updated 12:30 pm EDT, Wed April 20, 2011
Plays down cyber attacks on popular blogging site
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today stated that he has no intention of clamping down on public expression via the Internet. This comes in the wake of recent cyber attacks on LiveJournal, a popular blogging service. While most of the press in Russia is state controlled, Blogs are often used by Russian citizens to to chastise political officials and express outrage at government corruption.
These attacks could have been trial runs by Russian security organizations to control similar blogs and websites leading up to or after the upcoming 2012 national Russian elections. Russian security officials may also be afraid that Russia is vulnerable to populist uprisings similar to those occurring recently in Arab nations. Internet services, such as Facebook and Google, are targets of concern. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in February specifically blamed Google for contributing to the downfall of Egyptian head Hosni Mubarak.
Putin has distanced himself from actions by Russian security services, stating that while there might be concern that the Internet could be used against the interests of the country, "it is their concern." [image via the Kremlin]