Tag Archives: google

EDITORIAL: The End of the Russian Internet

EDITORIAL

The End of the Russian Internet

The Russian wire service RBK Daily broke a rather sensational story last week:  The Putin regime is going into the search engine business.  Foreign Policy’s Evgeny Morozov writes that Kremlin functionary Igor Ashmanov declared on Echo of Moscow radio that since Google is nothing more than a pawn of the U.S. government, there is no reason why the Kremlin should not have its own.  Morozov continues:

According to RBK’s anonymous sources inside Kremlin, it would aim at satisfying “state-oriented” needs such as “facilitating access to safe information” and “filtering web-sites that feature banned content.” It’s going to be an ambitious project: the government is prepared to invest $100 million in this new venture, does not want to allow any foreign funding, and intends to build it in cooperation with the private sector.

So much for the notion that the Russian Kremlin cannot affect control over the Russian Internet and/or has no intention of doing so. Once the Kremlin has it’s own search engine in place, it can simply remove all the others from the net.

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Revolution by Advertisement?

The Washington Post reports:

What are people Googling in Russia? A group called Ovoscham replaced bus shelter ads on the streets of Moscow with their own subverted Google ads which read more like political commentary. The ads takes the familiar Google ads showing what a celebrity is Googling, and turns it on its head. Umapper founder Adrei Taraschuk provides us with the following translation for search queries in one of the ads, presumably showing what a typical Russian citizen might be looking for:

Police without bribes Government for the people Construction without rollbacks Alternative during elections Fun without alcohol Whistle blowers (or people with active civil position) Television without lies

There are more details on this blog (in Russian). The video embedded above shows two men swapping out the ads in blue jumpsuits. You never quite see their faces. Is that Larry and Sergey?