Why Russia’s Attempt to Create Its Own Tightly Controlled Internet Could Backfire

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference following his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 30, 2019 (Sputnik photo by Valeriy Melnikov via AP Images).
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference following his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 30, 2019 (Sputnik photo by Valeriy Melnikov via AP Images).
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Russia is launching one of the boldest experiments in the recent history of the internet, but perhaps not in the way it thinks. On Nov. 1, a strict new law meant to impose Russia’s own version of China’s “great firewall”—the autocratic gold standard for state control of cyberspace—officially takes effect. While the law’s details are sketchy, it aims to cut off Russia’s connections to the World Wide Web and replace them with its own tightly controlled “domestic internet.” Whether or not the Kremlin knows it, when the history of 21st-century cyberwars are written, this move could be seen in retrospect […]

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