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The Kremlin Tightens Its Grip on the Internet

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the more-you-tighten-your-fingers dept.

The Internet 280

reporter writes "According to a report just published by "The Washington Post", the percentage of Russian adults having access to the Internet has risen from 8% in 2002 to 25% in 2007. This growth has attracted the attention of the Kremlin. Its allies are creating pro-Kremlin web sites and are purchasing web sites known for high-quality independent journalism. Pro-Kremlin bloggers have used their skills to bury news about anti-Kremlin demonstrations: at Russian news portals, web links to news about pro-Kremlin rallies consistently rank higher than web links to news about anti-Kremlin demonstrations. The most disturbing development is that the Kremlin intends to develop a Russian Internet which is separate from the global Internet. Russian officials are studying the techniques that the Chinese use to censor the Internet."

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Spooky (5, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147555)

Seriously. I got a "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

Re:Spooky (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147709)

> Seriously. I got a "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

You must be American. I got a "Please to move along, for nothing here sees YOU!"

Re:Spooky (0, Troll)

im just cannonfodder (1089055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148563)

Wow look at this USA, FUD from the most oppressive, government sponsored terrorist, warmongering country on the entire planet!
did you know that your income tax is against your constitution and was never ratified?

Income Tax is fake: http://www.thelawthatneverwas.com/new/home.asp [thelawthatneverwas.com]


remember waco don't let it be lost in history:
http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4298137966377572665&q=WACO%3A+THE+RULES+OF+ENGAGEMENT&total=31&start=0&num=100&so=0&type=search&plindex=8 [google.co.uk]

What are FREE SPEECH zones? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone [wikipedia.org]

They'll need a catchy name for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147561)

The Chinese have the Great Firewall of China, what will the Russkies have? Can't call it the Berlin Firewall. I guess they'll have to go with some kind of play on the Iron Curtain, which won't sound as cool.

Though if they're really attached to that Berlin Firewall name, I suppose they could make it relevant again by rolling some tanks into eastern Germany...

Re:They'll need a catchy name for it (5, Funny)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148641)

Perhaps the iCurtain?

Not surprising (5, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147575)

Putin, and more importantly, the team of ex-KGB people around him, will of course seek to control the Internet in Russia.
All the other media, such as newpapers and TV, are firmly pro-Kremlin. Independant journalists are imprisoned or assasinated by - of course - nameless 'enemies of the state'.

It's a shame that the promise of democracy there turned out to be yet another 'false dawn'.

Europe will do nothing, since the bear's paw is firmly on their throat, i.e. the oil and gas supply...

Next up, Google et al 'voluntary censorship'?

Re:Not surprising (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147745)

No, next up is a homegrown search engine called Groognik, which uses the proprietary PutinRank(tm) to score pages for their positive content. Next they will take a page from the Chinese [searchengineland.com] and redirect search traffic to Groognik.

Re:Not surprising (0, Troll)

ctoscano (1180855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148339)

Most of these replies are singing to the beat of the drums of war, or have recognized that it is no news for governments to bury stories they don't want to be popular with unimportant news.

Two relevant facts:
* This article builds anti-Russian sentiment
* Russia strongly against expanding the Quagmire in Iraq to Iran

Since it is not news that governments engage in indirect censorship, I think this article intends to reduce the credibility of those who stand against moving the war to Iran.

Re:Not surprising (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148625)

I don't think this is entirely about Iran, sure it makes it look bad for Russia right now, but I also have no doubt that Russia would try to do whats stated here.

Are you saying that without the Iran stuff, this would be ok? Or that Russia is being unfairly criticized?

Re:Not surprising (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148639)

Europe will do nothing

Wrong. Europe will do plenty: they'll turn their heads the other way, then they will praise Russia for its tight control on the dangerous Internet, and damn America for coming up with the blasted thing anyway. Then they'll get drunk on champagne and kick some Jew.

Re:Not surprising (1)

thebonafortuna (1050016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148721)

Next up, Google et al 'voluntary censorship'?
Maybe...but Google has, to date, been careful to limit opportunities they give others to criticize them. China was one thing, as potential for profit there is so enormous they were willing to take some flak. It seems to me Russia doesn't offer nearly the same risk-for-reward potential, and Google may not be willing (yet) to expose themselves as the profit seeking, soulless corporation they are (ha ha). They're still trying to pass themselves off as "do no evil".

That being said, if they do continue to offer up "voluntary censorship" in countries such as Russia, doing so will serve as a window into their global ambitions. Not that I necessarily blame them...profit is profit, and they are a publicly traded company.

I would be curious to learn how many Russian executives companies like Google are hiring these days.

Russian Police Psychiatry: Scarier than Halloween (5, Informative)

reporter (666905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148841)

Russian society has regressed beyond merely (1) government control of the media and (2) Kremlin-ordered assassinations that eliminate probing journalists. There is now a third way: police psychiatry.

The "Washington Post" recently published a chilling story [washingtonpost.com] about "police psychiatry" in Russia. Powerful thugs in the government (including the police) and in commercial businesses bribe judges and doctors to declare that a mentally healthy person is mentally incompetent. Then, the "justice" (in a very loose sense of the word) system will imprison the victim in a mental institution. There, the doctors proceed to "treat" the victim with beatings and injections of psychotic substances.

