Intel Turns Off Russian Forums, Blogs & Comments In Response To Russian Blogging Law
from the silence-all-of-you dept
Back in April of last year, we were among the first to report on a very dangerous new law in Russia targeting bloggers, requiring any blogger or social media user with more than 3,000 “visitors” a day to register their real name with the government. The idea, obviously, is to put a massive chill on free speech among popular bloggers and social media users — making it clear that the government is tracking everything they do. Just recently we noted how various social media platforms were responding to Russian demands that they censor or take down accounts related to opposition politician Alexei Navalny, or other critics of the government.
But the blogger/social media law has now gone into effect, and it’s having an impact in all sorts of places. For example, chip giant Intel has now announced that it is basically turning off all ways to contribute to its Russian Intel Developer Zone in order to comply with the law.
In order to be compiant with the Russian Internet Bloggers Law the following changes will be implemented to Russian Intel® Developer Zone community as of January 1st 2015:
- Blog post contributions will be disabled
- Forum contributions will be disabled
- All commenting will be turned off for russian content
While it’s unlikely that those in power in Russia today think this is a very big deal, recognize that taking Russians out of forums and discussions concerning key technological developments could certainly come back to haunt Russian technology development. This also comes about a month after Google closed down its Russian engineering office, in response to a different regulatory shift: a “data handling law” that would require all information from Russian users be kept in Russia (making it more easily accessible by Russian officials and the intelligence community).
All of these moves may be designed to shore up the existing leadership’s political power, but it seems like a fairly short-term strategy, given that the end result is likely to hold back technological expertise and talent at a time when staying on top of technology is so important.