Bending the Internet: How Governments Control the Flow of Information Online

MIN READJun 18, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

In this photograph, people in Moscow rally for internet freedom during April 2018.

People attend an opposition rally in central Moscow on April 30, 2018, to demand internet freedom in Russia. Authorities tried to block access to the popular messaging app Telegram in the latest onslaught against dissent under President Vladimir Putin. At least 8,000 people, including top opposition leader Alexei Navalny, turned up in the center of the Russian capital.


Every government -- be it autocratic, democratic or somewhere in between -- wants to exploit the internet to its advantage. Administrations even in liberal countries such as the United States have attempted to direct online discourse and to sway public opinion toward some internet outlets and away from others. And in more authoritarian states, manipulating internet use has become a critical aspect of domestic policy. The precise tactics governments employ to moderate internet use in their countries depend in large part on their priorities....

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