Russia should learn from China’s internet censorship, says official



The head of Russia’s Central Investigative Committee has urged the country’s officials to step up control of the internet, using China’s experience as a model to counter pressure from the United States, the state-managed RT reports:

In a major interview with the Kommersant Vlast magazine, Aleksandr Bastrykin said that on March 10 the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information introduced a complete ban on electronic mass media completely or partially owned by foreign citizens or companies. Chinese laws also forbid national mass media to cooperate with foreigners without a special permit and only Chinese citizens can hold managerial posts in mass media companies. Besides, Chinese internet media are legally obliged to keep their data on servers located in the country. 

“I have an understanding that we in Russia could use this experience to a reasonable extent,” Bastrykin told the magazine.

Such instances of authoritarian learning, from domestic repression to cross-border projections of soft power, are highlighted in the newly-published “Authoritarianism Goes Global,” a new book edited by the National Endowment for Democracy’s Marc F. Plattner and Christopher Walker,and Stanford University’s Larry Diamond.

Relevant agencies have not detected signs of a threat to the Russian constitutional system by five non-governmental organizations placed on a ‘patriotic stop list’ by the Federation Council, a leading official said today.

“Potential threats to fundamentals of the constitutional system and security of the Russian Federation have not been confirmed for five organizations as of yet,” said Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov. “This does not mean that relevant agencies will stop monitoring these entities. So to say, no one is given an act of grace.”

Relevant agencies are taking measures regarding another four organizations “to collect, analyze and legalize materials, including those which will confirm either threats to Russian national security or their absence,” he said.

The Russian Justice Ministry declared the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Foundation (Soros Foundation), the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs to be “undesirable“.

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