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Title: The Russian Model of Internet Control and Its Significance

Abstract

Russia has emerged as an exemplar of an innovative and experimental – though not always completely consistent or successful – alternative approach to information manipulation and control that differs significantly from the more-often discussed Chinese “Great Firewall” system and other approaches with an emphasis on systemic technical censorship. The Russian model relies on a mix of less overt, more plausibly deniable, legalistic, and often non-technical mechanisms to manipulate online information flows, narratives, and framings, to affect and shape public opinion without resort to universal censorship. The government uses surveillance, a panoply of vague laws, the prosecution or censorship of exemplars, proxy actors and hard to track extra-legal pressures, hacking and leaks, and a heavy emphasis on content production and manipulation to influence narratives and shape public opinion. This model for the domestic control of information not only fits with Russia’s own political system, but is likely to prove more resonant and easier to emulate across many other countries in which a systematic-censorship approach is not technologically or politically feasible. The learning and experimentation involved in this type of domestic information manipulation also has direct applicability to the use of information operations in international political and military competition. The future ofmore » this model will likely depend on continuing innovation, not least on the leveraging of advances in artificial intelligence and big data analysis. If successful, however, this might look very different from the future of information control in China – and have significantly different repercussions for democracies and the international system.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1491981
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-764577
954477
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Political science; Military science

Citation Formats

Kerr, Jaclyn A. The Russian Model of Internet Control and Its Significance. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1491981.
Kerr, Jaclyn A. The Russian Model of Internet Control and Its Significance. United States. doi:10.2172/1491981.
Kerr, Jaclyn A. Tue . "The Russian Model of Internet Control and Its Significance". United States. doi:10.2172/1491981. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1491981.
@article{osti_1491981,
title = {The Russian Model of Internet Control and Its Significance},
author = {Kerr, Jaclyn A.},
abstractNote = {Russia has emerged as an exemplar of an innovative and experimental – though not always completely consistent or successful – alternative approach to information manipulation and control that differs significantly from the more-often discussed Chinese “Great Firewall” system and other approaches with an emphasis on systemic technical censorship. The Russian model relies on a mix of less overt, more plausibly deniable, legalistic, and often non-technical mechanisms to manipulate online information flows, narratives, and framings, to affect and shape public opinion without resort to universal censorship. The government uses surveillance, a panoply of vague laws, the prosecution or censorship of exemplars, proxy actors and hard to track extra-legal pressures, hacking and leaks, and a heavy emphasis on content production and manipulation to influence narratives and shape public opinion. This model for the domestic control of information not only fits with Russia’s own political system, but is likely to prove more resonant and easier to emulate across many other countries in which a systematic-censorship approach is not technologically or politically feasible. The learning and experimentation involved in this type of domestic information manipulation also has direct applicability to the use of information operations in international political and military competition. The future of this model will likely depend on continuing innovation, not least on the leveraging of advances in artificial intelligence and big data analysis. If successful, however, this might look very different from the future of information control in China – and have significantly different repercussions for democracies and the international system.},
doi = {10.2172/1491981},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}