Splitting the Global Internet: Russia's Push Toward Internet Sovereignty

New Article from Stanislav Budnitsky

Budnitsky, Stanislav (2022). 'Kremlin tightens control over Russians’ online lives – threatening domestic freedoms and the global internet', The Conversation, available at: https://theconversation.com/kremlin-tightens-control-over-russians-online-lives-threatening-domestic-freedoms-and-the-global-internet-182020 (accessed 07 July 2022).

"Although the speed and scale of the wartime internet crackdown are unprecedented, its legal, technical and rhetorical foundations were put in place during the preceding decade under the banner of digital sovereignty".

A new article from Centre Postdoc Research Fellow Dr Stanislav Budnitsky traces the factors leading up to what has been called the 'descent of a digital iron curtain' in Russia. Following the onset of Russia's war of aggression, the proliferation of state-imposed restrictions on the online behaviour of its citizens has been drastically accelerated. However, the groundwork for Russia's 'draconian' approach to digital sovereignty was laid decades ago: first as a necessary adaptation to its post-Cold-War reality, and later as a dubious support system designed to maintain the power and influence of Vladimir Putin. Budnitsky explores this progression in a nuanced way, highlighting Russia's manipulation and censorship of its citizens' online engagement and hinting at the possible repercussions that this particular approach to internet sovereignty might have on the global scale.


Read the full article here

About the Article

Originally published by The Conversation on June 30, 2022.

Budnitsky, Stanislav (2022). 'Kremlin tightens control over Russians’ online lives – threatening domestic freedoms and the global internet', The Conversation, available at: https://theconversation.com/kremlin-tightens-control-over-russians-online-lives-threatening-domestic-freedoms-and-the-global-internet-182020 (accessed 7 July 2022).

Dr Stanislav Budnitsky joined the research group 'Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Cooperation' in August 2021 and will be a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Centre until the end of July 2022. He is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University.


Overview photo for this news piece comes from AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, used in the original article with the caption 'OVD-Info, a Russian organization that tracks political arrests and provides legal aid to detainees, said that government regulators had blocked its website'. 2022.