“De-anonymization technologies have a depressing effect on Lukashenko's repressive machine, followed by a refusal to show violence, unwillingness to carry out criminal orders,” lawyer Yury Hushcha told CyberNews as protests in Belarus continue.
In case you haven’t been following the news about Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko is still president despite the public outrage. People are still gathering for peaceful protests. Regime enforcers are still beating them, sometimes targeting helpless teenagers or seniors.
Hackers are still leaking the enforcers’ personally identifiable data, and hoping that deanonymization might scare them off. Amateur facial technology is reportedly being used to reveal the identity of the most violent police officers.
This has an impact, lawyer, supporter and member of the presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya team, Yury Hushcha told CyberNews.
In mid-September, Belarussian cyber guerillas leaked the personal information of 2,000 high-ranking Belarus officials. As promised, hackers continue to leak personal data, such as names, surnames, birthdates, locations, and positions.
What do you think about the use of facial recognition technology to deanonymize the protesters and the list of leaked personal data of the most brutal enforcers?
This is an experimental use of facial recognition technology. It was taken very seriously by the police officers who used violence against peaceful protesters. At the moment, none of the officers exclude the possibility of being recognized and therefore are very afraid of it. The employees of these structures understand that their actions launched a war against peaceful people, against their nation that wants non-violent changes in their country.
The enforcers now clearly understand that they are the minority, and all social groups in Belarus oppose them.
Some representatives of Lukashenka's repressive apparatus have already understood that violence is not only ineffective and hopeless, but is also becoming dangerous for themselves: employees of repressive structures do not live in isolated sanctuaries - they live among the people.
People already began to hate them and expose them to social ostracism and alienation. This is obvious and painful in the small cities where a lot of people know each other. Enforcers' families are particularly affected.
This is why the enforcers have the same main goal - to stay anonymous and unidentified.
Therefore, any de-anonymization technologies have a depressing effect on Lukashenka's repressive machine, followed by a refusal to show violence, unwillingness to carry out criminal orders from bosses, and possibly in the future - a complete refusal to continue service.
The technologies are breaking this repressive apparatus! The degree of its destruction and neutralization depends on how successful, effective, and massive the protests will continue to be, as well as how quickly and sharply the inevitable deterioration of the state of the economy of Lukashenko's state will occur in the future.
Do you know what Lukashenko and his government think of this list of leaked enforcers’ data?
Lukashenka and his entourage are terrified. However, at the moment, they are not able to influence and neutralize them. Lukashenko's intelligence agencies responsible for cybersecurity are not as strong and effective as it is believed, and do not have the necessary tools to neutralize such cyberattacks.
How are the ones that have been identified behaving? Are they quitting their jobs, leaving the country?
People on the list take this seriously. Many have already left the service, and a large number are going to do so. Many are seriously worried. These lists did not leave anyone indifferent.
There’s been doubt that this facial recognition technology used to de-anonymize the police officers is fake. What do you think of it?
There are already several effective facial recognition tools and programs. Video shows only part of them, the most simple and primitive ones.
At the moment, the most promising software is the identification by the iris of the eye, but it will develop and improve as new comparative samples are obtained and accumulated.
Some examples of these samples could be high-quality photographs of enforcers beating people at peaceful rallies, the database of national passports, and the EU's databases of Belarus citizens with Schengen visas.
These databases contain high-quality color photographs, biometric information, and personal data of Belarussian citizens who had Schengen visas.
From 2015 to 2020, the European Union issued more than 3.5 million visas. This database will certainly include employees of the repressive authorities in Belarus. Many of them received Schengen visas, and many of them are of interest for identification.
In any case, this process has already been launched and will intensify, develop, improve, and will certainly give positive results.
What’s next for Belarus? Will Lukashenko leave the country?
Lukashenko and the system built by him will suffer a crushing defeat soon. His flight abroad is one of the real options for the further development of events.