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Navalny and Crowd-Sourcing Anti-Corruption

Alexey Kovalev has an interesting article on the technology facilitating the grassroots-led anti-corruption effort growing in Russia.  If Medvedev’s reformist entourage doesn’t have the chutzpah to get the job done over Yukos, Hermitage, Transneft, or other large-scale public corruption issues, the job is going to be left to citizens.

But despite the WikiLeaks cables being properly available to only a small portion of the Russian audience, and interest in the Russification of WikiLeaks being generally low, a Russian version site that sprung up recently turned out to be so popular that it crashed several times under the burden of requests in the first few days after the launch. Ruleaks.net, which was set up by the Pirate Party of Russia, has already been quoted in dozens of Russian-language media all over the world. It’s hard to say exactly why, but I can explain the motivation that drives dozens of volounteer translators to help Ruleaks.net, myself included. (…)

Crowdsourcing, it seems, is finally catching on in Russia. Online anti-corruption crusader Alexey Navalny, who is proudly hailed as ‘our very own WikiLeaks’ (although his methods are different from Assange’s, as Navalny only publishes legally obtained documents), has been extensively blogging about all kinds of corruption and injustice in Russia for several years. He has 27,000+ subscribers to his blog and one of his latest posts – on alleged widespread embezzlement at a state-owned oil company – gathered the maximum amount of comments allowed by Livejournal.com: 10,000.

Also, somewhat related, from a Bloomberg story on Navalny:

“Investors are definitely behind Navalny in his effort to shine some transparency on state-run companies,” said Michael Kart, a managing partner at Moscow-based Marshall Spectrum Ltd., which oversees about $100 million. “He has very good sources of information who bring things to light.”