By EDRi

A Russian senator has recently proposed a very drastic 15-year prison
sentence for hackers who attack government websites.

The proposal of Senator Ruslan Gattarov, who is also Kremlin youth group
organizer, comes after the hacker attack on the server of the Moscow
Khamovnichesky Court of 21 August 2012.

An anonymous group seem to have admitted the responsibility for having
broken the court’s site and posted some internal court documents on 21
August 2012. The group is said to have also replaced the original text
on the homepage of the court’s site with slogans calling for freedom for
the punk group Pussy Riot, posted on the court’s site a music video of a
homosexual nature by Bulgarian singer Azis, changed the titles of the
Web site’s sections by adding sneering comments and obscenities and made
one of the Pussy Riot group’s songs automatically start playing as the
Web page downloaded.

The group’s action is a result of the Russian court’s decision on 17
August 2012 to sentence three female performers from the punk group
Pussy Riot to two years in prison, for “hooliganism on grounds of
religious hatred” after they sang a protest song “Virgin Mary, redeem us
from Putin”, in the Cathedral of the Christ the Savior in Moscow, in
February.

The hacking action is only one of the reactions against the sentencing
of the performers. The band’s case has brought about strong protests all
over the world and even statements of concern from foreign governments
like that of the British Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt who
expressed his deep concern regarding the sentence, calling it a
“disproportionate response to an expression of political belief.”
Amnesty International called the ruling a “bitter blow for freedom of
expression” in Russia. “The Russian authorities should overturn the
court ruling and release the members of Pussy Riot immediately and
unconditionally,” said John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty
International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme.

In June, a letter of support of the three women, signed by more than 200
Russian cultural figures, well-known writers, musicians and actors,
was posted on the Echo Moskvy radio web site and collected
around 45,000 more signatures.

Also in June, a group of Orthodox believers sent an open letter to
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, asking for
mercy for the three arrested women while in august a group of lawyers
published an open letter in which they stated that the actions of the
three women could not be qualified as a crime and that their sentence
was in violation of the Russian law.

After the hacking incident, the Supreme Court judicial department has
asked the Investigations Committee to open a criminal case on the
hacking attack and, according to Larisa Zhukova, an official of the
Russian Interior Ministry’s Department K, the department is ready to
investigate it.

Russia: Senator Wants 15 Years in Prison for Hackers (26.08.2012)
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/08/26/russia-senator-wants-15-years-in-prison-for-hackers/

Hackers allege attack on Khamovnichesky court mail server (21.08.2012)
http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/08/21/hackers_allege_attack_on_khamovnichesky_court_mail_server_17553.html

Moscow Khamovnichesky Court website resumes work after hackers attack
(21.08.2012)
http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/08/21/the_website_of_the_moscow_khamovnichesky_court_website_has_resumed_w_17532.html

Court website attacked after Pussy Riot punk band convicted (21.08.2012)
http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/08/21/pussy-riot-hack/

Russian court jails Pussy Riot for two years (17.08.2012)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russian-court-jails-pussy-riot-2012-08-17