The article by the "Washington Post" mentions that Larissa Arap, a human-rights activist, was one such victim. She had written a damning article about the horrible state of psychiatric wards in Russia. In response, psychiatrists and judges -- under orders from the Kremlin -- imprisoned her in a psychiatric ward. She was subjected to 6 weeks of beatings and injections with an unknown psychotic substance. After numerous letters pleading for her life from Gary Kasparov and other human-rights activits, the Kremlin finally released her.

What is most disturbing about police psychiatry is that it is practiced not only by the Kremlin. This "tool" is also used by ordinary Russians who want to rid themselves of people whom they dislike.

Slashdot should create a new topic category for Russia. It deserves its own topic category for story submissions; the horrors in today's Russia should be an active topic of discussion (condemnation?) for any Westerner who has an iota of compassion. This article by the "Washington Post" should scare any Westerner.

Great! (2)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147579)

Russian officials are studying the techniques that the Chinese use to censor the Internet.
Then they'll realize quite quickly that you can't censor the Internet. At least not for long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacktivism [wikipedia.org]

Not so fast (3, Informative)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147717)

It seems here that they intend to airgap their country from the rest of the world. Obviously someone could run across the border to bring DVDs, or maybe hack the phones to call an international ISP, but this will certainly make things difficult.

Re:Not so fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148571)

Airwaves, mon ami. And well before the Internet (since slightly more than one century).
Choose the right frequency, mode of emission, antenna, power, and you can be heard in every part of the world without repeaters.
Of course, keeping such an installation secret from the government would be a whole different story, though smaller stations to build a freedom bridge from a censored country and the ones surrounding it would be much easier.

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147733)

You could very well replace the name "Russia" in the article with "United States" and I don't think it would surprise most here. I guess the pro-kremlin bloggers would then be Fox News?

Hardly so simple (5, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147983)

You could very well replace the name "Russia" in the article with "United States" and I don't think it would surprise most here. I guess the pro-kremlin bloggers would then be Fox News?

A couple of things.

Russia is not so simple. First, Putin is enormously popular in Russia. He has put food in the belly of the Russian people, their standards of living are higher, and so on. In the mind of the average Russian, over there, someone supporting the likes of a pure democracy movement are the crooks and cronies from the Yeltsin era. Those crooks and cronies, in turn, are the very former communist leaders that they rebelled against to begin with!

Secondly, yes, there is Fox News and they tend to feature columnists that are sympathetic to the right wing of American politics. Guess what, that's half the country dude. The only reason Republicans are in trouble now, well, there are a lot, is because of the skyrocketing cost of energy and the growing realization that the Republicans in Washington aren't so Republican after all. If you think the likes of Hannity give Bush a blank check, you'd be dead wrong. Hannity -routinely- condemns Bush on immigration and was one of the key players to stop the Bush immigration reform bill dead in its tracks. Similarly, just wait until Bush flip flops on the ridiculous law of the sea treaty or tries to enact some sort of a carbon tax. He'd be dead meat.

Finally, the key difference between the USA and other places around the world that the left is so fond of comparing us too, is that, the left wing is allowed to spout its own opinions. If MoveOn was in Russia or China, they most certainly not exist. But then, neither would the NRA.

Re:Hardly so simple (4, Insightful)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148243)

Just to keep this in perspective, Stalin is enormously popular in Russia. About 60% of younger Russians, in a recent poll, said they admire Stalin greatly. The main difference between Russia and the US now in that regard is one of degree - the base for authoritarianism in Russia is that 60% (plus some), whereas the base for authoritarianism in the US is only at the 30% of hard-core Bushies - now leaning towards Rudy - plus a few percent of the Hillary supporters.

But those figures are for what we might call "hard" authoritarianism. There's "soft" authoritarianism that's another large block in the US: the sort that enforces "conventional wisdom" across our corporate media. It's not the stuff that FOX is the outlier on that's the key that locks the American mind, but the stuff that FOX/ABC/NBC/CBS/Time/Newsweek and often even the NY Times share as common stances and assumptions. That's what took us into the Iraq disaster in such stupid form, not that "Bush lied us into it." It's a kinder, gentler authoritarianism - that lets us believe we're a "free" people while jailing a larger proportion of our population than any other industrialized country, and ignoring the clear majority will in favor of universal health care, large-scale restructuring of energy use, and the end of corporate domination of our politics.

I'm sure Putin would agree that Russia should only have it so good.

Re:Hardly so simple (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148955)

whereas the base for authoritarianism in the US is only at the 30% of hard-core Bushies - now leaning towards Rudy - plus a few percent of the Hillary supporters.

I really don't think you can honestly categorize the hard core Bushie supporter as someone who is authoritarian, when, Bush's hallmark has been tax cuts, environmental deregulation, and a solid endorsement of the individual right to keep and bear arms. By contrast, ALL of Hillary's supporters demand higher taxes on everyone but themselves, a strong federal commitment, loss of sovereignty (and hence freedom), to combat various environmental issues, federal regulation of guns and increased federal powers on any number of issues.

