Tag Archives: Internet

U.S. Social Networks, Blogs Allowed Back Into Crimea

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 25, 2015) The United States on Friday announced that U.S. companies can still give users in Crimea access to a range of free online communications services, despite an earlier U.S. ban on providing any services to the region after it was annexed by Russia last year. The decision will allow U.S. Internet companies such […]

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Russia’s Biggest Social Network VK Beats Television in Battle for Viewers

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 8, 2015) Russia’s leading social network VK has beaten the country’s biggest television channel in the battle for viewers’ attention, data from media research firm TNS Russia showed. VK, previously known as VKontakte, had 13.2 million daily users in March this year, while state-owned giant Channel One had an audience of […]

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New website offers three centuries’ worth of historical statistics on Russia

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(Interfax – April 27, 2015) A new electronic archive has been launched, making it possible to trace the social and economic development of Russia’s regions over the past three centuries. The Electronic Repository for Russian Historical Statistics [https://ristat.org/] was proposed and created by Gijs Kessler from the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam and Andrei Markevich from the New […]

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Over 1.5 million questions asked in upcoming Putin’s Q&A session

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Over 1.5 million questions have been asked in the upcoming Q&A session of President Vladimir Putin to begin at noon on April 16. “We have received 1.2 million calls, approximately 24,000 MMS messages, 285,000 text messages, 6,500 video questions and almost 190,000 e-mails sent to the website,” Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. Russians wishing […]

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Russia launches new version of president’s website

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

MOSCOW. April 8 (Interfax) – A new version of the Russian president’s website launched on Wednesday took a year to develop within the current budget, no extra funds were allocated, the Kremlin said. “An updated version of the official website of the Russian president has been opened. The previous version was launched more than five years ago, in September 2009. […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: Trolling for Putin: Russia’s information war explained.

Kremlin and River

Lyudmila Savchuk says it was money that wooed her into the ranks of the Kremlin’s online army, where she bombarded website comment pages with eulogies of President Vladimir Putin, while mocking his adversaries. “Putin is great,” “Ukrainians are Fascists,” “Europe is decadent”: Savchuk, 34, listed the main messages she was told to put out on Internet forums after responding to […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH Legatum Insitute: The Menace of Unreality: Combating Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.

Satellite Dishes

The Legatum Institute, on Oct. 14, 2014, hosted a panel discussion on “The Menace of Unreality: Combatting Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.”  The event featured Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, Oleksander Scherba, Ambassador at Large at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of The Interpreter, Peter Pomerantsev, journalist […]

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The Trolls Who Came In From The Cold

Satellite Dishes

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Viktor Rezunkov – ST. PETERSBURG, March 16, 2015) Last May, Tatiana N decided she wanted a higher salary than the average journalist can expect. After responding to an advertisement in the popular HeadHunter job-search website, she became a Kremlin-paid Internet troll. Tatiana — who, like others interviewed for this story, asked that her last name not […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: A Russian TV Insider Describes a Modern Propaganda Machine

Satellite Dishes

“It was shocking,” said Mr. Pomerantsev, speaking over coffee in London last month. “They really saw television and news as a movie, and talked about it as a movie.”

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

IMAGINE if you grew up lying. Not a little bit, for convenience, but during every public moment of your life: at school, at work, at social events. You had to lie to survive, because the punishment for telling the truth was the loss of your academic or professional career, or even prison. For Russians who came of age before 1991, […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Sunday Book Review: ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible,’ by Peter Pomerantsev

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

The name “Vladimir Putin” is almost impossible to find in “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia.” He usually appears only as “the President,” lording over and lurking behind the tales of tragedy and absurdity in Peter Pomerantsev’s captivating new book about modern Russia and its discontents.   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/books/review/nothing-is-true-and-everything-is-possible-by-peter-pomerantsev.html?_r=0

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NEWSLINK Newseum Event: Journalism/Works: Putin: Power, Persuasion and Propaganda

Newseum and Environs Aerial View

Anti-American sentiment and a nationalist fervor in Russia are rated higher today than at Cold War peaks – and at the heart of those twin developments is a master of propaganda, media control and mass audience appeal: Russian president Vladimir Putin. This year is the 30th anniversary of the launch of perestroika and glasnost under Mikhail Gorbachev – and the […]

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NEWSLINK Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

With its annexation of Crimea, aggression in the eastern Ukraine, and military and economic threats to NATO nations, the Kremlin has resumed a new kind of Cold War. Regardless of what Vladimir Putin may say, his motives are not benign. The West has reacted with surprise, confusion, paralysis, and mostly inaction.   Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare. […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Book Review: ‘Nothing is True and Everything is Possible,’ by Peter Pomerantsev

Kremlin and River

In Russia — a country that constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass, spans eight time zones and has a population of 143 million — television unites the nation. It is “the only force that can unify and rule and bind this country,” writes Russian-born British journalist Peter Pomerantsev. “It’s the central mechanism of a new type of authoritarianism, one far […]

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NEWSLINK BBC: Russia’s global media operation under the spotlight.

