Asian News


Chinese smartphones cited by intelligence as security risk sold on US bases

23rd April 2018

Chinese-made smartphones that the heads of U.S. intelligence have urged Americans not to buy are being sold to servicemembers across Germany at on-base exchange facilities, despite concerns of data theft and espionage.

The Huawei phones, which are being sold by TKS, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service concessionary and subsidiary of Vodaphone, could be used to gather sensitive information, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. They are banned for official government use in most cases.

The Defense Department asked whether Huawei mobile phones were being sold at exchange facilities but has not offered any other direction, said AAFES senior spokesman Chris Ward.

“We responded ‘yes’ and have had no other inquiries,” Ward said in an email response. “Should there be an official determination made by law enforcement officials that these phones present a security risk, the Exchange will instruct its vendors to remove impacted products from their assortment.”

Officials at Ramstein Air Base, where Europe’s largest exchange and a TKS concessionary operate, said they are aware that the phones are being sold on base.

Although officials did not address Huawei specifically, they said that servicemembers should adhere to operational security standards when they post anything online, take pictures or configure their location settings.

“Servicemembers need to pay attention,” said Lt Col. Joel Harper, 86th Airlift Wing spokesman. “Regardless of where the device is purchased, on base or off base, servicemembers should practice good (operational security).”

In February, the director of national intelligence, along with the heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency testified before a Senate committee that Americans should not use Huawei products because of the security risks they pose.

The concern about Huawei first focused on routers, switches and other high-bandwidth commercial products but later expanded to consumer mobile phones.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that Huawei products provide the Chinese government with the ability to maliciously modify or steal information and to conduct undetected espionage.

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” Wray said.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.stripes.com/news/chinese-smartphones-cited-by-intelligence-as-security-risk-sold-on-us-bases-1.523519

‘Big Brother’ in India Requires Fingerprint Scans for Food, Phones and Finances

10th April 2018

Seeking to build an identification system of unprecedented scope, India is scanning the fingerprints, eyes and faces of its 1.3 billion residents and connecting the data to everything from welfare benefits to mobile phones.

Civil libertarians are horrified, viewing the program, called Aadhaar, as Orwell’s Big Brother brought to life. To the government, it’s more like “big brother,” a term of endearment used by many Indians to address a stranger when asking for help.

For other countries, the technology could provide a model for how to track their residents. And for India’s top court, the ID system presents unique legal issues that will define what the constitutional right to privacy means in the digital age.

To Adita Jha, Aadhaar was simply a hassle. The 30-year-old environmental consultant in Delhi waited in line three times to sit in front of a computer that photographed her face, captured her fingerprints and snapped images of her irises. Three times, the data failed to upload. The fourth attempt finally worked, and she has now been added to the 1.1 billion Indians already included in the program.

Ms. Jha had little choice but to keep at it. The government has made registration mandatory for hundreds of public services and many private ones, from taking school exams to opening bank accounts.

“You almost feel like life is going to stop without an Aadhaar,” Ms. Jha said.

Technology has given governments around the world new tools to monitor their citizens. In China, the government is rolling out ways to use facial recognition and big data to track people, aiming to inject itself further into everyday life. Many countries, including Britain, deploy closed-circuit cameras to monitor their populations.

But India’s program is in a league of its own, both in the mass collection of biometric data and in the attempt to link it to everything — traffic tickets, bank accounts, pensions, even meals for undernourished schoolchildren.

“No one has approached that scale and that ambition,” said Jacqueline Bhabha, a professor and research director of Harvard’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, who has studied biometric ID systems around the world. “It has been hailed, and justifiably so, as an extraordinary triumph to get everyone registered.”

Critics fear that the government will gain unprecedented insight into the lives of all Indians.

In response, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other champions of the program say that Aadhaar is India’s ticket to the future, a universal, easy-to-use ID that will reduce this country’s endemic corruption and help bring even the most illiterate into the digital age.

