The Russian Duma approved a bill that would enable the country to have a “Great Firewall” or “Iron Curtain” similar to what China has. The result of the law is that, whenever the government wants to, it can censor all incoming and outgoing traffic traveling through state-owned channels.
‘Sovereign’ Internet Just an Excuse for Heavy-Handed Censorship
Privacy advocates have long warned about Russia’s alarming stance on internet regulation. The onerous intended purpose of this “sovereign internet” bill is to keep Russia online in the event of a crisis, but critics allege that it’s meant to give the government greater powers to censor and restrict internet access for Russian citizens.
Ameet Naik, who works for a network marketing service called ThousandEyes, told the Register:
“However, this would also force internet traffic through suboptimal paths, and through performance-limiting filtering gateways. This would most likely degrade the user experience for Russian users browsing sites and apps outside the country and provide an advantage to services hosted within the country, as we’ve seen happen in China.”
Will ‘Digital Iron Curtain’ Stifle Bitcoin Adoption?
Russia’s internet killswitch could stunt crypto adoption, but Moscow can’t stop determined Bitcoin users. | Source: Shutterstock
According to proposed regulations, the government wants to restrict Russian traders to local crypto exchanges and also only allow “qualified” investors – e.g., those with a degree in economics and a certificate from the government – to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.