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

The Kremlin’s international media operation appears to be going from strength to strength with two recent high-profile launches and more in the pipeline. But it is also coming under increased scrutiny over its lack of editorial balance and accusations that it is deliberately using disinformation to counter and divide the West. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30040363

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NEWSLINK Institute for War & Peace Reporting: How Russia Fights its Information War

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

The Kremlin is committing huge resources to extending its influence through spin rather than soldiers. As the Ukraine crisis continues, IWPR editor Daniella Peled talks to writer and regional expert Peter Pomeranzev about how Russia is using the media as an extension of its military power. Russia is devoting great resources to the information war – how effective is this […]

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Online film festival offers chance to view little-known Russian movies

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – March 30, 2015) The sixth annual Double Dv@ Online Festival of Russian Film will take place on the website of Rossiyskaya Gazeta from April 6-20. Most films will be shown with English subtitles. Each film will be available for 48 hours. http://d2.rg.ru/ According to the press release: “The aim of the program is […]

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NEWSWATCH National Interest: Debunked: Why There Won’t Be Another Cold War. The new generation doesn’t believe in a “New Cold War.”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

[“Debunked: Why There Won’t Be Another Cold War. The new generation doesn’t believe in a ‘New Cold War.’” – National Interest – Matthew Rojansky, Rachel S. Salzman – March 20, 2015] Writing for The National Interest, Matthew Rojansky and Rachel S. Salzman address the status of U.S.-Russian relations and whether they could be deemed a new Cold War or turn into one. They also consider […]

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Russians Less Likely to Protest as Their Situation Deteriorates, Urnov Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 4, 2015) It is an axiom in most countries that people will protest when their living conditions decline and that assumption underlies current Western policy toward Moscow, but Mark Urnov, one of Russia’s leading political analysts, argues that the situation in Russia is different and that Russians are less rather than […]

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Business New Europe: Russia’s tech sector defies downturn

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 16, 2015) Most of Russia’s economy will be in the proverbial dustbin in 2015, except for the technology sector. The gadget-loving Russians have been driving the explosion of e-commerce in recent years, which is now starting to spill over into technological innovation and software development. Instead of the […]

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Culture Minister Wants ‘Patriotic Internet’ to Protect Russians

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 15, 2015) Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has called for the creation of a “patriotic Internet” to combat Western ideas, adding that those who are against Russia are against the truth. Russia needs to “consolidate the state and society on the basis of values instilled by our history,” said a statement released […]

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Russians Still Prefer Print Editions Over Online Publications

Collage of Russian Newspapers

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 13, 2015) More than a third of Russians are most likely to read their favorite articles online and 17 percent are willing to give up print media altogether, according to a study published Monday by state-run pollster VTsIOM. The poll was conducted last month among 1,600 people across Russia with a margin of error […]

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Russia to Make Internet Providers Censor Content – Report

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – December 3, 2014) The Kremlin is pushing to have Russian Internet providers filter content before delivering it to users, a potentially very costly censoring procedure, a prominent news website said. The new rules may be passed by the State Duma before the year’s end, Gazeta.ru said Monday, citing an unnamed source “familiar […]

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Edward Lucas: Response to John Helmer JRL#231

St. Basil's Domes

Subject: Response to John Helmer JRL#231 Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 From: Edward Lucas <edwardlucas@economist.com> In a piece republished on JRL#231 (6 November 2014), the Moscow-based writer John Helmer says that I accepted a state award from the government of Poland, with the further unfair and untrue suggestion that this has slanted my coverage of Poland, and that I have […]

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Spy Malware Deployed Against Russia by Unknown Nation, Report Says

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 25, 2014) Russian and Saudi Arabian telecommunications and Internet firms are being targeted by highly advanced cyber espionage malware that is likely being controlled by a Western intelligence agency, The Financial Times reported Monday. Leading computer security company Symantec issued a statement Sunday warning about a new piece of malware known […]

