The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Russia Cracks Down On Internet Freedom

I came across this interesting article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Russia’s new internet surveillance laws, which, of course, were set in the name of “anti-terrorism.” Read the excerpt below on what exactly Russia plans to monitor and how it will impose these new regulations.

It’s been a rough month for Internet freedom in Russia. After it breezed through the Duma, President Putin signed the “Yarovaya package” into law—a set of radical “anti-terrorism” provisions drafted by ultra-conservative United Russia politician Irina Yarovaya, together with a set of instructions on how to implement the new rules. Russia’s new surveillance laws include some of Bad Internet Legislation’s greatest hits, such as mandatory data retention and government backdoors for encrypted communications—policies that EFF has opposed in every country where they’ve been proposed.

As if that wasn’t scary enough, under the revisions to the criminal code, Russians can now be prosecuted for “failing to report a crime.” Citizens now risk a year in jail for simply not telling the police about suspicions they might have about future terrorist acts.

But some of the greatest confusion has come from Internet service providers and other telecommunication companies. These organizations now face impossible demands from the Russian state. Now they can be ordered to retain every byte of data that they transmit, including video, telephone calls, text messages, web traffic, and email for six months—a daunting and expensive task that requires the kind of storage capacity that’s usually associated with NSA data centers in Utah.

My view: We are in the era of disappearing freedoms globally. China, the US, EU, and parts of Latin America are all on the same path. It comes from passive citizens who are too busy with their own lives to care about the fate of their countries. One problem is the educational system which indoctrinates our youth to ignore parents and trust the government. The only people who speak out and demonstrate in the streets are the radicals. What is happening in Russia may eventually happen in the USA.