Really, if anyone is authoritarian in the United States, it is the American left wing. We right wingers are just a bunch of rednecks that would just as soon not have a federal government at all.

Re:Hardly so simple (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148985)

and ignoring the clear majority will in favor of universal health care, large-scale restructuring of energy use, and the end of corporate domination of our politics.


All of which, are issues, that you want to solve in authoritarian ways. You want to have a big government socialized medicine, federal mandates to control what and how we use energy, and then, to top it all off, you want to undermine the power of free enterprise and private investment. So, other than, trying to regulate everything from food to lights, just exactly how is the left wing not authoritarian?

Re:Hardly so simple (1)

epistemiclife (1101021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148437)

Worth asking, as Gary Kasparov did, is this: How do you know that Putin is enormously popular in Russia? Are we relying on polls in a police state?

Re:Hardly so simple (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148457)

Secondly, yes, there is Fox News and they tend to feature columnists that are sympathetic to the right wing of American politics.

So why not admit to it? Why istead say that tehy are ballanced and fair? And saying that tend to means to me you have never ever seen any any other broadcasing in the world.

And it is not just the columnists, it is the whole fucking company, starting at the top. Most blogs are more objective and have more integrity that Fox News has.

Oh and they have the facts on many posters [google.com] here as well.

Re:Hardly so simple (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148769)

There's a market for Fox News. There are people who give them audience. So, they give what their audience wants. The same can be said for CNN, and in fact any other media corporation. Actually, it's not that bad as you may think. All segments of society have their own favourite media outlet, and also their own satanic evil media group to blame. Youve choices, get used to it.

Re:Hardly so simple (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21149049)

So why not admit to it? Why istead say that tehy are ballanced and fair? And saying that tend to means to me you have never ever seen any any other broadcasing in the world.

I really don't care what it says to you, because you are just a left wing religious fanatic.

FoxNews is fair and balanced because on the whole, the country is right leaning, whereas, the rest of the media is a bunch of left wing shills like yourself. And yes, I listen to NPR and the BBC. The BBC is admittedly leftist, by its own owners. After all, the Bebe by its own admission has no problem airing stories that are anti-christian, but refrains from airing anti-islam stories. What a bunch of buffoons!

Re:Hardly so simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148509)

Finally, the key difference between the USA and other places around the world that the left is so fond of comparing us too, is that, the left wing is allowed to spout its own opinions. If MoveOn was in Russia or China, they most certainly not exist. But then, neither would the NRA.


Yeah, well as soon as the religious-right baby boomers begin to die en masse prepare for the mean IQ to rise and the Republican party to languish. And make no mistake, you can try to wash it any way you wish but the majority of current Republicans are neocons, and they will be an nasty footnote in history. Your political pundits do not count since they aren't serving.

Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148519)

Putin is enormously popular in Russia. He has put food in the belly of the Russian people,

Hitler was popular in Germany.


As a Russian living in Russia (1)

yoprst (944706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148719)

I can assure you that this:
Russia is not so simple. First, Putin is enormously popular in Russia.
is the result of brainwashing that would make soviet leaders envious. Polls consistently show that people a)strongly dislike just about anything government(really, Putin) does b)love Putin
b) is the result of brainwashing. If Putin decides that the internet is a threat to him (=enough people can get news via the internet instead of tv) he'll do whatever it takes to control the internet (including cutting off Russian internet from the rest of the world, if needed)

Good thing that can't happen here! (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148043)

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/07/130258 [democracynow.org] Democracy Now!
August 7th, 2007
Freedom Next Time: Filmmaker & Journalist John Pilger on Propaganda, the Press, Censorship and Resisting the American Empire

John Pilger: One of my favorite stories about the Cold War concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"

Re:Great! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148269)

You could very well replace the name "Russia" in the article with "United States" and I don't think it would surprise most here. I guess the pro-kremlin bloggers would then be Fox News?
Shouldn't that be "Bear News" so it sounds a bit more local ?

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147871)

> Then they'll realize quite quickly that you can't censor the Internet. At least not for long.

You can: it just needs to be more brutal than you think - they already killed many prominent journalists, so now losing your job for doing things against Kremlin is not the worst of punishments - painful death from Polonium-210 is. You might not be able to censor the Internet but you can use fear to make people censor themselves: it is trivial if you own courts and whole of justice system and your people can kill opponents that you can't buy.

I think you can (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148029)

And the desire to "censor the Internet" is not limited to Russia and China. In every country, you can find people who want to control the movement of information online.

You can't control what people use their PCs for, or what they send over their own private networks. But you can tightly control the information moving over the public network. I think that this could be done by requiring all packets to be digitally signed by the originator. Routers at your ISP and on the backbone would reject packets lacking a valid signature. As part of the requirements for getting a valid signing key, every user can be forced to run only approved software on their PC, which would make it difficult to use any application that lacked Government approval. So you can opt out, but if you do, you lose your network access.