“It’s the equivalent of building interstate highways,” said Nandan Nilekani, the technology billionaire who was tapped by the government in 2009 to build the Aadhaar system. “If the government invested in building a digital public utility and that is made available as a platform, then you actually can create major innovations around that.”

The potential uses — from surveillance to managing government benefit programs — have drawn interest elsewhere. Sri Lanka is planning a similar system, and Britain, Russia and the Philippines are studying it, according to the Indian government.

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/07/technology/india-id-aadhaar.html

China Pulls Bibles from Online Bookstores in Crackdown on Christianity

5th April 2018

In the wake of the release of a new white paper on “religious freedom,” Beijing has ordered bibles and other Christian books removed from online bookstores across China, sparking a wave of complaints.

In the absence of any official government statement explaining why the bible has been removed from online bookshops, the most common theory has been that a new, state-approved translation is in the works that will square with Chinese socialist ideology.

Last week, China announced that one of its biggest tasks in the coming years is to enhance “Chinese-style Christianity” by reinterpreting and retranslating the Bible. The announcement came in a document, titled “Principles for Promoting the Chinese Christianity in China for the Next Five Years (2018-2022),” which was launched in Nanjing on March 28, two days before bibles started disappearing from websites.

As commenters have pointed out, the bible itself is not officially approved by the Chinese Government for publication and therefore is technically an illegal publication that cannot be sold and can only be circulated in churches. Moreover, the government has announced that all “foreign religions” must be reconciled with Chinese socialism, or “Sinicized.”

China “manages religious affairs in accordance with the law, adheres to the principle of independence and self-management, actively guides religions to adapt to the socialist society, and unites religious believers and non-believers to the greatest extent,” the white paper stated.

The keyword search for “bible” on the Chinese social media platform Weibo saw a massive spike on March 31, followed by a sharp nose dive to zero on April 1, spawning suspicions that the government had censored the word.

At the same time, coinciding with the publication of the white paper, users of Chinese social media starting observing that Bibles were vanishing from e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Taobao, Jingdong, Amazon China and DangDang.com — China’s biggest online bookstore. Searches for the bible at online shops began turning up “no results.”

A number of shop owners have said that the removal of the bible from their sites was forced by Taobao, and Chinese internet users have reported similar cases on Weibo and Twitter. Some have posted screenshots of their chats with bookshop owners who said they were forced to take the Bible off their shelves.

Even when certain websites continued showing listings for “Holy Bible,” buyers were unable to add the item to their shopping cart. Some other Christian-themed books suffered a similar fate, being blocked on Taobao.

President Xi Jinping has made it clear that all religions active in China must be “Sinicized,” or rendered compatible with the beliefs and programs of Communist China and purged of western influence and control.

At the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Congress last October, the head of the umbrella agency that oversees religion insisted that “socialist core values” must be at the heart of any religious faith active in China…

 

 

source/read more; http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/04/04/china-pulls-bibles-online-bookstores-crackdown-christianity/

China bans George Orwell’s Animal Farm and letter ‘N’ as censors bolster Xi Jinping’s plan to keep power indefinitely

5th March 2018

The Chinese government has banned George Orwell’s dystopian satirical novella Animal Farm and the letter ‘N’ in a wide-ranging online censorship crackdown.

Experts believe the increased levels of suppression – which come just days after the Chinese Communist Party announced presidential term limits would be abolished – are a sign Xi Jinping hopes to become a dictator for life.

The China Digital Times, a California-based site covering China, reports a list of terms excised from Chinese websites by government censors includes the letter ‘N’, Orwell’s novels Animal Farm and 1984, and the phrase ‘Xi Zedong’.

Search terms blocked on Sino Weibo, a microblogging site which is China’s equivalent of Twitter, include “disagree”, “personality cult”, “lifelong”, “immortality”, “emigrate”, and “shameless”.

It was not immediately obvious why the ostensibly harmless letter ‘N’ had been banned, but some speculated it may either be being used or interpreted as a sign of dissent. ..

