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Russia's Putin calls the Internet a 'CIA project'

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 9:11am
The Associated Press
 
              Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a meeting of Russia's People's Front in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Ukrainian government troops moved against pro-Russia forces in the east of the country on Thursday and killed at least two of them in clashes at checkpoints manned by the insurgents, the government and insurgents said. Russian President Vladimir Putin decried what he described as a

President Vladimir Putin has mocked the Internet as a CIA project and pledged to protect Russia's interests online.

The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists — barred from national television — have used to promote their ideas and organize protests.

Russia's parliament this week passed a law requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save all information about their users for at least half a year. Also, businessmen close to Putin now control Russia's leading social media network, VKontakte.

Speaking Thursday at a media forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said that the Internet originally was a "CIA project" and "is still developing as such."

To resist that influence, Putin said, Russia needs to "fight for its interests" online.

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