Russia’s Internet, Officially Dead
It doesn’t get much more official than this: Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Council of the Federation (Russia’s version of the U.S. Senate or British House of Lords) openly declares (Russian language link), contradicting both Dima Medvedev and the Russophile hoards: “RuNet doesn’t perform the civic and social functions that it does in other countries.” (In Russian: “Хуже то, что Рунет варится в собственном соку и не выполняет тех гражданских и социальных функций, которые являются общепринятыми в других странаx.”) He continues:
It was expected that the Internet would help crystallize and mobilize parts of the civil society that are interested in a broad sweep of constructive reforms. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet. Sites of NGOs – including those of human rights organizations that defend the interests of the population – recieve less than 1% of the Russian Internet traffic.
Well, that’s it then.
As we’ve repeatedly proven, it’s quite simply a boldfaced lie to suggest that Russia can afford state control over TV and newspapers because it has the Internet to provide real information about the Kremlin’s failings. It can’t. It doesn’t. Russia’s Internet is a fraud.
We knew it all along, but still it’s nice to have official, emphatic confirmation from the highest levels of the Russian government.
As Evgeny Morozov points out, the fact that real information doesn’t flow on the Internet in Russia doesn’t mean the Kremlin isn’t panicked that it might somehow do so one day, and therefore Mironov is announcing an all-out initiative to crush and purify it.
As part of this new campaign, a new law is moving in the Duma under which, as one blogger states: “Local ISPs will be obliged to provide law enforcement agencies with the information on their subscribers when requested. But the most interesting thing is that in some situations they will even have to deny their subscribers internet access when deemed necessary.”
So let’s have no more of this ridiculous crap from the mouths of the Russophile lackeys of Vladimir Putin about the vitality of Russia’s internet. We now have one of Russia’s highest-ranking political leaders officially on record declaring the Runet DOA, and making plans for its funeral. The final nail in the coffin has been driven. Anyone who repeats contrary lies in the future can have only fools and morons for his audience.