When Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in 2019 that would allow the state to isolate the Internet in the event of a security incident within Russia, international media reported extensively on the development, which many have (incorrectly) compared to China’s Great Firewall. The limelight quickly returned to Beijing’s influence over online content and data – although a Kremlin campaign continues to put pressure on US tech giants and could soon create a disruptive playbook for other states.

While Moscow made headlines last year after throttling Twitter and forcing Google and Apple to censor opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s election app, Western media coverage of internet repression and security threats is still centered on China. This preference continues despite Russian developments affecting both the internet ecosystem and human rights in the country – and …



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