The pre-New Year fuss is already well felt in Moscow, people are postponing meetings to 2023, everything is around
December is fruitful for officials and deputiestime, they try to promote their bills, comment on other people's initiatives, sometimes scolding them mercilessly. And here we can say that this December is rich in events - Yandex returns people to offices, they want to cancel remote work outside the country, and at the same time fine for data leaks. All these bills are intertwined into one ball, which together we will try to unravel. But besides that, we have other events worth paying attention to, so let's get started. Go!
Table of Contents
- Prohibition of remote work in IT companies. Pros and cons
- Turnover fines for personal data leakage
- Destruction of equipment and offices of companies that left Russia
- Elon Musk and managing Twitter in manual mode
- Examples of the work of Midjourney algorithms - ideas embodied in pictures
- Own scooter from Yandex - developed by Wind
Prohibition of remote work in IT companies. Pros and cons
The State Duma will be submitted by the end of the yearbill to limit remote work for those who are outside of Russia. The author of the bill is Senator Andrei Klishas and a number of deputies. Klishas is the head of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building. The bill is not aimed at all people who work remotely, but at government officials, employees of a number of transport specialties, critical infrastructure facilities, plus IT security employees of companies. In the press, in most cases, they did not go into details, and the usual damaged phone turned the bill into a total ban on remote work. Approximately, as they once inflated the story about the ban on women's lace underwear, although it was clear that this was distorted information. Here the picture is exactly the same, and it is clear that federal officials react not to the actual document of the bill, but to publications in the media. Let's take a look at the quick, if not lightning-fast reaction of the Ministry of Digital Development, here is the official comment:
“The Ministry of Digital Development does not support the introduction of a legislative ban on remote work in IT companies for employees located abroad.
A total ban could lead toslowdown in the development of digital platforms and solutions, which in the end may adversely affect their competitiveness. Our task is to use all the available intellectual potential of developers to introduce new digital services. In the end, the winner will be the one who can attract the most talented personnel, including those located abroad.
Decisions on the format of the work of their employeesshould be taken by the IT companies themselves. At the same time, we strongly recommend that you carefully analyze the risks of remote work of employees who administer critical applications, as well as information security systems.
At the same time, the Ministry of Digital Development considers it impossible toremote work of developers in projects for the creation and development of state information systems and proposes to include relevant requirements in state contracts.
One gets the feeling that the Ministry of Digital Transformation simply does notfigured out the issue, reacted to the distortions introduced by journalists that they asked about a “total ban”. And they played a broken phone, adding confusion to what was happening. Not the best approach anyway.
My opinion is consonant with the Senator's proposalKlishas, if you work for the state or a company with state participation, then please be present at the workplace for a certain number of days during the week. Moreover, to be present in the country, and not somewhere else where you are comfortable working remotely, from a Thai beach or from cold Kazakhstan. The exception is people who, due to the specifics of their work, must be outside the country, for example, IT employees of embassies or companies that have branches in other countries.
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Physical location of employees outside the countrycreates a serious vulnerability for any information systems, in our time, even the potential for this cannot be ignored. Especially when it comes to sensitive matters, for example, the operation of transport within the country, information security, and so on.
There are no such restrictions in commercial companies,with one exception - the presence of an office in another country, so that employees are registered on a business trip, or assigned to an external office. This is a requirement of Russian law that must be respected, but many private companies turn a blind eye to these moments and allow their employees to work remotely. For the time being, soon everything will change unimaginably and this format of work will become a thing of the past for most people.
Treat these actions as an attempt to bring people backhome, you can't. This is precisely patching holes in the security of companies and information systems, reducing the number of vulnerabilities. No one is eager to return those who fled the country at any cost, there is no need for this. As well as no one except the townsfolk wants punishment for such people, some kind of suffering, deprivation, and further down the list. By and large, the state does not give a damn about the problems of those who themselves decided to run away and at the same time continue to work remotely for Russian companies.
The first company to proactively supportthe future bill became Yandex, with the advent of Alexei Kudrin, unpopular decisions will become the norm. Let me remind you that out of approximately 19,000 employees of the company, at least about 2,000 people left the country, and the majority expressed a desire to leave Russia in internal chats and voting. Yandex turned a blind eye to the fact that employees were leaving for other countries, they believed that they were saving people. The rescue period is over - on December 9, at an internal meeting of Yandex in Russia, employees were confronted with the fact that they must return to the offices.
In fact, Yandex is returning to the usualhybrid work format - several days a week you can work from home, the remaining days the employee must be in the office. All employees working in Russia are required to stay inside the country and come to work, concessions are made for developers whose work is not directly related to Russian products, they can work in other countries where Yandex has offices - but come to work in for a few days they still have to. Marketing, finance, HR and other departments related to the Russian market have no concessions, work is possible only from Russia. Starting from January, employees must return to their jobs, the time for “rescue” is over, Yandex is ready to fire those who do not follow the rules of the game.
