Russia is back in tech news again, and as usual for the wrong reasons. We have reported many instances of the Russian government making moves to stifle criticism by blocking websites or otherwise interfering with the general public use of the Internet. Back in July Douglas wrote about the Russian government offering a bounty to anyone who could crack Tor.
Also in August, Russia made bloggers having more than 3,000 followers, register with Moscow’s mass media regulatory agency and conform to rules applying to larger media outlets . Back in February, you may recall, the government gained the power to block websites without a court order and immediately barred the webpages of two leading Kremlin critics. And subsequently, The government ordered that Russian Internet users must show an ID to access public WiFi spots.
This time around, Russia is again rattling its saber in pronouncing that it is going to develop an alternative to Wikipedia ’in the interest of truth and fairness” according to the Russian news outlet RIA.
President Putin, paranoid as ever, has in the past designated the Internet a ’CIA special project’ that the Russian people have to be protected from lest western value encroach upon them. The threat is perceived to be greater now due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia assembled and written by Internet users around the world. Its information is pervasive in Russia, dedicating pages to every region or every major city within its 11 time zones. Either he finds the coverage inadequate or its information inaccurate.
Analysis of this resource showed that it is not capable of providing information about the region and the life of the country in a detailed or sufficient way,” came a statement from the Presidential Library. “The creation of an alternative Wikipedia has begun. To effect such an “alternative to Wikipedia” the Presidential Library statement said that 50,000 books and archive documents from 27 libraries around the country had already been handed over to begin the development process.
It is not known whether the appearance of a new Wikipedia will affect the Russian people from accessing the present Wikipedia site, but the bet here is that the original site will soon be history in Russia if past experience is any teacher. Where will it end under the reign of Czar Putin?