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Russia's Telegram crackdown tests censorship limits

Friday, May 11, 2018

Significance

State telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor's attempt to block Telegram on behalf of the Federal Security Service (FSB) has largely failed, while the collateral damage done by shutting down millions of IP addresses has prompted public protests and objections from establishment figures The case is a test of the state's technical ability to control web-based communication, as well as of the limits to public tolerance when sweeping censorship affects people personally.

Impacts

  • Facebook, Twitter, Google and Amazon will face increased pressure to abide by existing data-storage and encryption laws.
  • Companies such as VKontakte, Mail.Ru Group and Yandex will benefit from their positions as domestic industry leaders.
  • IT start-up and innovation will suffer from unpredictable regulation and intrusive security-sector influence.
  • A gradual tightening of internet controls will widen the rift between the older-generation elite and young digital natives.
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