The desire of the Ministry of Digital Development to keep the existing rulesThe game is understandable, many IT specialists have left the country (not hundreds of thousands, ten thousand at most), they are people they know from previous jobs, they want to help. But they do not have any special influence on the development of infrastructure in Russia, now helping them is helping the needy, and it must be abandoned. There is no real need to support those who left Russia. On the contrary, it is necessary to create conditions within the country for those who have remained and continue to work. This is right. It is wrong at any cost to feed people who fled the country because of their ideas of beauty. And even more so to do it at public expense, if people work for state-owned companies. It is surprising that such obvious and simple things require explanation and reasoning. Our state is so "evil" that it feeds refugees in other countries and allows them to live by the sea, work for Russian companies and at the same time curse it. I definitely don’t like this state of affairs, I need to put things in order here.
In October, I wrote a text that soon remote work will begin to evaporate like dew in the morning, and this is exactly what is happening.
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Turnover fines for personal data leakage
The Ministry of Digital Development has prepared a project on working capitalfines for the leakage of personal data, it can be up to 3% of the company's turnover. Let me remind you that this year there have been a dozen personal data leaks, some of them very sensitive. I remember the Yandex.Food leak, in which phones, addresses, additional information, order amounts, and much more became available. The fine for Yandex.Food turned out to be staggering - 60 thousand rubles. The maximum fine under the law can currently be up to one hundred thousand rubles. And therefore the initiative of the Ministry of Digital Development is correct, turnover fines can force companies to better monitor the data of their customers, invest in their protection. The same CDEK does not do this at all, they had one leak after another during the year. It is easier to pay fines than to invest in IT infrastructure.
Here is how Maksut commented on the billShadayev, Minister of the Ministry of Digital Development in the State Duma: “There is a very serious problem with the leakage of personal data. Indeed, this is a difficult situation. There is a position that let's fine. The Ministry of Digital Development has prepared a draft law on the introduction of turnover fines. Very serious fines – up to 3% of the turnover are provided if the company does not ensure the safety of data.”
The bill also contains mitigating factors,when the company passed the certification of its data protection systems, compensated affected users for this leak. The last question remains open, since there is no clear mechanism for calculating the amount of compensation that can be considered sufficient. One hundred rubles per person? Thousand? How much our personal data is worth is unknown, each company can evaluate it arbitrarily.
It is interesting that involuntarily the draft law of the Ministry of Digitalrefutes the words said by this department above regarding remote work. In case of data leakage and the presence of employees located abroad, there are no concessions and there cannot be, the company has created all the conditions for data loss. As a result, these two bills complement each other perfectly and create all the conditions for remote work to become a scarecrow for companies, they will avoid this format.
A turnover penalty for data leakage is necessary, butThere are several points that make me think about practical implementation. To begin with, the draft law does not elaborate on the question of who exactly is responsible for the storage of personal data and is responsible for them. Within the framework of the law, I can create several companies, in one store the data of my customers, in the other accept payments and conduct commercial activities. As you understand, the main turnover will be in the second company, and in the personal data warehouse it will be minimal. And in this case, it will be extremely difficult to scare companies with fines from turnover. It is necessary to clearly define the mechanism of which company and how is responsible for customer data, so that any evasive maneuvers become impossible. Now this is not done and everything looks raw.
The Ministry of Digital Development spends millions of rubles every year onsearch for leaks of personal data, a kind of candle factory in which control and monitoring systems are created, people get jobs, but there is simply no practical sense from these fancy systems. In any case, I don’t know about it, we learn about all the leaks from third-party resources, we find our data in them.
For example, look at the tender for revisionsystems for monitoring phishing sites and personal data leaks, the cost of work is 170 million rubles. And this is the money that is allocated by the Ministry of Digital Development from taxes. You can find the tender here.
This is not an isolated example of how money is spent.on meaningless systems that de facto do not work, just provide people with work and money. We need real systems that allow us to learn about problems and compromises of certain data. See how entrepreneurial people use the shortcomings of government systems, they create their own versions of services. And they work very simply - a leak occurs, a database appears. In such a service, they upload it to themselves and add a search by phone or other data, voila, and you can check in one place where your data has been compromised.
I periodically check my phone and find a funny change in the list of leaks.
I waited and continue to wait for a similar service fromthe state, which for the most part refuses that some data has leaked, that they are real, while this is a silence of the problem, sweeping under the rug. We need to know exactly where and when personal data was compromised in order to draw conclusions from this. Silence makes the problem worse, we become weaker.
