YouControl supporters protest near SBU office

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People hold posters that read: "SBU! You are doing the wrong thing!" (L) and "SBU! We control you!" as they protest in support of online service YouControl in front of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) office on March 28 in Kyiv.

Dozens of supporters of online service YouControl rallied in front of the office of the Ukraine’s SBU security service on March 28 to back the company after the SBU on March 23 searched the homes of YouControl’s top managers.

YouControl is online service that monitors open data financial reports, and information on connections between businesses and their owners in Ukraine.

Waving banners and placards, the supporters of the service accused the SBU of lawlessness and supporting corruption.

Earlier, the apartments of YouControl CEO Sergi Milman and Commercial Director Olena Lapa were searched by the SBU, as was the company’s office.

YouControl staff lawyer Daniel Globa said that the searches were triggered by a Kyiv Shevchenkivsky District Court order issued back on March 3. It accused the company of “disrupting automated systems.” Globa said the charges were “legal nihilism,” as the legislation on open data permits the use, copying and distribution of the information collected by YouControl.

As a result of the searches, the SBU officers seized about 100 pieces of office hardware, some personal belongings, documents, and money.
The law-enforcement authorities have opened already criminal proceedings. Nobody from the company has been charged with anything, however.

According to Milman, despite the losses, YouControl continues its operations as usual.

The website gathers open data from 37 state registers, automatically compiling it into tailor-made reports. Once users request a report, it takes only about a minute for it to be prepared and delivered. On top of that, users can order round-the-clock monitoring.

It’s often used as a tool to root out corruption schemes, as it compiles reports that include a company’s financial history, types of activity, renaming of the enterprise, staff changes, and tax debts since 2000.

If required, the website can show all of the businesses linked to a beneficial owner of a particular company.

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