Of course, this scheme destroys anonymity online, and allows the authority to kick you offline at any time by revoking your keys. If the US were the bastion of freedom and democracy that it claims to be, this would not be a problem, because Russia and China couldn't implement an effective scheme without also losing the ability to communicate with the US and Europe. However, the US is well positioned to lead the way, with software and hardware companies bending over backwards to implement the necessary "trusted computing" technology, media giants lobbying against "intellectual property theft", and telecom corporations offering no resistance to illegal Government activities. We have already seen how "peer to peer" poses a "threat to National Security"... well, forcing a licensing scheme on all Internet users would be one way to eliminate the threat while still permitting "peer to peer" for future legal applications such as distributing World of Questcrack patches.

Re:Great! (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148757)

True , they won't be able to disconnect from the internet interely , but they will be able to do so for most people .

Not everyone has the skills to get around censorship . And those who do will keep quit , to ensure they are not detected .
All they need , after all , if for the majority of people to believe the lies . Those lies can be used to make that majority of people turn against those who wish to tell the truth.

Now , this isn't just the case for Russia of China .
Total control over information is very usefull for every goverment .

well (5, Insightful)

FrivolousPig (602133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147591)

In a world where information is power, governments who don't actually represent their people will always try to control the knowledge that their people have access to, lest they loose their grip on them.

Yeah but (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147993)

Didn't they get like 70% in the elections? Which would mean that they do represent their people.
 

Re:Yeah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148697)

Yeah, but FOOL:

Democracy?!! BWAHAHAHAHA...you believe that, don't you?

Let me spell out what recently happened in the 'democracy' of Ontario, Canada, in a sham known as a provincial election.

Neocon McGuinty, liberal, won something like 70 seats out of about 120, i.e. a majority...

HOWEVER, only 50% of the electorate voted, and of that 50%, only 43% voted for McGuinty's liberals...in other words, we have a dictatorship by a majority 'democratically elected' by less that 25% of the voters (most of whom were Catholics, supporting McGuinty(who went to a catholic separate school) on a single issue, i.e. school funding)! Democracy, yeah, right...

Re:Yeah but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148713)

Didn't they get like 70% in the elections? Which would mean that they do represent their people.


Good point. There has never, ever been a case of election results being falsified or falsely reported.

Re:Yeah but (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#21149053)

Didn't they get like 70% in the elections? Which would mean that they do represent their people.

Yes, and it's similar to the US. In the US the political party who has the most control over the media wins the election (I'm mainly thinking of advertising dollars here... and you can't even run if you can't afford to canvas for a large amount of signatures supporting your candidacy). Similar to Russia, but the brute force issues involved in representing your people are more financial in the US than outright physical harassment (i.e. arresting or killing journalists).

Saddam Hussein got a lot more than 70% in his elections, and Robert Mugabe (in Zimbabwe) continues to win his elections without any hanging-chad controversies. And Bush continues to win his elections...

I guess it depends what you mean by "represent their people". In the US at least the powers that be aren't as blatant in their abuses as some other countries. But in the US they don't have to be. Corporations often give political donations to both parties. Not much plurality if you have the same lobbyists and bureaucrats and political donors year after year.

I cannot help it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147595)

In soviet Russia... the Internet browses you!!

I couldn't help it... sorry.

But we must be tolerant (4, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147607)

Of people's attempts to silence others. After all, if we weren't, we'd have to go after a hell of a lot of muslims urgently. And they do a lot more silencing than even the kremlin.

Re:But we must be tolerant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147877)

cough* REdneck* cough

No. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148139)

Of people's attempts to silence others.

If we do not defend the rights of others, we will soon have none ourselves. People without freedom can be expended at will by their leaders to remove your own freedom. It is good to condem oppression wherever you see it. Trade, laws, war and peace must follow morals. If you can change your morals to accommodate other things, you have no morals.

Re:But we must be tolerant (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148473)

I interpret your remark as: "all you people condemning censorship in Russia better line up behind US foreign policy in the middle east, or I'll call you hypocrites for opposing dictatorship in one case and supporting it in the other." Is that about right?

Re:But we must be tolerant (2, Funny)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148577)

After all, if we weren't, we'd have to go after a hell of a lot of muslims urgently. And they do a lot more silencing than even the kremlin.


Wow. What kind of kool-aid did you get? I got a pack of Cheneyberry sitting in my cupboard, but I haven't tried it yet. Is the new FoxCherryBlast formula as good as the old?

Hurrah! (-1, Offtopic)

caluml (551744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147623)

More Russian adults online = more Russian hotties online!

Re:Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147647)

Russian girls don't look half as good when they actually arrive, and there is generally no returns policy.

Re:Hurrah! (0, Offtopic)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147661)

I would say its a fair deal.
Afterall, you aren't the hunky football pro you made out either.

Adopting new tactics (2, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147659)

Pro-Kremlin bloggers have used their skills to bury news about anti-Kremlin demonstrations: at Russian news portals, web links to news about pro-Kremlin rallies consistently rank higher than web links to news about anti-Kremlin demonstrations.

So, the Russians are adopting the tactics of the Bush administration. It's a sad day for Russia.

Re:Adopting new tactics (1, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147793)

Actually the Bush administration are a pack of ameteurs at this, Putin and his cronies are pros and have been doing it far longer. The big fear should be that Bush and his pack learn from Putin and turn pro.

Re:Adopting new tactics (2, Insightful)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147905)

If Bush were censoring anything on the internet, you retards wouldn't be posting this now. Pull your head out of your ass. You still have Governor's in your state, where in Russia they just up and fucking vanished.

