Russia Seeks China’s Help Controlling the Internet

Russia’s Safe Internet League met in Moscow last month with China’s powerful censors, including Fang Binxing. He is known as one of the creators of “The Great Firewall of China.”

The Safe Internet League is registered as a non-governmental organization. But it reportedly has links to important Russian officials.

Observers say the recent meeting shows that government officials in the two countries want to increase their control of the Internet.

Fang spoke to the gathering about “cyber sovereignty.” He said national borders should be guarded in the online world as they are in the real world. And he said foreign interference with a country’s government should not be accepted.

Lu Wei is China’s chief of cybersecurity and Internet policy. He said online freedom is not a right but a responsibility. He said it should be limited because it could lead to terrorism, according to a message on the social media website Twitter from a Financial Times newspaper reporter.

Lu agreed with Russian officials who say Western media are leading an “information war” against their two countries.

Both Chinese and Russian officials at the meeting said that American business interests have too much control of the Internet.

Russian Internet experts say the meeting shows that the Russian government plans to take increasing control of online information ahead of parliamentary elections. The vote will take place September 18.

Russia will hold its presidential election in 2018.

Russia is following China’s practice of forcing all foreign Internet service providers to place their servers with Russian data inside Russia.

Soldatov says Russian security services would have all the providers’ technologies of encryption immediately available.

Western companies have resisted placing their servers in Russia. But some Chinese companies have started to do so.

Full article: Russia Seeks China’s Help Controlling the Internet (Voice of America)

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