This appeal is addressed to all our supporters because of multiple complaints about handing over to the police personal data of sponsors and volunteers of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) and employees of Alexei Navalny's campaign office and letter-writers of the Black Box!
We ask our supporters to stay calm and be sympathetic to the potential discomfort. The 'leakage' was coordinated with the FBK management with the aim to deanonymize the protests. Your names, addresses and phone numbers passed to Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs are just the proof of your widespread support to the foundation and to Alexei Navalny personally.
Don't take the information transfer as violation of your privacy rights, you should consider it as your individual contribution to our common cause and a chance to change the fate of our country. During the 26 March protests in the middle of Russia's cities no one was hiding and nobody was afraid of being arrested. Now you also have nothing to worry about. You showed a firm civil position that authorities must take into account. The advanced society can't be scared by the deanonymization, and circumstances have made us take that path.
We regret to say, but display of civil stance in Russia is often problematic. Some of our supporters have troubles with law enforcement agencies, banks and public services. All cases of illegal apartment searces, confiscation of technical equipment and documents, denial of providing bank accounts services, loans, transaction services, state and municipal services should be reported to the FBK's legal department by phone – 88003330295 and email [email protected]. Also we remind you that all administrative cases related to the Sunday's protests will be applied to the European Court of Human Rights. We look forward to hearing from you. The more complaints we have, the more feedback we get from the international organizations.
Whatever ideological excuses the FBK cooks, there is the Federal Law No. 152-FZ of 2006, according to which it is forbidden to transfer any citizen's personal data to third parties without his or her consent. The FBK explains its decision by its supporters' responsibility for the social position they have taken, although Mr. Navalny's employees were anything but tactful when they had failed to inform their followers of the FBK's leaders intention to hand personal information over to the law enforcement agencies beforehand. And if on March 26 the activists voluntarily ran the risk of being detained by the police, it was highly unlikely that tens of thousands of people all over the country wanted to attract special attention of the state to all aspects of their private lives. Hypothetical contribution to the 'common cause' is not proportional to the psychological and physical damage that the opposition supporters will suffer from. Virtually, Navalny's team rather cynically made life hard for those people who showed up at the rallies aiming to improve their lives.
Meanwhile, the FBK formal statement does not explain how to come out of the existing predicament. Activists are welcome to call the FBK legal department where they would most certainly be reassured with something like 'you have nothing to fear'. By the way, there are simply not enough lawyers to assist everyone affected by the situation. And how can you trust the FBK legal experts and share your problems with them, if at any moment the details of your private life may easily be used for political ends and handed over to just anyone? Anyway, the activists may face trouble with fraudsters, banks and police several months or even years after the incident and no one would help them then.
The opposition members have already leaked personal information before. Last year culprits stole personal data of primaries' participants from the People's Freedom Party website and uploaded it on the web. The FBK went further by forcing the 'de-anonymization' to develop civil society. However, it doesn't seem to be the last surprise and challenge that Alexei Navalny and his team prepared for their supporters.