Water's wet, the skies blue, and Putin is a commi piece of shit. And how that affects you clueless democrybabies is that they are arming non-Demoractic states with nuclear weapons.

It's about freedom. (2, Informative)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148215)

If Bush were censoring anything on the internet, you retards wouldn't be posting this now. Pull your head out of your ass.

That's good advice for individuals but bad for society, and you are woefully unaware of your fading rights. There are 750,000 proscribed people in the US who have been labled "terrorist" without trial. They will be kept from traveling, employment and other things vital to their well being. Economic assassination is almost as effective as the other kind. Mass roundups that follow the next "Perl Harbor" will find an economically devastated opposition. Yes, you too can be labled a criminal for saying the wrong things [slashdot.org] . To avoid the end game, we must point it out loudly and convince people to stand up for themselves and others. Tyranny melts in the face of unified opposition, which is how the Soviet Union died.

Re:It's about freedom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148503)

> Tyranny melts in the face of unified opposition, which is how the Soviet Union died.

If the Soviet Union's dead, why are we reading "The Kremlin Tightens Its Grip on the Internet", and why does the KGB run it with an 80% approval rating? The USSR isn't dead - it's simply had its bureaucracies renamed.

Tyranny is the default state of man. As events in both the East and the West have proven, the Enlightenment was an interesting experiment, but its time has come and gone. Back to tyranny for another few centuries.

Re:Adopting new tactics (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148995)

Yes, the US's democracy is totally not in a pretty fragile state [wikipedia.org] , protestors have nothing to worry about at all. "democrybabies"? Did you seriously call us a name as your counterargument? Zing!

So how does the US arming of Iraq with chemical weapons [wikipedia.org] fit with your world? Surely that's as bad as "arming non-Demoractic (sic) states), no?

Re:Adopting new tactics (2, Informative)

vityok (1040682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147881)

After watching Fox News on YouTube for some time, I can not tell if there is any difference between Fox News or Kremlin News -- they both are really twisted. If taken seriously, it is ridiculous that the bushies have launched an aggression on another independent state, established unlawful trials and tortures for the prisoners, having intelligence agencies spy on own citizens, did not sign Kioto treaty and so forth are criticizing Russia for some unclear reasons. It is like if the Oceania is on war with Eurasia... PS: Is the PATRIOT Act still in force?

Re:Adopting new tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147975)

Are you that fucking stupid?

Idiot!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147671)

...internet accesses YOU.

In other news... (5, Insightful)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147681)

After 10 years of research, investigators have discovered that governments are, in fact, manipulative.

Re:In other news... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148203)

Also... People want more, but harder next time.

 

Wow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147691)

So, does this mean that kremvax will be brought back online?

Re:Wow (1)

PacoCheezdom (615361) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147847)

Oh kremvax. Best April fools' ever [godfatherof.nl] .

If I had mod points, you'd get some.

Surprised? (4, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147727)

If you are, you haven't been paying attention. All independent TV stations have been closed, one way or the other, in Russia. The same is true for newspapers, with few exceptions. And the journalists brave enough to speak up have dire times looking ahead. Remember Anna Politkovskaya [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Surprised? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147843)

For me, as a Russian citizen, that certainly is a huge problem. There is no free mainstream media, TV is so much controlled, that there is not much point watching it (not that there is much point watchin it in any other country, I am pretty sure about this, as I used to live in US and visit Europe quite often).

That being said, I doubt Kremlin would control Interner media, at least if they have a little bit of brain that is. The reason being, it is quite importnat to give those liberals like myslef some breathing space and keep them off the streets and demonstrations.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148009)

You know she had known ties to Chechnya separtists - so I think she is a bad example. I just don't understand why Putin goes after anyone who has ties to the Chechnya rebellion whereas he's glad handing the Iranians who support them? Seems like a dysfunctional foreign policy.

Re:Surprised? (1)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148189)

To have these actions make sense, simply consider that Putin sees all things going on in the former Soviet area as being domestic issues rather than foreign. Checnya = domestic, Iran = foreign.

The BBC is a state owned broadcaster (1, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147761)

Fox is a privately owned broadcaster...

Says it all really.

Re:The BBC is a state owned broadcaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148051)

Don't bother; the kids around here won't get it. It's like talking to a fence post.

Re:The BBC is a state owned broadcaster (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148111)

You could read a newspaper, or switch to ITV, or Channel 4. In Russia, the "competitors" are also owned by the state.

Re:The BBC is a state owned broadcaster (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148797)

The BBC is a state funded broadcaster with a guarantee on its funding. They are in a similar position to a state university professor with tenure, and no less trustworthy on account of it. They are, however, a pretty shit organisation as far as their TV news goes - this has absolutely nothing to do with their source of funding, it's just what the retarded market wants.

Obligatory (3, Funny)

MaXimillion (856525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147777)

In Soviet Russia, the government controls you.

No, wait...

Russia already has a second world... (4, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147787)

...its the Russian mafia network.

So even if the kremlin managed to create their own country internet there would still be the russian mafias world wide internet.

Re:Russia already has a second world... (5, Funny)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147999)

If the Russians are going to keep our Internet out, can they please also keep their spam in.

