Russia: New Media, Old Tactics

By Helle Dale

Did Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blush when he signed off on the G-8 declaration of the “Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy” at last week’s G-8 Summit in Deauville, France? Probably not, but he should have.

Russia today is not exactly an example of political freedom or democracy as we in the West understand it. Nor is Russia in any way committed to free expression on the Internet, the subject of a lengthy portion of the G-8 declaration. While governments of all stripes today advocate greater international cooperation in cyberspace, the Internet is becoming an increasingly dangerous place where political activism and dissent can reap severe reprisals from autocratic and repressive regimes.


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