Concern over state control grows as Putin approves “digital society” strategy

Concern over state control grows as Putin approves “digital society” strategy
(Image: Yuri Samoilov under a CC licence)

11 May 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new strategy for the development of Russia as a “digital society”, raising fears over increased state control over the internet.

The new 2017 — 2030 strategy, published on the official government portal, includes several new elements not included in the previous strategy, which had been in force since 2008. These include the concept of Russia’s “critical information infrastructure”, which will be protected “using the state system for detecting, preventing and eliminating the consequences of computer attacks on information resources”.

Somewhat disconcertingly, the document also sets out a very particular moral vision for technology, prescribing “the priority of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values ​​and the observance of norms of behaviour based on them when using information and communication technologies”.

In addition, the strategy sets out that foreign software and computer equipment used by the Russian government will be replaced by Russian products, as well as a switch to domestic encryption tools for online government activity.

“If you tried to convey the essence of the 29-page document in one phrase, the strategy boils down to the authorities’ desire to use Russian technologies as much as possible and expand state control over the Internet,” Riga-based news site Meduza reports.

Source: Afisha (in Russian)