Saturday, September 20, 2014

Putin considers plan to unplug Russia from the internet 'in an emergency'

[VV note: Yay! Nor more spam or hacking attacks from Russian servers!]

Kremlin to discuss taking control of the .ru domain and measures to disconnect Russians from the web in the event of unrest

Luke Harding and agencies in Moscow
The Guardian, Friday 19 September 2014 12.17 EDT

The Kremlin is considering radical plans to unplug Russia from the global internet in the event of a serious military confrontation or big anti-government protests at home, Russian officials hinted on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin will convene a meeting of his security council on Monday. It will discuss what steps Moscow might take to disconnect Russian citizens from the web "in an emergency", the Vedomosti newspaper reported. The goal would be to strengthen Russia's sovereignty in cyberspace. The proposals could also bring the domain .ru under state control, it suggested.

Russian TV and most of the country's newspapers are under the Kremlin's thumb. But unlike in China, the Russian internet has so far remained a comparatively open place for discussion, albeit one contested by state-sponsored bloggers and Putin fans.

The move comes at a time when Russia has been bitterly critical of the western media, which Moscow says has adopted a biased attitude towards events in Ukraine. Russian channels have portrayed the conflict in Ukraine as a heroic fight against "fascists" in Kiev. They have disputed western reports that Russian soldiers and heavy weapons are involved. A BBC team that went to investigate reports of Russian servicemen killed in Ukraine was beaten up this week.

(More here.)

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