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Debian bins keys assigned to arrested Russian contributor

If Dmitry Bogatov's been compromised, Debian needs to protect itself

By Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2017

Debian has removed keys assigned to developer Dmitry Bogatov after he was arrested by Russian authorities for using the internet to organise protests. Or, as Russian outlet TASS puts it, “for terrorism and attempts to stage unrest in Moscow.”

Bogatov was remanded in custody for two months, but claims he was not at his keyboard at the time posts calling for protests were made. He's also said he will co-operate with authorities.

But his arrest has spooked projects he worked on, such as Debian for which he “currently maintains several packages for command line and system tools.” Debian says it stands by Bogatov and hopes “that he receives fair treatment and due process.” But the project has nonetheless “taken measures to secure its systems by removing Dmitry's keys in the case that they are compromised.”

Tor, for which Bogatov operated an exit node, says it is “collecting facts, monitoring the situation closely, and sharing information with allied organizations and individuals.”

“The Tor Project has been following with interest the case of Dmitry Bogatov in Russia, but we have no insight or information other than what we've been reading on publicly available websites,” according to a post. “What we know right now is that serious accusations of wrongdoing have been made against a valued member of our community, a person who has, among other things, been a Tor relay operator, Debian Developer, GNU developer, and privacy activist.” ®

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