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Russia's control over the internet intensifies

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Russia's control over the internet intensifies

The ways the Russian government aims to control the internet are manyfold, varying from blacklisting websites and targeting social media platforms to the creation of new legislations that have been used to hand jail sentences to bloggers and activists. Russia’s “right to be forgotten” law took effect on January this year, amid fears that it would be abused for political censorship.

Russia is also known for its extensive use of “troll armies”, who spread pro-government propaganda online and attack Russian government’s critics, also in the comments sections of western news sites.

Furthermore, Russia is apparently looking at China as an inspiration on how to control people’s online activity. The Financial Times reported that Russia has expressed interest in Chinese techniques - particularly the country’s digital firewall – for filtering websites. This should put increased pressure on foreign companies that operate in Russia to comply with the local legislation.

How national parliamentary elections this September play out will be interesting to see – after the last Duma elections in December 2011, massive protests broke out in Russia, with social media sites being used extensively in their organisation.

Author

WAN-IFRA Editorial Staff

Date

2016-05-02 12:38

Author information

The news publishing industry is experiencing transformation at an ever-growing pace, with new policy issues arising as the landscape changes.

We will be examining policy discussions that will define the news publishing environment of the future, the key topics being internet governance, privacy and copyright. Click here to learn more about our work.

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