Roskomnadzor delegates Telegram blocking to company that routinely wins gov. contracts as “sole supplier” and works with Defense Ministry
The company wins multimillion-ruble contracts from Roskomnadzor and its subordinate organizations without any contests.
E.Soft is handing the technical part of the Telegram blocking for Roskomnadzor. The company that belongs to Enforcer Group routinely signs state contracts with the Russian media censor, getting the majority of contracts as "the sole supplier", i.e. without competition. According to Kontur-Fokus, over the past four years the company has contracted with the government for a total of over 1.5 billion rubles ($24.2m). Enforcer’s largest customer is the Defense Ministry. In 2015, the group got almost 3 billion rubles for "service" of Voentelecom, a network provider the armed forces use.
The Telegram channel called Metodichka was the first to write about E.Soft’s contracts. Then Meduza found out that it was E.Soft that was effectively blocking the Telegram messenger.
Dmitry Bulatov is the E.Soft general director, as well as the owner of the PR agency Batte Media and the Internet publication TrendyMen. The founders are Vladislav Kolokolov and Dmitry Smirnov, while the latter is indicated as “founder” in more than 286 companies.
Igor and Vladislav Kolokolov, two brothers, who graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, are the majority shareholders of Enforcer Group. Roskomnadzor has been blocking Telegram since April 16, but the messenger is still available in Russia without third-party VPNs or proxy services.
Major general Igor Vasiliev, Head of the Engineering Support Service of the Federal Protection Service (FPS), and lieutenant general Ulitin subordinate to him are currently in the middle of a scandal. However, it is unlikely that they lose their posts. Reportedly, the two generals are just the tip of the huge corruption iceberg in the law enforcement structures. This is not the first embezzlement episode in their careers.