By the Blouin News Technology staff

Russia, China meet over web censorship

by in Media Tech.

Kremlin. (Source: Larry Koester/flickr)

Kremlin. (Source: Larry Koester/flickr)

While Russia has occasionally mirrored Chinese internet censorship practices, notably the random shutting down of popular websites and criminal charges brought against bloggers, the Kremlin has never revealed its admiration for China’s web policies as blatantly it has this week. Russian leaders joined Lu Wei, China’s head of cybersecurity and internet policy (also dubbed the country’s online czar or cyberczar), and Fang Binxing, attributed with creating China’s Great Firewall, at the Russia-China ICT Development & Security Forum at the 7th International Safe Internet Forum.

Recently, heavyweight politicians in Russia have been voicing increased urgency for enacting strict internet censorship policies, namely General Aleksandr Bastrykin and Konstantin Malofeev. Bastrykin heads the Investigative Committee of Russia, and in a recent interview in Kommersant Vlast magazine he praised Chinese laws forbidding national media to cooperate with foreigners without special permits, and bans on foreign-owned electronic media. He spoke of needing a defense against the “information war,” much of which he attributes to U.S.-based technology firms. Malofeev heads up an internet censorship lobbying group called the Safe Internet League, and has been loud in his push to mold Russian internet in such a way as to exclude U.S. control. The common theme among these proponents for more web censorship is the elimination of Russian reliance on American technology services…

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