Yevgeny Antipov is going to create his own messenger, “lure a crowd of people there” and “merge” compromising evidence on Telegram into the network.
Evgeny Antipov, the creator of the “Eyes of God” telegram bot for breaking through personal data, gave a long interview to the Meduza edition (recognized as a foreign agent). In it, he spoke about the conflict with Telegram, connections with the underworld and law enforcement agencies, as well as about the projects that he is preparing to launch.
In early July, the channel and chats of “Eyes of God”, one of the main Russian bots offering “punching” services, disappeared from Telegram. The blocking began after a court decision, which sided with Roskomnadzor (RKN) and accused the Eye of God of violating citizens’ rights to “personal and family secrets.” This is not the first such site blocked at the request of the authorities – but the real campaign against the black market for personal data was launched by the RKN only after the publication of Bellingcat’s investigation of the FSB’s surveillance of Alexei Navalny and his poisoning. It was based on information obtained through the “punch”.
Now Antipov is trying to achieve the unblocking of his main channel, and if this does not happen, he threatens to lay out incriminating evidence. According to him, corruption is rampant in Telegram, data is being merged by “everyone,” including Roskomnadzor, and in general, the administration of the messenger in general does not care about users. He allegedly could have destroyed Telegram for a long time, but he plans to first launch his own messenger in order to lure users over to him.
Antipov claims that it will not be possible to permanently block the “Eye of God”, since any user can create a clone of this bot – there are already 575 thousand such clones. He says that earlier information from merged databases got into the results, and now information is taken only from open sources (for example, social networks, instant messengers, sites with ads), therefore, it is absolutely legal and not secret.
Antipov said that he provides law enforcement officers with free access to the full version of the “Eyes of God”, but not forever, but for several months. To renew the subscription, he asks them to write him a letter of thanks. The greatest interest, according to him, is provided not by information about citizens, but by information about who is looking for whom – this makes it possible to reveal under whom security officials and journalists are now “digging”, and who will be discussed in the news in the near future.
At the same time, Antipov himself does not hide that he intends to share data from the bot with the authorities:
If I need to tell you how one of you breaks the law, kills people, finding them in my bot, I will. My goal is to make the product useful, not hide your crimes and get kicked in the neck for it.
Moreover, the creator of the “Eyes of God” admitted that the administration of the service periodically “takes on the monitor” of its users, keeping track of what information they are looking for:
This is the secret function of the Eyes of God: I have a lot more data than I think. Our neural network scans [user requests], and then moderators manually check its work.
To “legalize”, the “Eye of God” had not only to delete data from the merged databases, but also to classify information about the employees of the MFD and the FSB. The information itself did not have to be deleted, the bot only hides these abbreviations from its output.
Antipov does not exclude close cooperation with the authorities, but so far he does not know with whom and in what form. As an example, he cited an application he created that, when pointing the smartphone camera at a stream of cars in augmented reality, shows unpaid fines by drivers. Such an application would be useful to the traffic police, but the department cannot acquire it due to bureaucratic procedures (it is required to develop requirements for software, announce a tender, consider applications, choose a winner, and not the fact that it will be the owner of the “Eye of God”).
Antipov needs to return the channel to launch a new service in order to inform the audience about it:
We wanted to speak in the spirit of “this is how great we are, we are leaving the gray search process for a whiter, more serious one for business” – but we were deprived of air by breaking the channel.
I have an idea [of a service for monitoring] a social rating – such an analogue immediately to SPARK-Interfax for checking legal entities, and Cro-Inform for checking individuals. The system scans for us all social networks, all sites with ratings and ratings. We enter the name of your employee, click “monitor” – and find out if there are any fines on him. Or we enter the name of your child’s nanny – and on all social networks we see if she is in groups of 18+ or other bad ones. And the system will constantly monitor the right person.
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