The Russian Circle Group

The public FotoForensics service does not permit commercial use. Organizations that violate this policy are shown a message and directed to the commercial Lab service.

Unfortunately, one group of people continue to use the public FotoForensics site to evaluate pictures for commercial purposes. We call them the Russian Circle Group (RCG) because their text is in Russian, GPS coordinates identify locations in Russia and former soviet republics (Ukraine, Belarus, etc.), and they often annotate picture with red circles.

Since March 2018, this group has repeatedly received warnings about not using the public site for commercial purposes. Rather than moving off of the public service, they have actively worked around the bans and increase their upload rate.

This tutorial shows some of their pictures and poses the questions: who are they and what are they doing?

NOTE: This training does not include all of the pictures from this group. We have omitted some of the earlier pictures that show people, pets, receipts, and financial statements.

Use the arrows at the bottom of the page to navigate through this training. Click on the pictures to view them in a new tab.