Re:Russia already has a second world... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148381)

They will stop sending you Spam, the moment you stop sending them money.

Good thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147795)

The most disturbing development is that the Kremlin intends to develop a Russian Internet which is separate from the global Internet.

Mr. Putin, by all means, do so, as it would benefit most people here in the EU, and I'm sure most people in the US too. Please do separate your "internet" from the internet. The day you do, there will be 99% less phishing sites on the net.

Ignore Putin at your peril (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147821)

Big thanks go to Mr Bush who looked into the eyes of Mr Putin and did not see the murderer in them: what this article describes is the least of the crimes made by Kremlin, it's like accusing Hitler (even though he is not at the same scale, yet) of suppressing mass media where as much graver crimes have been committed.

A lot of people would probably object to using Hitler as direct comparison to Putin. But there is simply no other close analogy - if you read carefully book about the life in the Third Reich before the WW2 and compare it to what happens in Russia in the last few years you will find a lot of disturbing parallels - I sure hope I am wrong and that Putin will never reach the level of Hitler, but then again better be mistaken in this then right.

Good people of the US - I know you've got plenty of problems on your hands, but ignore raise of Russian national socialism at your peril - it is you who Putin marks as the enemy that he uses to unify the nation, nothing good will come out of it, Putin needs to be stopped and there is simply no other nation in the world who would dare to draw a line in the sand but you - the Americans. I don't know who the heck you will elect as President, but I hope he won't be as dumb as Bush who is responsible for allowing Putin and thus KGB take over Russia.

Re:Ignore Putin at your peril (1)

ntufar (712060) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148065)

You are greatly exaggerating Putin's abilities if you compare him to Hitler.

Hitler actively pursued his goals as soon as he got the power. Wile Putin did not not do anything of interest in seven (!) years (1999 - 2007) of his rule. The stunts he is pulling now are aimed exclusively at people of Russia to impress them before December 2007 parliamentary and next year's presidential elections.

Obligatory... (0, Troll)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147833)

In Soviet Russia, the Internet reads YOU!

Re:Obligatory... (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147915)

In Soviet Russia, memes perpetuate *YOU*!

Yeah, I know. Go ahead and mod me redundant or overrated. Just remember, in Soviet Russia, overrated Soviet-Russia-meme posters mod *YOU*!

Content Inspection Teams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21147875)

The data center that I work for has political site on one of it's boxes. We actually received an abuse report, by some kind of Russian internet team, saying that the material was illegal because it interfered with Russian election laws. I'm not sure what ever happened to the incident, but I did find that slightly unnerving.

As Long As... (1)

Nitroadict (1005509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147885)

I can still visit t.a.t.u.'s offical site, and various russian fan sites & fan-listings, as well as the numerous mp3 rotation sites; grip away, Kremlin.

The more you tighten your grip, Putin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Pals (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147927)

Good thing he says he's pals with Bush. Or is that because of the family links to the CIA? All Putin's doing is what he's good at. Doing what Cisco and Yahoo taught China to do, and adding a helping of 20th century Russian self-hatred and sado-control. It's too bad really, all the guy's imagination and efforts are completely warped into a useless direction that will mean nothing in the future. Making pro-Kremlin sites is okay, I was going to say he should make pro-space and pro-biotech engineering sites but on the other hand with his type of mind they will all be warped to nuclear missile and biowarfare. Good way to throw a country's future in the trashcan!

This will increase the brain drain (3, Interesting)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 6 years ago | (#21147991)

This is short sighted on the part of Russia. Russia has a brain drain problem. Silicon Valley is awash in bright Russian immigrant software developers who love the opportunities and freedoms they are getting. This increased censorship and eroding of basic rights back home in Russia will only increase that trend and leave Russia holding the bag with the beaten down and uninspired population that will remain.

Re:This will increase the brain drain (1)

Lije Baley (88936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148869)

Yep, and this is great news for the U.S. as it will continue to profit from the diversity of thought provided by immigrants from such short-sighted countries. As a U.S. citizen, I'm happy to hear it. If Putin wants to rebuild the U.S.S.R. and watch it fall again for the same old reasons, let him.

In other news... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148001)

"Russian officials are studying the techniques that the Chinese use to censor the Internet.""

It doesn't hurt that Chinese telecom ZTE [wikipedia.org] is moving product into Russia as fast as possible, either.

sadly enough, defense hawks are stroking boners (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148007)

The thing that I never understood, defense hawks are not really for a strong defense, a cost-effective way of protecting our home soil. Defense hawks are about big contracts and big paychecks. They'd rather pay a billion bucks for the platinum-plated solid gold whiz-bang wonderweapon but don't want to spare a nickel for the soldiers who man them.

So much of the Cold War was snake-oil salesmen from the defense industry peddling their wares and enriching themselves and the generals while also increasing the likelihood that these weapons would be used in a shooting war.

What's the easiest way to cut down a mighty oak tree? When you can pinch the life out of it between two fingers. In other words, just after it's sprouted. But we seem to like the idea of planting the tree in the first place, letting it get plenty of sun and rain, wait until it's grown into an imposing presence, then we get to whip out the chainsaws and dynamite. If Shel Silverstein ever wrote about this, he'd have to call it "the Stupid Tree."