And, of course, you need to come up with a law in whichcompanies will begin to be responsible to their customers, there will be a clear formula for calculating damages. So that the business pays in rubles for every leak and the formula is understandable to everyone, as well as the threat of losing money. In the meantime, the most disenfranchised in this story are users, their rights are not protected by anyone. Mintsifra portrays the construction of information systems for crazy money, and leaks are not prevented in any way, and data flows like a full-flowing river.
For those who are worried about how to protect their data and what is important and what is not, we have material. So read on, perhaps you will find some thoughts on the topic useful.
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Destruction of equipment and offices of companies that left Russia
I didn’t get to Microsoft for the holiday of life, but ingood people let me go on a tour of another company, so that I could see with my own eyes how the company's tangible assets are being destroyed in Russia. Let me remind you that the Russian office of this company ceased to exist in March 2022, some of the employees were fired, some of the employees went to Dubai, where they are today. I rewrote this text several times, as people who allowed me to look at what was happening with their own eyes asked me to take maximum precautions. This is not very clear to me, since it will not be difficult to find out from the text who is being referred to, but I am a forced person and I keep my agreements. As well as introduced several distortions into how everything happened, they do not change the meaning of what is happening, but the text below does not repeat everything that happened in detail. Keep it in mind.
In Moscow, the company's office is located in the center,the company occupies several thousand meters here. The lease agreement was signed until January 2025, it was not terminated after the departure of the employees, but now the company plans to vacate the premises by the beginning of next year. To do this, you need to destroy all the equipment that is inside - computers, printers, video communications, furniture.
Nondescript station wagon brought to a small lanenot far from the Kremlin, several employees of a company that “cleans” offices, like in Hollywood action movies, they call themselves cleaners, but they don’t clean up dead bodies at all, but the remains of office equipment. They work at the facility under the supervision of another company, which records all their actions and ensures that the equipment is destroyed and disposed of. In a corporation, the approach to destroying equipment is more scrupulous than in other companies, more thorough work is required here, but it is better paid.
At the parking lot, henchmen are taken out of the cartools, overalls resemble workers, no difference from plumbers or those who put lights in offices. A tool is laid out from the trunk, it is diverse - there is a hydraulic press, scissors, drills and a portable shredder, and some other little things. A representative of the company takes the team to the office in the elevator, people from the third company are already waiting there, which should endorse all the actions of the destruction team.
It takes fifteen minutes to sign the documents,then they open one of the rooms, where there is a certain number of computers - on the tables are laptops collected from former employees, a few phones, large stationary computers and monitors. The brought devices are connected to the sockets and the fun begins. A specific sample of equipment is shown under the camera, a sticker with a number is pasted on it, and then it is destroyed. The phone crushes the hydraulic press, the device crunches, shatters into pieces. Under the camera, they show the rest and throw it into a large tight bag, it will be taken away by someone else, a certain company that will dispose of it. Rumor has it that these remains will not be taken out, but recycled; outside the office, one of the cleaners claims that they will simply be doused with gasoline and burned in some landfill. The business these guys have is unimaginable, they destroy corporate equipment that could last for many more years. The reason is the rules of American companies that they cannot risk their own safety and consider it necessary to destroy all devices without risking taking them anywhere.
For each type of device, there is a specifiedthe destruction scenario, for smartphones it is one, for large computers it is completely different, you need to take them apart, deal with each element separately. The work is going slowly, every step is recorded on cameras. It is amazing that in a disassembled and destroyed computer, memory on the board is searched for, it is simply drilled out with quick and precise movements. Small scrap is sent to a portable shredder, from which electronic dust is periodically poured into bags; it is not possible to restore anything after such processing. The photo is not from the scene, but for illustration, but such scrap is sent to the grinder.
The Feast of Destruction is not going very fast,surprisingly there is no big noise and dust around, the office is not affected by these actions. Destroying printers looks redundant, but they are also quite quickly dismantled into components. All processors, memory are targeted destruction. Physically destroy everything that is possible from the key elements of technology. According to the guys, companies rarely order such a paranoid approach - it's expensive and meaningless, usually they are asked to simply break the equipment with a guarantee. In the case of this company, not only equipment will be destroyed, at the next stage they will also deal with office furniture, nothing should remain in Russia.
This year similar actions these guysdone in several companies, they are not the only ones in the market who are engaged in such a bizarre business. They say that in several companies they saw alarm buttons that were installed near the server rooms - with one touch they destroyed all data on storage media. There were no more racks, someone disposed of them before them, but all the strapping for the quick destruction of information remained, they shredded these systems.
