Naturally, it was Russia and human right’s groups are not happy.
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country’s internet, a move decried by rights groups.
I get why they are complaining. Putin has decided that his government will have to the power to decide whether anyone in the country can even access anything from outside the country online, and for those trying to post from inside the country?
Separately, Putin in March signed controversial laws that allow courts to fine and briefly jail people for showing disrespect towards authorities, and block media for publishing “fake news”.
The laws are part of an ongoing Kremlin clampdown on media and internet freedoms that has seen people jailed for sharing humorous memes.
Now this is going to sound a bit snarky, but what did these groups expect him to do? I mean, this is Russia after all, but aren’t they simply doing what so many groups in the West have been demanding their governments do when they look for crackdowns on social media users spreading false or offensive information? It’s all fun and games when you’re the one deciding what is and isn’t appropriate. It’s not so fun when a powerful government entity with no oversight decides it for us, is it?
So, those of you in the EU, Australia, the UK, and even the US who are rooting on laws that will “hold social media accountable for what is being posted online”, might want to figure out how that’s any different than what Russia is doing. You might want to hurry it up too, while we can still post anything without it passing through a government censor.