During A Police Raid, Russian Activist Uses Drone To Whisk Sensitive Data To Safety

from the video-or-it-didn't-happen dept

Drones have moved beyond the novelty stage, and are now capable of having a global impact. That was shown most dramatically by the recent drone attack on the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia. The loss of production has caused the price of oil to spike, and fears about a global recession to mount -- all because of a few tiny drones. An article in the Guardian suggests:

Drones are now an integral part of the inventory of the region's most advanced militaries, and the also-rans. Non state actors have been clamouring to secure them as well -- convinced by the utility of hard-to-detect, dispensable flying toys to be used as weapons of war.

But as Techdirt has noted before, drones are not all about death and destruction. BBC News has an interesting example of a novel use from Russia. It concerns a police raid on the flat of Sergey Boyko, who heads the local branch of the movement of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Raids were conducted in more than 40 cities across the country, allegedly investigating money laundering, something denied by Navalny's supporters. Elsewhere, the police seized activists' computers and mobile phones. But they came away empty-handed from their raid on Boyko, thanks to the use of a small drone:

The drone was loaded with various hard disks, solid-state drives and flash sticks containing "very important" information that he did not want to fall into the police's hands, according to the activist.

"Done. The evacuation has been carried out. The drone reached its destination," he says at one point.

The drone's destination was an unnamed friend of Boyko, presumably not an obvious one that the police might easily find in their search for the data. Boyko was clearly expecting to be raided. He not only had the presence of mind to have a drone to hand for the delivery, but he also recorded the police raid as it was happening. The video concludes with a plea for viewers to support the Navalny campaign financially -- a neat way of using the police raid against the authorities who ordered it. The whole episode is another indication of how Russians seem able to keep calm in even the most difficult situations, which is probably just as well given the way that some people drive there.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.

Filed Under: activists, drones, russia, secrecy, sergey boyko, strategy, technology


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Disguised as Ukrainian Volleyballer, 23 Sep 2019 @ 8:11pm

    Just handed prosecutor an obstruction of justice charge!

    IF this happened, won't need much more than this public testimony.

    Navalny is of course a Western-funded hooligan troublemaker. He does little more than stunts to gain attention, so who knows if real or just to keep the money coming in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Disguised as Ukrainian Volleyballer, 23 Sep 2019 @ 8:14pm

      Re: Just handed prosecutor an obstruction of justice charge!

      the recent drone attack on the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia.

      Who even knows if that happened! No one is impressed even with a display of burned parts.

      The loss of production has caused the price of oil to spike, and

      It's OVER.

      fears about a global recession to mount -- all because of a few tiny drones.

      NO, because that's the reaction wanted, not at all due to actual damage.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 8:26pm

      Navalny is of course a Western-funded hooligan troublemaker.

      So is Donald Trump, but I don’t see you complaining about him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ben (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 8:28pm

      Re: Just handed prosecutor an obstruction of justice charge!

      Considering the "police" (a) would not identify themselves as police and (b) would not show them a warrant, they could have been anyone. Taking the precaution of "saving" his digital data before they finished breaking down his door seems like a prudent thing to do.

      I must admit, though, that it takes discipline to have all of your data easily extractable like that (and then having a drone ready and programmed to go to a "safe" location). Well played Boyko. Well played.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2019 @ 3:22am

        Re: Re: Just handed prosecutor an obstruction of justice charge!

        Considering the "police" (a) would not identify themselves as police......

        And n the US he would have been knee deep in police before he could have reacted, and in danger of being shot for not respecting their authority.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2019 @ 8:46pm

      Re: Just handed blue balls an ignorant of motherfucker charge!

      Are you still made because Russian internet trolls get paid to do what you can’t give away?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 9:54pm

      Re: Just Troll

      Navalny is of course a Western

      So wait, Blue Balls is against the West, pro-Russia, a self-admitted hater of Jews, and openly wants to attack anyone fighting for free speech?

      But the first time the "right" of copyright comes up, He's willing to assign it to Corporations?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2019 @ 10:28pm

        Re: Re: Just Troll

        Yep. Grade A ignorant motherfucker rule #1: Corporation is love, copyright is life. Or to be accurate, Copyright is life plus 70 years (and counting)!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 23 Sep 2019 @ 9:25pm

    Drones, the new sneakernet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 23 Sep 2019 @ 9:55pm

      Re:

      Drones, the new sneakernet.

      Munroe at XKCD has done an excellent job explaining how sneakernet capacity far exceeds that of traditional broadband.

      Even carried by butterflies! :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 24 Sep 2019 @ 10:38am

    In the video they reference Russian police taking their cookies...which were given to them by the U.S. State Department. This is not democracy, this is an illegal coup attempt, as usual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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