The presence in ordinary corporations of such protocolssecurity leads to different thoughts, why destroy equipment in such a bizarre way? Does this technique really make sense and can it somehow be used against the companies themselves? Of course, it is possible to come up with some scenarios, but they are very speculative and have no practical meaning. It is possible that this is corporate paranoia, it is possible that there is a rational grain here. But the very fact of how companies leave Russia and destroy their property is interesting. A bright picture without any discounts, a kind of celebration of the destruction of everything.
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Ultimately, several dozen channels, whichused information about the movements of the Musk plane and other famous people, fell under the knife. And in principle, one could somehow understand Musk here, after all, we are talking about the privacy that each of us deserves.
But journalists criticized this decisionfrom various publications, they savored the reaction of the public and drew attention to the problem, to the fact that Musk does not keep his word. Journalists from publications such as Washington Post, New York Times, CNN suddenly found that they were blocked on Twitter! No warnings from Twitter, no violations of company policy. One of the blocked is trying to find out the reasons for this block.
Later, Elon Musk comments on what is happening, the manner of speaking is initially rude - the rules apply to “journalists”.
That's just the rules of Twitter Musk changed inthe previous 24 hours and many did not know about these changes. Usually a social network gives you the option to delete controversial tweets, but they didn't condescend to that. And so it can be argued that there is no freedom of speech on Twitter, and there cannot be. Accounts of journalists were unblocked after a wave in the media, Musk cannot but reckon with public opinion.
The owner of the company behaves exactly the same as hispredecessors, just other people are sent to the ban, but otherwise there is no difference. It is impossible to believe in the image that Musk is trying to create, he does not fight for freedom of speech, he does not want one. This person needs a platform to promote ideas that are beneficial to him and nothing more. I am sure that this is not the last scandal around Musk, as in recent months he has become very unbalanced and constantly causes fire on himself. The good thing about this story is that no one will be left with any illusions about who Musk is or what he does.
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Own scooter from Yandex - developed by Wind
In autumn 2021, Yandex acquired Wind,Israeli developer of scooters. The step is logical and correct, I expected Whoosh would try to create their own scooters before Yandex, but something did not work out. For a company that rents scooters, it is more profitable to create their own models and fully service them within their company. The savings here are tangible, plus you can disconnect from competitors. For example, in Moscow, most of the scooters are the same in terms of their capabilities, the choice is based on the degree of damage to the units, the speed limits that companies introduce for them.
In the spring of 2023, a scooter from Yandex will appear onroads, primarily in Moscow. Nothing is known about the number of such scooters, but obviously there will be a lot of them, the bill will go into the thousands. Production in China, since it is expensive to produce scooters in Russia, there is no point in this now.
Structurally, changes have been made to scooters -the platform was made wider, but shorter - you won’t be able to ride together. Magnesium alloy is a first for this kind of scooter, which is also a plus, but the question is how this alloy will cope with shock loads, accidents and the like, there may be questions.
The steering wheel is wider, the turning radius is smaller, which is not alwaysOK. Own telematics inside the scooter, here Yandex has its own developments from cars and not only. Shock absorbers are placed on both wheels, which should make riding comfortable.
It is pointless to judge this scooter in absentia,we need to try, and we will have such an opportunity this spring, so let's evaluate the novelty from Yandex in real conditions. I would like to believe that the competition will force the same Whoosh to create its own scooter, taking into account all the shortcomings of other models.
Interestingly, Whoosh held the only one in 2022year of the IPO, in which he placed shares for 2.1 billion rubles (the company's valuation at the same time amounted to 20.6 billion rubles). Already on the third day of trading on the Moscow stock exchange, the shares fell by 25%, then they won back a little to minus 15% of the placement price. The placement does not look good, and the timing is very difficult, apparently Whoosh had no choice, and they took a chance. Let's see what will happen in the spring, but in general, the scooter rental business cannot be profitable in the face of fierce competition. But by the end of 2022, scooter rental prices have reached such heights that, if the trend continues, we can expect projects to pay off in 2-3 years, excluding new investments in scooters and other equipment. There is only one question - will effective demand continue, or will people start saving. To the surprise of many, no savings were made on scooters in 2022, the number of trips and their duration increased for all players without exception.
P.S. In the bustle before the New Year, which will be dailygrow, do not forget to choose the right gifts, pay attention to what exactly will please people close to you. But the most important thing that pleases all of us is the attitude and warmth of communication, so give it to those who are close to you. A couple of weeks before NY and we are all trying to do a lot of things so as not to drag them further with us. I hope you manage to do all these things. And we, as usual, talk about life, technology and devices, so come to us for a light. Have a good week and properly distribute your strength so that the race does not deplete. See you!
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