Russian minister calls for additional state control of the internet

nikiforovRussian authorities have this week called for international legislation to increase state control over the internet.

Speaking at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Russia’s Minister for Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov claimed that information technologies should require “international norms and rules” developed under UN guidance.

Nikiforov went on to claim that although no nation should be allowed to meddle in the online affairs of another, states should have the power to control their own internet within their country.

Although many people argue that Russia’s attempt to control online media comes close to censorship Russia has previously argued that many Western nations already monitor and influence the internet through programmes such as the US’s NSA.

Despite Nikiforov’s opinions been seen as an attack on freedom of speech by some Russian authorities claim that new laws would benefit the national security of their country.

Russia’s discussion at the ITU comes after they led a group of countries in pushing for further control powers during the 2012 assembly in Dubai. The proposal to increase the powers states have to control online communications was backed by China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, but was blocked when many Western nations voted against the proposed change.

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