ukraine

Keeping Ukrainians online during electricity outages

Montreal, Canada
December 26, 2022
Press release

Canadian support from eQualitie allows hundreds of thousands of Internet users in Ukraine to stay connected

Canadian Technology Organization eQualitie, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, DEPS UA, and the Association of “Right Owners and Providers of Content”, supplied 29 Ukrainian ISPs with 172 SBL 135-12HR batteries to power the providers’ fiber optic network during power outages.

A cargo weighing 6,600 kg as humanitarian aid arrived in Ukraine from Poland, where eQualitie purchased a series of  batteries donated for Ukrainian ISPs. Each battery weighing 38 kg will be installed on the fibre optic and distribution networks of local Internet providers, allowing them to power their networks for an additional 10-12 hours through the electricity outages. This batch of donations has a total capacity of 20,640 Amps or 247 kWh. – helping more Ukrainians access the Internet without interruption. 

Distribution of batteries is based on a needs assessment conducted by eQualitie together with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The stated needs were to bring batteries for regions most affected by Russian aggression – Chernihiv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Sumy, etc.

This support became possible due to the efforts and commitments of the Canadian government, taking place within the framework of the project “Digital Emergency Support of Civil Society in Ukraine”, implemented by eQualitie together with the NGO “Internews Ukraine”. Internet Service Providers are among the project’s key recipients, – supporting their efforts in providing Internet and communication services to the public.

Whilst the Ukrainian Internet has shown great resilience during this conflict, it is essentially another civic utility reliant on electricity. Internet access has provided a communications and an information lifeline for so many over the last eleven months. In the conditions of constant Russian shelling of the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, and as a result – power outages, the work of providers becomes even more difficult. We note the significant efforts of Ukrainian providers to restore the infrastructure damaged during the war in order and hope that our small contribution will allow hundreds of thousands of people get reliable access to the Internet” notes Dmitri Vitaliev, eQualitie’s director.

With the first shipment of batteries, eQualitie joins the international campaign “Keep Ukraine Connected” by NOG Alliance as an initiative of international assistance with equipment for Ukrainian ISPs. In January, eQualitie plans to purchase and bring additional batteries to Ukraine.

Beyond the supply of batteries, in Ukraine eQualitie protects the websites of Ukrainian media and CSOs from DDoS attacks by means of its own infrastructure called Deflect.ca. Also, the organization helps users in the temporarily occupied territories access a free Internet, with the CENO browser software, an Android application that helps them evade Russian censorship. At the very beginning of the conflict, eQualitie launched a decentralized communications project in Ukraine https://dcomm.net.ua/ with 10 regional locations for Ukrainian users to chat using the secure Matrix system and communicate on the Mastodon social network.

For media inquiries, please, contact Vitalii Moroz at vitaliy@equalitie.org 

eQualitie creates decentralized internet services in support of a more equal and equitable network. Our solutions are open source, battle proven and developed in mind of our principles. Everyday, they enable freedom of association for millions of people online.

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Launching the Ukrainian digital security helpline – Nadiyno

On 8th of November 2022, eQualitie and Internews Ukraine are launching nadiyno.org – the first national digital security helpline in Ukraine, for responding to any and all questions from the public relating to cyber security. We have assembled and trained a dedicated team of helpline support staff and digital experts, stood up systems to document and respond to incoming requests and compiled a growing database of security FAQs on the Nadiyno website. Requests are accepted and replied to using email, web chat, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and on a Matrix channel.

During wartime, people are under incredible psychological and physical stress. Secure and unimpeded use of digital technology and services, in particular communications, are an essential public need and frequently a lifeline to those in distress. With support from Global Affairs Canada we are launching the Nadiyno helpline for all Ukrainians’ digital security questions. – Dmitri Vitaliev, director of eQualitie.

https://nadiyno.org/

 

Please see the announcement from Internews Ukraine for more information on the public launch event in Kyiv. If you would like to aid or contribute to the effort, please contact Kateryna – ktsybenko(at)internews.ua

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Q1 2014 Traffic Report: DDoStoyevsky’s Crimean Punishment

In the last 12 months we have seen steady growth in many aspects of the Deflect project, particularly with respect to membership, traffic, localisation and network capacity. The most significant contributing factors have been the uptake of more partners, the efficacy of our new banning software and the continued rise in DDoS attacks as a form of censorship.

To this end, we have more than doubled the number of our partners, so Deflected sites now operate in 17 languages and focus on affairs in 55 countries across the world. In addition, we have taken on more sites that report news or advocate for issues from a transnational perspective, resulting in a more even distribution of traffic from around the world.

A comparison between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014 shows this clearly.

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We see that unique visitors have nearly tripled, the number of visits has more than doubled, page requests have all multiplied, hits are between four and five times as many and we are dealing with at least twice the amount of bandwidth as this time last year. The figures continue to grow as we move into March and April because of the current Ukraine situation. In the wake of the Euromaidan protests, the fall of the Yanukovich government and the annexation of the Crimea, we brought onto the network a number of key independent news sites operating in the region that have brought with them a large amount of traffic and a comparable amount of DDoS attacks.

The figures above are only for the legitimate traffic served. With respect to malicious requests, we saw an average of around 8MBps across the network for the month and when we first took on the Ukranian sites in March we saw spikes of 200 bots per edge.

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