Putin Plots a Parallel Internet

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call in Moscow, June 30, 2020. (Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters)
Amid a surge in domestic discontent with his regime, the Russian president is moving to tighten his grip on the country's Web access.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE V ladimir Putin is stepping up his war on the World Wide Web. In late May, claiming that it was key to Russia’s counterterrorism efforts, Putin signed a decree dramatically expanding his government’s power to regulate — and limit — access to the Internet for the country’s nearly 150 million inhabitants.

The edict, an update to the Kremlin’s 2014 counterterrorism strategy, gives Russian authorities greater control than ever before over the dissemination of information on the Internet. The ostensible goal of the measure is to curb language that could incite hatred and violence along racial, ethnic, or religious lines. But the real


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