The CEC explained the presence in the portal code of links to dating sites and casinos
Links to “doubtful sites” are needed to identify users of the portal, the press service of the CEC reported. The Central Election Commission uses the system to exclude captcha for “legitimate users”, the commission emphasized media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
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On the portal of the CEC of Russia in the section “Election Calendar” uses the FingerpringJS open source library, which has a user definition function. It is used “to exclude a CAPTCHA (test to detect robots.— РБК) request from “legitimate users”. This was reported by the press service of the Central Election Commission in response to a request from RBC.
“The library code contains the addresses of a number of “doubtful” Internet resources. They are used to determine whether the user's browser is using ad blocking tools. The transition to these resources, downloading any data from them or transferring user data to them is in no case carried out,— told the press service of the CEC.
Previously, the analyst of “Voice” (the movement is included in the register of foreign agents) Ivan Shukshin discovered in the code of the websites of the Central Election Commission and regional election commissions with election results the built-in FingerpringJS library, which makes up the “fingerprint” user. To identify the user, the CEC websites use advertisements— links to dating sites, online casinos, etc., & mdash; and then monitor the actions of the ad blocker, Shukshin argued. Such links are not externally visible to the user, they are in the site code, the programmer explained.
The press service of the CEC noted that the use of the FingerpringJS library does not mean the introduction of an “advanced” user profiling system. versions— Fingerpring PRO. The latter is hosted on the «Internet resources of unfriendly countries— US and EU, involves the transfer of data to these user data resources,” the Central Election Commission explained. They added that they use solutions that work exclusively with the portal's security system without transferring user data to “other third-party resources”.
The main advantage of FingerPrintJS— this is a free library, the director of ANO “Information Culture” told RBC Ivan Begtin. According to him, it is mainly used to protect corporate secrets that are online, — Government websites usually don't use it.
“There are many other ways that government agencies use to keep track of who is interested in their data. For example, they often require authorization through public services. But in view of the fact that the CEC formally has to give everything in an open mode, they do not use authorization, but come up with tricks like this, claiming that this is how they protect themselves from bots. But this is slyness, — Begtin told RBC. In his opinion, this hinders independent analysis of the election results and civilian control over them.
For the first time, the CEC began using captcha in 2020. The commission was forced to introduce a mechanism to limit the massive automated download of data from the portal using bot programs— such downloading led to abnormal loads on the portal, the press service of the Central Election Commission explained.
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Electoral experts asked the head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, to stop using technology on the commission's website, which greatly complicated the work with the resource. According to their calculations, to analyze data throughout Russia, you need to pass the CAPTCHA test about 100 thousand times, spending about 30 million seconds on it, that is, almost a year. At the end of September 2020, the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova, stated that the CEC was minimizing the use of captcha on the site.
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