to agree with Maxim on this, and I find point (2) mentioned by
Maxim to be quite compelling:

2. Retaliation to discourage further protests, as smartphones are expensive,
> and Ukraine is a relatively poor country.

After giving a though, I find that point (4) about wrecking phones is to
hide evidence of police brutality may not be much of an effective strategy
because of two main reasons:

1) One can probably find ways  of retrieving digital data from most of
those devices. If the aim is to hide evidence, they would do something that
police in some authoritarian countries -like  my own, Yemen- usually do,
i.e., seizing cameras and mobile phones. If protesters are lucky, they'd
get the phones/cameras back from the police station without their memory
cards. It might be possible in some instances to recover footage from
internal memory.

2) Such a strategy won't be of much use nowadays considering that many
mobile devices are connected directly to the cloud so whatever is being
documented is already out of reach for the police.

The second hypothesis reminded me of what the Egyptian police did when they
vandalizes cars of protesters and the Syrian army robs and destroys homes
and property of anti-government neighborhoods.

I can't comment much about points (3) and (4) though. But they raise
interesting aspects.




Walid Al-Saqaf
Founder & Administrator
alkasir for mapping and circumventing cyber censorship < at>


On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM, Maxim Kammerer <mk at> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 2:32 PM, Walid AL-SAQAF <admin at> wrote:
> > Just notice how riot policemen intentionally wreck and destroy mobile
> > devices one by one. Kind of confirms the LibTech notion, doesn't it ?
> Fact is, you don't know why they do it. I can see at least several options:
> 1. Destroying communication options of opposing forces during the protests.
> 2. Retaliation to discourage further protests, as smartphones are
> expensive, and Ukraine is a relatively poor country.
> 3. The protests are viewed as propaganda warfare by the authorities,
> and contrasted with Orange Revolution, which is considered a case of
> Western interests scoring a win using propaganda techniques.
> Smartphone cameras are a tool used in propaganda warfare.
> 4. Preventing documentation of police brutality.
> Last option is possible, but doesn't make much sense to me in a
> country like Ukraine, since a much more effective tactic is to
> document mob brutality (e.g., see a policeman hit with a stone at 3:10
> in the video), and following it up with a few show trials.
> --
> Maxim Kammerer
> Liberté Linux:
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
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