Putin’s Neo-Soviet Internet

Azerbaijan, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.

Those are the wretched countries that pose the greatest risk to Internet freedom in the coming year, according to Freedom House.

That’s right:  Putin’s Russia is one of them.

Pages 408-421 of FH’s 2012 Internet Report examine the state of Russia’s Internet in horrifying detail, giving Russia  woeful 52 on a 0-100 scale of Internet freedom (with zero being total freedom) and classifying Russia’ Internet as already being party unfree.

It confirms that less than half of Russia’s population can access the Internet at all, which explains why polls show most Russians have never even heard about the leading figures of the Russian opposition.

It states:  “Since January 2011, massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and smear campaigns to discredit online activists have intensified. After online tools played a critical role in galvanizing massive anti-government protests that began in December 2011, the Kremlin signaled its intention to further tighten control over internet communications.”

None of this should be surprising, of course, given that Russians have just handed unchecked power for life to a proud KGB spy.

Welcome back to the USSR.