Home From the Internet Russia Forces Its Popular Bloggers to Register – Or Else

Russia Forces Its Popular Bloggers to Register – Or Else [UPDATED: US now following Russia’s lead]

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[See update at end; now Obama is following Putin’s lead]

Back in the heyday of the Soviet Union, the utopian socialist dream state spent a fortune monitoring the speech and activities of all its slaves citizens, to root out and punish anyone who dared to express dissenting views.

“President” Putin is now apparently well on his way to resurrecting the totalitarian socialist state.  From Bloomberg:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking names. Potentially thousands.

The former KGB colonel, concerned with how social media can be used to undermine his authority, this month expanded his regulation of media to the blogosphere, requiring those with at least 3,000 daily readers to register their real names and contact information. So far, about 580 bloggers in Russia have applied to register with the country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor.

The government says this is needed so it can remove inaccurate or defamatory information on the Internet. But some bloggers fear it will limit free speech, allow Putin to close down blogs he doesn’t like and give him an excuse to block sites such as Twitter in the future.

Read the rest.

UPDATE: From the Washington Free Beacon, we learn that that the Obama administration is now following Russia’s lead.  Excerpt:

The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project.

“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

Read the rest.

What could go wrong?

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