 

 

source/read more; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-animal-farm-ban-censorship-george-orwell-xi-jinping-power-letter-n-a8235071.html

State-of-the-art technology for security of Olympic VIPs

10 Feb 2018

Korea is using state-of-the art technology for the security of international VIPs invited to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, according to the organizing committee, Wednesday.

A team led by Joon Young-hoon, head of the Presidential Security Service, is in charge of the safety and protection of 26 top foreign dignitaries including presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens from 21 countries.

They will be subject to heavy escort once they arrive here. Each VIP will be exclusively assigned a car, the location of which will be updated in real time in a situation room.

The security team will also rely on 1,070 surveillance cameras set up around airports, train stations, roads, stadia and other facilities on the way to PyeongChang to better locate the VIPs.

“The monitoring equipment is connected with the National Intelligence Service as well as the police and military so that we can interact with them as well,” a security official said on condition of anonymity.

The security team will fly drones mounted with high-definition observation cameras and also thermal imaging cameras to offer better escorts.

This will be the first time that the drones will be used for the security of international VIPs, another official said.

The drones will especially be used to search for signs of terrorist attacks and possible threats posed against the guests, while keeping the VIPs’ drivers updated about heavily trafficked roads and areas where protests are expected to take place.

“The performance of the drones has been proven through test runs,” the official said, adding they will save the number of personnel who otherwise would be needed to search “blind spots” for better security.

To prevent wiretapping, hacking, hidden cameras and other spy activities, security teams have electromagnetic field detectors and other relevant devices.

The online networks for automatic control of buildings for fire protection, electricity and elevators will be under 24-hour monitoring so that they can be protected from malware such as viruses, Trojan horses and ransomware.

The airports, Winter Olympics stadia and lodgings of the VIPs will be subject to chemical, biological, and radiological defense.

“We are using both conventional and sophisticated methods to ensure the safety of guests and a safe Winter Games,” a third official said.

 

source/read more; http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/sports/2018/02/702_243749.html

Smartphone Apps to Track ‘Loyalty’ to Communism (China)

8th Oct 2017

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is boasting of over 100 smartphone applications designed to allow senior party members to more accurately track their underlings’ loyalty, based in part on how much communist propaganda the individual consumes on the app.

The Chinese state newspaper Global Times notes that these apps “place additional pressure on members to properly and timely show their loyalty and enthusiasm for the Party.” Party members can be reprimanded if their superior notices they have not been interacting with other party members, reading speeches by president Xi Jinping, or taking online communism classes often enough through the app. The article notes that those who excel and indoctrinate themselves with the apps may be eligible for prizes such as pens and notebooks.

The apps offer a variety of indoctrination media aside from Xi’s speeches, according to the Global Times—among these quizzes to hone knowledge of Maoist thought and broader classes on communist philosophy with required homework.

“The apps not only provide online classes to learn Party doctrines, but also enable users to pay their CPC membership fees or socialize with each other,” the Times adds. “More importantly, the apps will help the CPC evaluate the performance of their nearly 90 million members in a visible, traceable and interactive manner.”

The article provides a number of reasons for there being so many apps, including the use of separate apps for different regional Communist Party structures, different features—like paying Communist Party dues—and different developers. They are all being organized under an umbrella project called “China’s Good Party Member.”

The Chinese government has taken significant technological liberties in the quest to promote communism. Last year, Beijing banned anonymous use of the internet, as well as the publication of any statements that offend “national honor” or suggest an overthrow of the “socialist system.” That law built upon a ban on the publication of blogs or internet comments anonymously passed in 2015.

The CPC regulation apps are part of a greater party organization overhaul in anticipation of the CPC National Congress, beginning October 18. The event, which typically occurs every five years, will give the party an opportunity to elect, re-elect, and promote leaders within the CPC. Local officials told the Global Times in a separate article that they have already been using technology to communicate regarding recommendations for appointments and recruitment of candidates.

