Russia and its Future
The chart above is translated from the Russian website Rumetrika (Russian language link) and shows the source of information relied upon by Russian young people aged 16-26. Horrifyingly, the graphic shows that the older a Russian gets, the less he relies upon the Internet and the more he relies upon TV. In the oldest age range, more than twice as many got their news from television than relied upon the Internet, and gossip from friends was nearly as popular as the Internet. Less than one third of the people in this group read newspapers, and half was cut off from the Internet entirely.
Let’s be perfectly clear: Those gigantic columns on the left side of the chart represent not just TV, but state-owned, Kremlin-operated TV. Even though, in other words, Russia is supposedly a “free” society, just as much indoctrination and brainwashing is going on now as there was in Soviet times.
So much for the bizarre notion that the Internet can save Russia.
Even a little Internet, however, is too much for the Kremlin. Global Voices reports:
According to a Russian newspaper Moskovski Komsomolets [RUS], when [a company called] CDMS applied for a permission to install Ethernet-network in Kraskovo, Mikhail Chuiko, a newly elected mayor, sent the application back with a note that the process should be coordinated with the FSB “to ensure protection against terrorists.” When the FSB finally authorized the application, the mayor requested another approval from the security service. This time he wanted the FSB to investigate the company.
The last thing the Kremlin wants, of course, is for Russian citizens to be able to download and upload information faster and better. The slower the Internet works, the fewer people wil use it. Thus, it becomes suspcious and possibly even “terorrism” to offer Russians this power.