Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Kremlin May 'Tighten Up' Internet Use in Russia

Luke Harding writes on The Guardian:

Russia is not China. And so far there has been no attempt by the Kremlin to crack down on the web, which is the last remaining source of free information for ordinary Russians in an otherwise controlled media landscape.

The authorities keep an iron grip on television, ensure that most newspapers toe a pro-government line, and keep critics off the airwaves.

Recently, however, there are signs that the Russian government is reconsidering its laissez-faire attitude towards the internet, especially in the wake of Iran's web-driven "green revolution".

Several Russian bloggers who have posted critical articles have found themselves charged with extremism. One is in jail. Another was arrested after comparing Russia's prime minister Vladimir Putin to a penis.

The Kremlin also uses other darker strategies for getting its PR message out, employing dozens of young, patriotic bloggers to flood chatrooms with a pro-Kremlin message, and to attack its enemies.

More here.


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