A new advisor to Vladamir Putin focusing on the internet runs a piracy website, according to news reports.
According to Russian-language newspaper Vedomosti, the newly appointed Herman Klimenko is the owner of Torrnadu.ru, a torrent site that lists large quantities of copyrighted material.
Klimenko reportedly owns a company Mediametric, which is connected to ECO PC Complex Solutions — which owns Torrnado.
Files listed on the site include the superhero film Ant-Man, action movie Terminator: Genisys, and a Russian-language version of the Minions movie.
Here’s the site’s homepage:
Control of the site was reportedly transferred to Klimenko’s son the day before Vedomosti published its report.
Klimenko, who is chairman of the The Institute for the Development of the Internet, has made headlines before. He has implicitly praised China’s internet censorship, suggesting “going the Chinese route,” Global Voices reports.
But he’s also been a soft touch on piracy, recommending that authorities don’t “terrorize” the public over copyright infringement. “Pushing hard now on this topic, I think, is not worth it,” he said according to TorrentFreak. “When the economy improves, you should return to this issue.” >His alleged ownership of Torrnado might go some way as to explaining this leniency.
Klimenko subsequently defended himself on Facebook, Global Voices, reports, writing: “There’s nothing illegal about owning [torrent trackers]. You just need to cooperate with copyright holders and fight for their rights.”
He later added: “You know, the list of my sins really is impressive: I’m shutting down [encrypted messaging app] Telegram, and building a Chinese Internet in place of Russia’s. And I support pirates. All single-handedly and simultaneously.”