“We solicited the opinions of 130 Party members outside the area via telephone and WeChat, an instant messaging service. We visited the homes of elderly members, taking recommendation forms and explaining the policy face to face,” local official Yan Weiping said. Without meeting personally with officials, getting on a CPC ballot is nearly impossible.

In July, communist officials told the Global Times they had organized historical indoctrination tours to generate enthusiasm for the Party Congress. That month, “more than 760 Party members from the State-owned China Construction First Building Corporation Limited took a tour to trace the Party’s footprints from its birth to today.” The tour reportedly took 50 days and included “Chairman Mao’s hometown of Shaoshan, Hunan Province and even Moscow.”

The Chinese state outlet Xinhua states in a report published Friday that the CPC Congress will seek to promote China as “champion of the open world economy” against “protectionism and isolation,” as well as promote a climate change agenda and combat a “Cold War mentality.” Delegates are also expected to vote on amendments to the CPC constitution which would “promote the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and Party building,” according to Xinhua.

 

source/read more;http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/10/06/china-unveils-100-smartphone-apps-track-loyalty-communism/

Breaking: Bomb found at Fukushima nuclear plant

10th Aug 2017

Mainichi, Aug 10, 2017 (emphasis added): Suspected bomb found on premises of Fukushima power plant: TEPCO — What appears to be an undetonated bomb has been discovered on the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Aug. 10. The device was discovered buried in the ground at a parking lot currently undergoing maintenance in the western corner of the premises… Police have cordoned off the surrounding area…

 

 

source:http://enenews.com/breaking-bomb-found-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-military-unit-is-headed-to-the-site-police-have-cordoned-off-the-surrounding-area

Workplace Surveillance Is The New Office ‘Perk’

big brother facebook

8th April 2016

James Jordan rolled out of bed just before 5 a.m. on a recent Saturday and went straight to work. A job was available as soon as he logged into the Mechanical Turk website from his computer at home, a small duplex he shares with his grandmother in Bakersfield, California.

Images of t-shirts and polo shirts flashed on Jordan’s monitor, and he was asked to rate their similarity. He would earn a penny each time he completed the tiny task. The rest of the morning was a blur as Jordan raced to get more than 3,000 of them done. He skipped taking a shower and stopped only for the occasional cigarette outside — each puff a reminder that he didn’t earn money during breaks. Between batches of photos, Jordan also managed to pick up a handful of short academic surveys offered through the site, which farms out an array of digital piecework day and night to workers around the world.

For each completed survey Jordan earned 50 cents a pop.

“There are days when you can’t look away from the screen,” said Jordan, 26, who has earned a living for the last year-and-a-half tagging photos, participating in studies, or tackling whatever day labor Mechanical Turk has to offer. “Days like that make you really question why you’re doing what you’re doing.” 

By the time he wrapped up that afternoon he had made just over $60. His earnings as a virtual laborer that month, including some 12-hour days, would come in at $1,174.24. “I’ve been poor my whole life,” said Jordan. “So $1,200 is pretty good.”

Jordan is among thousands of low-paid workers toiling behind isolated screens to make the internet and an array of ephemeral factories hum.

The rapid growth of Silicon Valley companies such as Uber, TaskRabbit, and Airbnb have cast a spotlight on parts of the burgeoning gig economy. But ventures like Mechanical Turk — and the men and women who power them from bedrooms, couches, and coffee shops — remain less known and largely invisible. Tackling millions of digital micro tasks daily, these crowd labor platforms comprise a web of virtual assembly lines that can be as precarious and low-paying as their predecessors from the industrial era. Moreover, they can offer a startling glimpse into the bleak future of low-wage, low-skilled work.

“Dystopian would be one accurate way of describing it,” Moshe Marvit, a labor lawyer and scholar who has written extensively about crowd labor, told Vocativ. “The worst possible world for workers might be another.

