AI Tool ‘Oculus’ strengthen Russian Censorship System
In response to an “avalanche-like (flood or wave-like)” spread of material that seemed to be dangerous and against Russian legislation, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) monitoring tool, Oculus, was launched.
Recently Russia’s Internet Censor (a spying machine) introduced a new AI system known as “Oculus” to speed up the process of searching the internet for images and videos that are considered to be unlawful.
This system was launched by the Main Radio Frequency Center, supervised by Russia’s federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor.
The unlawful material includes gambling and LGBTQ issues regarding Ukraine’s conflict.
In 2022, the violating content was at a maximum as more than 100,000 resources were restricted, and according to law, any mention related to the Ukraine war was prohibited. Also, Russia’s infamous internet surveillance states that if you live or are likely to travel to Russia, you must use VPN services.
Since 2012, the Roskomnadzor agency has been updating a blocklist containing Websites, domain names, and IP addresses deemed illegal.
The AI tool, Oculus, can automatically identify illegal images, videos, symbols, messages, calls for unlawful gatherings, suicide, content that promotes drugs, and LGBT propaganda through analysis. Oculus can analyze about 200,000 images at an average of three seconds per image or video.
In September 2021, the Kremlin invested around 57.7 million rubles ($783,000) in developing Oculus. And then, in December 2022, the first test was conducted, and it is currently operational in Russia.
Developers will keep improving their functionalities until 2025.