Stop issuing certificates to Russian websites

Dear Let's Encrypt Team,

On the 24th of February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since that time, thousands of people have been killed, millions of people have fled from war to other countries. Many Russian websites used for propaganda, government, phishing websites use certificates issued by Let's Encrypt. Considering that Let's Encrypt is funded from donations and investments from organizations that suspended their activity in Russia, it would be fair to stop issuing certificates to Russian websites. The whole world is leaving Russia, while Let's Encrypt continues helping Russia keep its propaganda, government, and phishing websites running. Together we can change it and help the world to win the war.

Best regards,
A.

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Very good. None of these requests was approved - only once Josh Aas reacted, but his reply was not convincing. Thus, we'll keep posting again and again. Maybe we'll include a list of websites that use Let's Encrypt certificates to make our requests more reasonable. However, I believe people at Let's Encrypt know better the list than we do.

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Why? The facts haven't changed. Do you think the answer will?

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So you're going to continue to spam a community that couldn't do anything about your request if they wanted to, and there's very good reason to not want to. Sounds like a troll.

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Even russians change their mind. I believe it is all about arguments. The more reasonable arguments we'll provide (and we will) - the bigger change something will change. Being passive in this situation is the worst possible thing.

  1. Ok, not personally me.
  2. Good reasons not to? I just wish war will never come to your country.
  3. Not a troll, sorry.

Just explain to me, why big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Slack, AWS, and many others are suspending their business in russia? Don't they have good reasons to keep running their business there? Is Let's Encrypt bigger than they? Does Let's Encrypt do something more important than these companies? Does Let's Encrypt lose more than they? Or maybe russian companies are major funders of Let's Encrypt? :wink:
"We are not involved in politics, we want users to be safe" is just an excuse. Why keep issuing certificates for russian government and propaganda websites is a good thing? Websites that are used in the war. Websites of the government that supports killing people. I apologize, but it is supporting russia, while the rest of the world is doing the opposite.

So we'll prepare much stronger arguments, a list of the government, propaganda, and phishing (!) websites that use Let's Encrypt certificates. Let's see what the "good reason" will be then.

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This is not supposed to happen. Those website are supposed to be banned. Please report those that are not.

But those are not "all .ru websites" -- just a subset.

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According to Josh Aas, such websites must be under sanctions and visible here https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/ - which is ridiculous.

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Not strictly. They must belong to entities on that list, even if the domains aren't there directly.

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If you can connect a domain to any entity on that list please bring it to LEs attention and they are generally taken care of promptly

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None of russian government entities are under sanctions. And I do not even speak about propaganda and phishing websites, which are too small to be under sanctions.

I have no control over that.

But, as you surely understand, the purpose of a certificate is just to cryptographically ensure you are talking to the intended recipient, be it satan.org or, much worse, kremlin.ru.

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I'll state this yet again. There are currently no unexpired Let's Encrypt (or any other transparently logged CA) certificates in existence for any .gov.ru domain name. The last one expired at the end of 2020. Please stop beating a dead horse.

Update: See my next post.

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I just picked a random domain from my list

nmap -p 443 --script ssl-cert auth.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru
Starting Nmap 7.92 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2022-04-01 11:27 CEST
Nmap scan report for auth.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru (45.134.61.68)
Host is up (0.0100s latency).
Other addresses for auth.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru (not scanned): 45.134.61.67
rDNS record for 45.134.61.68: mail.edds.mchs.ru

PORT    STATE SERVICE
443/tcp open  https
| ssl-cert: Subject: commonName=firenotification.mchs.ru
| Subject Alternative Name: DNS:atlas.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:atlas.mchs.ru, DNS:auth.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:auth.firenotification.mchs.ru, DNS:cabinet.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:edds.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:firenotification.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:firenotification.mchs.ru, DNS:panel.atlas.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:rest.atlas.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:ss.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:sso-auth.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:test.atlas.mchs.ru, DNS:test82.atlas.mchs.ru, DNS:test85.atlas.mchs.ru, DNS:tiles.atlas.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:ws.atlas.mchs.gov.ru, DNS:ws.firenotification.mchs.gov.ru
| Issuer: commonName=R3/organizationName=Let's Encrypt/countryName=US
| Public Key type: rsa
| Public Key bits: 2048
| Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption
| Not valid before: 2022-03-30T10:05:39
| Not valid after:  2022-06-28T10:05:38
| MD5:   0223 ac7c c322 d93a 852f 34b1 c577 bd09
|_SHA-1: 882f 9aff 440e e368 e577 d8ae 2049 8238 f3a2 1fb2
Not valid after:  2022-06-28T10:05:38

Please verify before posting first.

I stand corrected. It seems that crt.sh needs finer tuning to get the right results.

@lestaff

Are any of these (great many) certificates of concern?

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This is a valid report. Keep them coming and through the proper channels. (Which I don't remember what they are but I think @josh referred to them in his post.)

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One has to stop and think about ALL the conflicts and atrocities going on around the world. Should it be up to Lets Encrypt to "police" the CAs for the parties involved in all of these? No, that is not their function nor their responsibility... until domains are added to government sanctioned lists.

Continuing to post requests such as this is taking the time of volunteers who are helping people to obtain encryption certificates for their domains.

This will be my only response to this.

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Ok, you can have your opinion, that's your right. However, my opinion is that doing nothing == helping bad people to run propaganda, run websites that are used in phishing attacks, and run government websites of a country that attacks another country, the biggest in Europe.

But that's fine. Often people are afraid of something, maybe afraid of Kadyrov coming to their house (by the way, LE has >500 active certs for chechnya.gov.ru), or maybe something else is missing to stop doing nothing... For example, BALLS.

While the Government of Russia does not appear in the SDN list for sanctions, ALL entities owned or controlled by the Government.of Russia are sanctioned by various Executive Orders and Export Controls in the USA, and similar laws in other countries. Any gov.ru domain would be a mis-issuance, and should be immediately brought to the attention of LetsEncrypt through their reporting mechanism.

Regarding various pro-Russia propaganda websites – no one should expect ALL of them to be owned or controlled by Russia or sanctioned Russian entities. There are third party companies that try to track this information down for legal compliance, but they are not perfect. If you can provide proof to LetsEncrypt that demonstrates a tie between a given domain and a sanctioned entity, please do so, so that domain can be blocklisted. Providing that information to the US State Department would be a good idea as well, so other organizations can benefit from it.

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Why are you focusing on Russia so much here in this case? If you are going after propaganda websites I can think of dozens of countries.

Or just accept that it's not the certificate authorities place to decide who can get a certificate. If they aren't sanctioned they can just go to Google certificate manager, or Buypass, or just spend a couple bucks for a commercial certificate.

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