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Magazine Pays Homage to Embattled Russian Activists With Global Thinkers List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber- November 19, 2014) Two Russian rights advocates have been included on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the top 100 leading global thinkers for their roles in raising contentious issues surrounding this year’s Sochi Olympic Games. LGBT rights defender Yelena Klimova and environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko were included in the “advocates” section of the […]

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Russia launches its own ‘Wikipedia’

File Photo of Little Russian Girl at Laptop Next to Globe

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 17, 2014) It’s already got its own search engine called Sputnik, but now in an effort to better control the contents on RuNet, the Kremlin plans to launch its own version of Wikipedia. The Russian version of the user-generated encyclopaedia is designed to give “citizens more detailed and reliable” information about their country, […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Teens Tweet Nazi Propaganda, Boast of Burning Russians

Twitter Logo and Faint World Map

[Graphics and tweets here en.ria.ru/society/20141012/193990648/ Ukrainian-Teens-Tweet-Nazi-Propaganda-Boast-of-Burning-Russians.html] MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova – Since the Euromaidan turmoil and events triggered by the Ukrainian coup of February 2014, Ukrainian youth has been used as the main propaganda force of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. Ukrainian right-wing nationalists attract young people by romanticized the image of OUN-UPA and Stepan Bandera, the famous […]

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Moscow Times: Majority of Russians Endorse Internet Censorship

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 15, 2014) The majority of the Russian population supports a curb on Internet freedoms in theory, a new study showed Tuesday. Fifty-four percent of the respondents in a new poll by the independent Levada Center said the World Wide Web had enough dangerous websites to mandate censorship. Another 31 percent were against it, and […]

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Poll: Russians use Internet to find out news, watch movies and connect with friends

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(Interfax – October 13, 2014) The Internet usage index in Russia is 66 percent, the same as a year ago, and 46 percent of users go online daily, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. Most active users are persons aged 18 to 24, people with higher education (66 percent in each of these two categories), prosperous people (58 […]

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Interfax: Russia not planning to limit internet traffic, nationalize domains – minister

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(Interfax – October 2, 2014) The Russian authorities have no plans to limit the number of trans-border internet exchange points (IXP) or to regulate the management of the country’s local domains, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 2 October. “Such an idea is not on the agenda,” Russian Telecommunications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov told journalists answering a question as to […]

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Can Russia Disconnect From The Internet?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RFE/RL – Luke Johnson – October 02, 2014) After chairing a meeting of the Russian Security Council on October 1, President Vladimir Putin insisted the Kremlin was not planning to limit access to the Internet or put it under total state control. The authorities would, however, take additional measures to increase cybersecurity and continue to shut down sites promoting extremism, xenophobia, […]

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Interfax: Russian government develops measure to prevent disruptions of Russian Internet

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. Oct 1 (Interfax) – The Russian government is developing measures to prevent attempts to disrupt the operations of the Russian segment of the Internet, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It is necessary to continue to promptly prevent attempts to disrupt the stable operations of the Russian segment of the Internet. Interagency exercises to prevent such attempts were conducted in […]

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Facebook, Google and Twitter hit by new Russian internet law

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – September 30, 2014) Russia’s official communications regulator Roskomnadzor says it will enforce a recently passed law that could force foreign-owned internet companies to store the data of Russian users on Russia data centres, as part of a Kremlin drive towards what it calls ‘information sovereignty’. Major US-based internet companies such as Facebook, Google, and […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian experts speculate on why prime minister’s Twitter account was hacked

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(RIA Novosti – August 14, 2014) Moscow, 14 August: Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s Twitter account [https://twitter.com/MedvedevRussia], which was hacked on Thursday [14 August], may have been hacked in response to the law that imposes stricter liability on bloggers and the partial ban on anonymous access to the Internet via [public] wi-fi networks, or because of the strained relations between […]

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No Passports Required to Use Public Wi-Fi, Moscow City Hall Says

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 9, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree Friday instructing public Wi-Fi network operators to require user identification – but only in certain spots. The decree was almost immediately greeted with outrage from many residents of Moscow, where Wi-Fi is widely available in parks, cafes, schools and on some forms of public transportation. […]

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Ban on anonymous access to public Wi-Fi irritates Russians

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Igor Rozin, RBTH – August 11, 2014) A government decree demanding that Russians show their passports when accessing public Wi-Fi has agitated Russian society. A few hours after the decree was issued, the Moscow Mayor and the Ministry of Communications’ press offices explained that the decision did not concern all networks Public Wi-Fi […]

