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  • Writer's pictureMichael Paulyn

Russia Inches Closer to A Splinternet: Putin's Dream

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

It's no surprise that for years, the Kremlin has been looking to develop its autonomous internet, utterly separate from the rest of the world, known as a "splinternet." With the unprovoked war in Ukraine, this concept has become more of a reality as time goes on, no longer just a vague vision for the future.

As of March 4, 2022, many Russian Twitter users began noticing more odd changes, from bad connections to slow crawls from page to page, then lights out. Without warning, all Twitter access was cut off six days later, demonstrating the Kremlin's uncompromising devotion to the "splinternet."

What has become apparent is how serious Russia has decided to act regarding access to social media platforms by the general population within the autocratic dictatorship nation. As Russia continues to flounder regarding its invasion of Ukraine, dissent shows no signs of slowing down, with more people voicing their disgust with those in power.

As Russia's become more of a pariah on the world stage, it's become more apparent that those in power are looking to pull away, becoming more like the hermit kingdom of North Korea. By detaching from the worldwide internet, Russia's looking to control the freedom of speech and weed out naysayers.

Of all countries, China's developed the gold standard of this "splinternet" idea, creating its digital walls and effectively separating itself from the rest of the virtual world; the reality is people jump the "Great Firewall." In 2001, projections for China would eventually spend around $20 billion to ensure complete censorship regarding its internet; Russia is likely hoping to mimic China.

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