Re:sadly enough, defense hawks are stroking boners (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148335)

What's the easiest way to cut down a mighty oak tree? When you can pinch the life out of it between two fingers. In other words, just after it's sprouted. But we seem to like the idea of planting the tree in the first place, letting it get plenty of sun and rain, wait until it's grown into an imposing presence, then we get to whip out the chainsaws and dynamite. If Shel Silverstein ever wrote about this, he'd have to call it "the Stupid Tree."

I guess the tree is a metaphor for the internet in this case?

Then the "easy" way would have been be to kill it off back in the 80s.

But that would require the politicos to recognize technological trends early and predict their impact correctly. Which is difficult enough for people who really know the stuff, like the engineers who invented it and the early adopters.
The typical politician is more likely to recognize a "problem" once it makes waves in society. Which happened with the internet in the late 90s in western societies, and arguably now in Russia ;-)

Re:sadly enough, defense hawks are stroking boners (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148355)

The thing that I never understood, defense hawks are not really for a strong defense, a cost-effective way of protecting our home soil. Defense hawks are about big contracts and big paychecks. They'd rather pay a billion bucks for the platinum-plated solid gold whiz-bang wonderweapon but don't want to spare a nickel for the soldiers who man them.
Why should they ? Do soldiers maximize investor revenue ?

An intelligent move (3, Insightful)

jihadist (1088389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148017)

As Plato said, bad propaganda conditions your people to do stupid things, and they don't have time to figure it out. I'd do the same thing, but I give Russia few chances of success, given how elusive self-governance has been for them since they overthrew their Nordid leaders and replaced them with fields of peasant Slavs.

Spam (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148059)

Kent Brockman: "Also in the news today, a team of researchers has found that the amount of email spam has increased over 300% since the early part of this decade. Scientists are still searching for the cause of this increase."

Can't happen here (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148083)

Its allies are creating pro-Kremlin web sites and are purchasing web sites known for high-quality independent journalism.
Unlike Rupert Murdoch.

What CNN tells about anti-Bush demonstrations... (5, Interesting)

barwasp (1116567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148099)

nothing... CNN [cnn.com] thinks the following US news are enough:

* Entire school system shuts for superbug scrub
* Train kills 5-year-old boy
* Genarlow Wilson freed | 'We want him home' Video
* Indian tribes expel members
* Mobile home dwellers ride out fire, wait for help
* Fatal fetus theft leads to death sentence
* Mob considered whacking Guiliani Video
* Feds: Look out for shoe-bombers
* Commander loses job amid nuclear sub probe

...so in the US anti-bush news are just anti-patriotic / anti-american... the only difference between the Russian news control is that Putin started a bit earlier than Bush.


> Pro-Kremlin bloggers have used their skills to bury news about anti-Kremlin demonstrations:

ahhh, if some CNN wievers want to learn about recent anti-bush demonstrations, tune into BBC [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:What CNN tells about anti-Bush demonstrations.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148549)

What kind of a point are you trying to make here? That there is no news to be found on anti-Bush demonstrations because there isn't any thrown in your face on CNN?

CNN isn't the only game in town you know. You might try FoxNews or maybe MSNBC.

Still not anti-Bush enough for you? Try Daily Kos or the Democratic Underground or the Huffington Post. Mayhap you'll mosey on over to Prison Planet. Might find things a bit more to your liking at some of these places.

One more thing about CNN...

Try looking below those links at CNN and noticing the more U.S. stories [cnn.com] link that leads to ten pages of links to the more recent US stories that have been covered. There is actually more news regarding the U.S. to be found on CNN than you'd like to lead us to believe.

Then there are also sections for: Politics, Business, War and Conflict, Armed Forces, Political Policy, World Politics, Financial Markets, Terrorism, U.S. Armed Forces, Culture and Lifestyle.

There's actually lots of news to be had on CNN if you're not too lazy to look for it after being disgusted with the lack of coverage of anti-Bush demonstrations.

A Lesson For You Libs Out There (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148185)

....communism does indeed suck.

The free world is at risk (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148311)

During the 50's, 60's, and 70's, America, and then the whole of the free world lead the planet. The reason is that we had a capitalism helping us move things alone. In particular, we developed our resources VERY quickly. Neither China nor USSR was not able to do that, because they were totalitarian states combined with command economics. Now, Russia is heading to what China is, but the difference is that China has the lead in manufacturing and Russia now has the resources, all of which America was the leader in before. The point being unless the free world quickly develops alternative and nuclear energy, we are probably going to be in the same place that we were in before, only with us on the losing end. The truth is that totalitarian govs. are VERY efficient (do not like the result? shoot it). It was the command economy that was not. If we have a low cost energy again, then the free world can expand rapidly into automated manufacturing.

Re:The free world is at risk (0)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148837)

The truth is that totalitarian govs. are VERY efficient (do not like the result? shoot it). It was the command economy that was not.

The command economy is also far more efficient, except that it is also exceedingly vulnerable to selfish greedy sociopaths who immediately proceed to consume it from within until it collapses. Capitalism on the other hand is a clever (but deeply flawed in many aspects) system in which the insanity of greedy sociopaths is redirected towards something resembling common good. But if the command economy theorists were ever able to solve this wee problem ... watch out!

