March 14, 2024 | The Telegraph

The West should tear down Putin’s new digital Iron Curtain

The Kremlin is paranoid, passing some of the most repressive laws in its history. This gives us ample opportunity for subversion
March 14, 2024 | The Telegraph

The West should tear down Putin’s new digital Iron Curtain

The Kremlin is paranoid, passing some of the most repressive laws in its history. This gives us ample opportunity for subversion

Excerpt

This week, the Kremlin continued pushing through some of the most repressive laws in its modern history.

On March 11, Putin signed into law a bill that bans media advertisers from working with “foreign agents” – a deliberately ambiguous term. It follows the government banning Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) earlier this month: tools that allow users to access blocked sites in Russia – including The Telegraph – while masking their location and identity.

It is the latest move by the Kremlin to strengthen Russia’s digital iron curtain descending over Russia’s 143 million people. But it is not the first. A 2017 attempt to ban VPNs did not stop Russians from accessing prohibited websites. In September 2023, a Russian polling outfit found that almost half of Russians would continue to use a VPN to access YouTube.

Dr Ivana Stradner is a Research Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Issues:

Russia