Proponents of crowd labor offer a markedly different vision for this digital workforce, one that’s as disruptive as it is democratic. “The crowdsourcing industry [is] bringing opportunities to people who never would have had them before, and we operate in a truly egalitarian fashion, where anyone who wants to can do microtasks, no matter their gender, nationality, or socio-economic status, and can do so in a way that is entirely of their choosing and unique to them,” Lukas Biewald, the CEO of CrowdFlower, a San Francisco-based platform, told the Nation in 2014.

Sites like Crowdflower, Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, UpWork, and its dozens of competitors comprise a large — and growing — market for small, digital tasks outsourced around the globe. The World Bank estimates that the online outsourcing industry generated close to $2 billion in revenue in 2013, a figure that could increase to $25 billion by the end of the decade. Crowdwork companies boast about workforces that number in the hundreds of thousands.

Among platforms used to facilitate this market, Mechanical Turk is one of the largest in the U.S. Launched by Amazon in 2005, it now claims to have more than half a million “crowdworkers” powering its digital machine, though an exact number of active users is not available. Their jobs are ones that even the most sophisticated computers, algorithms, or other forms of artificial intelligence can’t perform, but which constitute the very nuts and bolts of the internet that most take for granted. Amorphous shop floors of crowdworkers churn out online product reviews and spam. They tag photos and websites, verify URLs, and fine tune search engine optimization. Some have also probably written the titles to your favorite porn videos online.

Companies or clients, known on Mechanical Turk as “requesters,” farm out these gigs, which are sometimes broken down into hundreds of thousands of microtasks. Workers, who refer to themselves as “Turkers,” accept these jobs — eerily referred to as HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks — that pay anywhere from a penny to several dollars each. For its role, Amazon takes a commission of anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent.

The sweeping range of microtasks made available on Mechanical Turk is matched by a labor force that’s equally motley. On any given day, the site can draw a mishmash of recent college grads and ex-cons, retirees and former school teachers, said Kristy Milland, a moderator for Turker Nation, one of the many online forums that exist for these workers. There are stay-at-home moms looking to pick up a little extra cash and full-time Turkers hustling to pay their bills. For the disabled and the socially anxious, it can be a lifeline.

“Compared to any other work place it’s insane,” Milland said of the diversity among workers on Mechanical Turk. 

But Turking ain’t always easy.

Like most who earn a paycheck in the gig economy, Turkers are categorized as independent contractors, neither employees of Mechanical Turk nor the requesters using the site. That means they are not legally entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay, or a host of other protections that cover employees. The HITs can be mind-numbingly monotonous and their availability erratic, leaving some reluctant to ever stray too far from their computers. Requesters have also been known to refuse to pay for work completed —an experience common among Turkers, though one for which they have no recourse.

What’s also drawn ongoing scrutiny is the pay. Two recent independent surveys found that around half of Turkers in the U.S. earned fewer than $5 an hour, far less than the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. Only eight percent of participants from a Pew study published last year said they made more than $8 an hour. Yet almost a quarter of them said they relied on Mechanical Turk for most or all of their income.  

“Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has become a kind of last ditch for many,” said Milland, who spent nearly a decade working full-time on the site and is now an advocate for crowd workers. “It’s creating a kind of digital underclass.”

To be clear, not all Turkers find themselves toiling as virtual day laborers for low wages. Some, in fact, have carved out a comfortable living and lifestyle around the platform. Dane, who spoke with Vocativ on the condition we not publish his last name, began Turking in 2013 after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He now says he makes more than $30,000 a year from the site and has time to run a photography business on the side. “This life feels more fulfilling for me,” said Dane, a former field service engineer. “It’s worth an awful lot.”

For Jordan, Turking might not guarantee a minimum wage for the work he puts in. But it also means no long commutes, burning money on gas, or running late. He also has a flexible schedule and no bosses telling him what he can and can’t do. “That’s a pretty nice feeling,” he said.