Russian Internet (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148715)


The most disturbing development is that the Kremlin intends to develop a Russian Internet which is separate from the global Internet

It's worth noting that a good bit of the spam and plain criminal activity on the internet comes out of Russia--the Storm botnet is largely thought to be owned and operated by the Russian mafia. The RIAA would be happy to have mp3.com inaccessible from Western markets.

A segregation of the internet into World portions and Russian portions might have a short-term benefit as this stuff is firewalled away. Of course, the long term cost of the those ciitzens not having access to outside sources of information makes the cure worse than the disease.

Any surprise here ? (2, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148725)

China, Iran, we already know what kind of cultures these countries have. Why does anyone get surprised when Italy or Russia goes for censorship ? Italy is a country that rich media bosses can rule with much scandal, as they please. Russia is a country in which whoever gets too successful in criticizing the government gets killed in a car bomb. Recently russian police have beaten Gary Kasparov in an anti-kremlin demonstration.

all countries act as per their cultures towards internet.

Re:Any surprise here ? (1)

mean pun (717227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148971)

China, Iran, we already know what kind of cultures these countries have.

Really? If with 'we' you mean the collective mind of Slashdot, I have to disagree. The collective mind of Slashdot only knows the cliches about every country except the USA and perhaps Great Brittain. I'm glad I'm not assimilated yet.

Italy is a country that rich media bosses can rule with much scandal, as they please.

That is about as accurate as

The USA is a country that rich oil bosses can rule with much scandal, as they please.

That is, there is some truth in it, but reality if far more subtle than that.

As opposed to US "freedom"... (1)

whitroth (9367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148827)

Like Faux News, and Limburger - come on, how many SELF-DESCRIBED liberals or leftists are there in the US media, or on the big, corporate websites (or, say, federal gov't sites, like say FEMA)?

Eight or nine years ago, a columnist in the Chicago Trib counted just columnists, and in papers with overt agendas (such as Mother Jones, or the Wall Street Journal), and foudn something like 57 right-wingers, half a dozen or so "moderates', and less than that of liberals (and Molly Ivins is now gone).

So why *shouldn't* the Kremlin do what the neofascist, pardon "neocon" media here have done?

                mark "and show me ONE leftist with the same coverage as extreme
                                right-wing Kato Inst."

Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148857)

Hi, everybody. I live in Russia, and i must say, that Washington Post knows nothing about situation in our country. There is no problem in publishing any information you want. If it's not loyal to the goverment - you may use right hosting. There is no Great Firewall and we wouldn't have it anyway, cause we joined global network without help of the goverment. Most of people don't watch TV and don't read newspapers. All the politics and games behind it no longer interesting for educated people. So called journalists and bloggers sometimes forget about Occam's razor and laws of logic. Sometimes it's accidental, sometimes not. But usually it's all about trying to make our society unstable. They'll write anything, just to do it. If you call it democracy - please leave it for U.S., we don't need it.

hmm (4, Informative)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21148877)

Couple of words of Internet landscape in Russia. As many of you know, Livejournal is the service of choice for most of Russian bloggers and, most importantly, the only service that is used for the political discourse. Other services like number #2 in ratings, Liveinternet.ru populated by pop-music fans and all kinds of juvenile nonsense.

On the contrary, there are many political blogs among top bloggers at the cyrillic sector of Livejournal. It interesting that the most dominant and most vocal part of political blogs are not those that advocate Western style democracy and human rights, but on the contrary are criticizing Putin from extremely right-wing position.

I am looking at blogs.yandex.ru, 5 most cited blog entries, and among number 2 [livejournal.com] (rus) is defending arrested leader of "Red blitzkrieg" by the blogger well known for his sympathies for all things Soviet.

number 3 [livejournal.com] (rus) is also on the same subject by the relatively well known lady journalist of the similar political views.

The highest ranking blog among the official politicians [livejournal.com] (#22 in the all-list) belongs to a politician who was in political leadership of Latvia at the time of breakup from the former Soviet Union and spent a lot of time undermining efforts of Latvians to gain independence. Right wing.

Blogger number 19 [livejournal.com] is a Nazi sympathizer with Russian pseudo-pagan twist.

The lefties are presented much less among top bloggers.

I am saying this because among quite diverse opposition to Putin right-wingers opposing Western style democracy and human-rights issues are dominating. If they would come to power, the situation would be even worse than at Putin's time from the Western point of view.

In the West Putin's seems like an autocrat, anti-democrat, but to THAT opposition he is a Western poodle. The most viable alternative to Putin at the hypothetical condition of free election (free from government manipulation as well as foreign financial and all other kinds of support to the "liberal" opposition) would be not much famed recently chessmaster, but people like Rogozin (Russian equivalent of Le Pen or Heider).

This might be irrelevant to the topic of censorship, but it is quite relevant to Russians.

That's cute (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21148997)

Bloggers actually think they have the least bit of influence on the political landscape. Especially this one from the article, in such strong words "it forces Putin's allies to respond to criticism rather than simply ignore it." Right.
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