Russia Looking To Mimic China In 'Crowdsourcing' Internet Censorship
from the informants.ru dept
A few years back, we noted that part of the way that China’s “Great Firewall” worked was by crowdsourcing censorship. Yes, China made it easy for Chinese internet surfers to spy on others and to also post pro-China propaganda on any forum where someone was negative. Part of the way this worked is that the government would pay people a tiny sum for each thing they did. Over time, the country has continued to expand the program. It sounds like China’s neighbors up in Russia thought that was such a brilliant idea that they’ve decided to copy it. Yes, Russia has apparently launched a “new initiative” to get volunteers to sign up for “The League of Internet Safety.” This is officially run by all of the big Russian telco firms and (not surprisingly) has extremely close ties to the government, including having Communications and Press Minister Igor Shchyogolev heading its “board of trustees.”
Just as in China, the claim is that these volunteers will just be trying to figure out what “bad stuff” to censor — starting with child pornography. Of course, that’s always a good one to start with. It’s when things go further that it gets questionable. And the organization has said that it intends to expand to the point of “policing other negative content.” That seems like a pretty broad definition and it’s not difficult to imagine how it will be abused to censor all sorts of content that is only “negative” to those in power.