Such perks or perceived conveniences should not have to come at the cost of substandard pay or basic rights as a worker, said Miriam Cherry, a professor at the Saint Louis School of Law whose research focuses on labor and employment in the virtual world. “There’s plenty of computer workers in an office who get paid minimum wage. Why would that be any different if you work at home?” said Cherry, who last year co-edited the book, “Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World.”

More Turkers are beginning to recognize a need to work together in order to exert more say over their jobs. They’ve devised rating systems for vetting requesters and created various online forums where they can trade tips, alert each other to lucrative gigs, and talk about life outside of Turking. Hundreds even organized a letter writing campaign to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with the message that they were human beings, not algorithms.

These worker-driven efforts have yielded some success. Scamming requesters are now easier to identify. The letter-writing campaign earned international headlines, providing a brief window of visibility for a largely anonymous workforce. But without legal protections for workers, observers like Cherry believe many will remain vulnerable to ever-greater exploitation. “If we don’t do something about it at some point that’s what we’re going to get,” she said. “It’s a race to the bottom.”

Meanwhile, the low cost and convenience of crowd labor continues to attract interest among a growing number of fields. Researchers at universities and non-profits have increasingly turned to Mechanical Turk to farm subjects for their studies — a decision that’s yielded mixed results. In the last few years, Turkers have even been used at times to diagnose a host of medical cases and work as amateur pathologists to analyze potential cancer cells. For some, such developments don’t bode well for the future of work. 

“There’s never been as deregulated a labor market as the one that exists online,” said Marvit, the labor scholar. “More professional work is going to be eaten up by it.” 

 

 

source: http://www.vocativ.com/410794/are-virtual-sweatshops-the-future-of-work/

Russia Extends Edward Snowden’s Asylum

pepe

18th Jan 2017

A day after President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Russian government clarified on Wednesday the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the other main source of secrets about United States surveillance in recent years.

Mr. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013, will be allowed to remain in the country for “a couple more years,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, said on Facebook.

Mr. Snowden and his supporters have been campaigning for a pardon from President Obama, but the chances of clemency appear to be vanishingly small given that his name did not appear on a list of pardons on Tuesday.

Ms. Zakharova described her Facebook post as a rejection of an idea presented in a recent article in The Cipher Brief by a former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael J. Morell. He suggested that Russia should extradite Mr. Snowden to the United States as a signal of good will to the incoming Trump administration.

Ms. Zakharova said that Mr. Morell’s suggestion of turning over Mr. Snowden would amount to “a gift” for the new American leader. That is apparently a gesture that Russia is not prepared to make, however, even though President-elect Donald J. Trump has spoken admiringly of Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin.

“The funniest thing is that the former deputy director of the C.I.A. !!! does not know that Snowden’s residence permit in Russia was just extended for a couple more years,” Ms. Zakharova wrote.

“And seriously, the essence of what the C.I.A. agent is suggesting is an ideology of betrayal,” she wrote. “You spoke, Mr. Morrell, and now it’s clear to everybody that in your office, it’s normal to bring gifts in the form of people, and to hand over those who seek defense.”

In an interview with The Guardian in September, Mr. Snowden argued that his revelations about government surveillance were not only morally right but that they also led to an overhaul of secrecy laws that benefited Americans.

“I think when people look at the calculations of benefit, it is clear that in the wake of 2013, the laws of our nation changed,” Mr. Snowden said. “Congress, the courts and the president all changed their policies as a result of these disclosures.”

Mr. Snowden is accused of violating the Espionage Act in the United States and would face at least 30 years in prison if convicted.

Some privacy advocates have lionized Mr. Snowden as a whistle-blower, while his opponents and government officials have cast him as a defector, particularly in light of his flight to Russia.

Mr. Snowden has taken pains to portray his exile as comfortable. He spends time with his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, according to posts on social media, and he recently took a break from posting on Twitter for what he described as a vacation, presumably in Russia.

source:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/world/europe/edward-snowden-asylum-russia.html

THE REAL LIFE HUNGER GAMES

idiots doing

17th DEC 2016

A BRUTAL Russian reality show allowing “fighting, murder and rape” will see contestants armed with knives and dumped in the Siberian wilderness to battle bears, wolves and freezing temperatures.