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Law Requiring Bloggers to Register as Mass Media Comes Into Force

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 1, 2014) A law requiring popular bloggers to register as mass media took effect Friday, tightening government control over the country’s influential online voices but leaving some uncertainty as to how strict the immediate scrutiny will become. In accordance with the new law, any blog that receives more than 3,000 hits […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Social media alive and well despite laws

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Plyushchev, special to RBTH – July 15, 2014) Alexander Plyushchev is a popular blogger and one of the pioneers of Internet journalism in Russia. Russians flock to social networks even as the government tries to regulate the web A new law, which comes into effect Aug. 1, will effectively subject Russia’s most […]

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Russian Blog Post Decrying Government’s Internet Crackdown Goes Viral

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – July 14, 2014) Is this an updated version of Aldous Huxley’s classic antiutopian novel, “Brave New World”? Not exactly. If you live in Russia, this will be your world by September 1, according to a blog, “A Guide Through Your Life: What the Duma Has Banned in Recent Months,” published last week […]

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For One in Three Russians, the Internet is Unknown Territory, Poll Shows

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 2, 2014) About 28 percent of Russians, or almost a third of the populace, likely have never surfed the web in their lives, according to a new poll. In the poll published Monday by the independent Levada Center, 28 percent of respondents said they never went online and that they had no Internet access. […]

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Internet Giant Yandex Evades Burden of Media Status

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 3, 2014) Leading Russian search engine Yandex will not have to register with the government as a media outlet, the Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday, setting a precedent that suggests search engines’ news aggregating sites may be safe from a wave of heightened regulation of the Internet. “Based on the results of our inspection, […]

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Test: How Does State Search Tool Sputnik Compare to Google and Yandex?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – June 2, 2014) On May 22, state-owned telecoms company Rostelecom launched the first version of its new search engine, Sputnik. A week later, the engine, which some analysts see as the latest move in the Kremlin’s ongoing crusade against the uncontrolled and subversive Internet, has fallen flat. On the day that Sputnik […]

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Interfax: Snowden must apply for extension if he decides to stay in Russia – head of Federal Migration Service council

Edward Snowden file photo

MOSCOW. June 2 (Interfax) – Former CIA analyst Edward Snowden will have to ask for extension of his temporary asylum if he decides to stay in Russia, Vladimir Volokh, the head of the Public Council of the Federal Migration Service, told Interfax on Monday. “He has to request an extension of his temporary stay. No additional documents are filed if […]

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Media Regulator Could Block Foreign Websites for Failing to Reveal Data

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – May 27, 2014) Russia’s media watchdog has drafted a resolution that would allow it to block foreign websites in the country for failing to register with the Kremlin’s monitors, a news report said. The proposed government resolution, drafted by media regulator Roskomnadzor, would cover all websites that allow their users to exchange […]

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Russian Premier Medvedev Defends Facebook, Twitter

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Torrey Clark – May 17, 2014) Russians access to Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. is safe if Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has a say in the matter. The government leader rebuked a communications official for saying in an interview published yesterday that Russia has the right to fully block online social networks if they don’t uphold […]

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Moscow Times: Internet Companies Gain Voice in Government

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 8, 2014) Internet companies have found a forum to defend their interests before the government following a meeting Wednesday with First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and an array of high-ranking officials. During the meeting, Shuvalov ordered a working group formed within the Communications and Press Ministry, which will bring together […]

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Russian Internet ‘One Step Away’ From Chinese Firewall

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 29, 2014) Amid growing criticism of its increasingly tighter regulation of the Internet, Russia’s official media watchdog on Monday vowed to continue its fight in the “information war,” saying freedom of speech “does not mean everything is permitted.” The government made clear at an annual meeting of top officials of the […]

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Yandex reacts to Putin comments about foreign influence as share price falls

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vsevolod Pulya, RBTH – April 28, 2014) The Russian search engine was actually registered in the Netherlands and received its first investments from foreign investors. Nevertheless, it believes that this is “common practice for any internet startup.” Russian search engine Yandex has responded to comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin about foreign influences […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Says CIA Created the Internet, Cites Foreign Influence at Yandex

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 25, 2014) President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the Internet was a CIA project and that Russia’s most popular search engine Yandex had been subject to Western influence when it started out. The president told a media forum that the Internet “emerged as a special project of the U.S. CIA and […]

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