The Hunger Games-style contest will see 30 participants – half of them women – ditched in the wild for a nine-month survival test in temperatures sinking to minus 40C or lower.

Contestants from different countries seeking a £1.3 million prize will be issued with knives but not guns and expected to hunt and fish for food to stay alive.

The shocking rules say: “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”

Russian millionaire Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, 35, is the brains behind the extreme contest – but says the show won’t take responsibility for what happens to the contestants.

He said: “We will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped.

“We will have nothing to do with this. This will be spelt out in a document to be signed by the participant before the start of the show.”

But while the show’s own rules are that absolutely anything goes, Russian criminal laws will still apply if contestants do end up turning savage.

Contestants are told if there is proof of criminality “the police will come and take you away”.

But critics claim the rules will lead to “savage and bestial behaviour” among contestants as they are forced to live like wild animals.

“It’s as if they’re trying to encourage rape or murder. There may be cameras around but they won’t see everything,” said one online commentator.

Called “Game2: Winter”, the participants – who must be over 18 and “mentally sane” – are expected to fork out £132,000 to take part, although some will be selected in an online poll and enter for free.

“There will be no film crew – the whole area will be dotted with cameras and each participant will be carrying a portable camera with seven-hour life rechargeable battery,” said Mr Pyatkovsky.

The survival contest will be screened online 24/7 using footage from 2,000 fixed cameras on a 2,225 acre slice of taiga, with translations into English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.

“Probably all of you have watched the Lost TV series, but surviving in a tropical climate is quite different from trying to stay alive in the Siberian taiga – boreal forest – at minus 40 degrees Celsius,” said the television executive.

He believes the show, which starts in July, will attract “rich and risky” people craving a new and ultimate challenge.

They will be given survival training from Russia’s elite former GRU Spetznaz operatives, but after that they will be on their own – coping with temperatures ranging from 35C in high summer to minus 40C or lower in the depths of the Siberian winter.

While the snow doesn’t melt, the area’s summers are balmy enough for bikini-clad snowboarders to take to the slopes every year.

He warned: “You should also keep in mind that this will be a real forest, with dangerous wildlife and harmful insects

“Of course, there will be some safety precautions in place, but it would still take about half an hour to reach the area where the show will take place by helicopter.”

“Those taking part will be urged to forage and store food before winter in order to survive the cold months,” reported The Siberian Times.

“In winter, contestants will need to catch fish through ice holes to feed themselves.”

So far the filmmakers have had interest from “professional rescuers, people without special training, professional travellers, entrepreneurs, photographers, jewellers and psychologists”.

Producer Nikolay Ginzburg said: “It sounds strange, but on this project it will be easier to survive not for a professional rescuer but for a simple person.

“It will be necessary to act intuitively, rather than following instructions.”

Each participant will have a panic button linked to a satellite. If they use it, they will be evacuated from the Siberian taiga, but not allowed to return.

All who survive nine months will share the prize.

“The show will absolutely extreme,” said Mr Pyatkovsky.

“There will be no doctors with the participants. If someone gets sick, wounded and realise that he/she can not pass the test, the helicopter will take him/her away to the doctors. Then the participant will quit the game forever.”

Contestants could take on board a few tips from our guide to surviving in the wild based on what we learnt from The Revenant, which sees Leonardo DiCaprio’s character mauled by a bear and left for dead.

Tips include not being a fussy eater, learning basic medical skills and how to improvise with what nature has given you.

The IT millionaire claims that as well as being screened on a dedicated web TV channel, there is interest from mainstream broadcasters in at least five countries to screen the survival show.

Mr Pyatkovsky previously hit the headlines for creating a controversial app which blocks calls from debt collectors.

 

 

source:https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2404086/russian-reality-tv-show/