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Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Internet 'CIA project'

updated 01:37 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2014

Russian lawmakers now require social media to retain user data for six months

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared before the press earlier today, and in his pre-prepared remarks, he called the Internet "a CIA project," and slammed the country's largest search engine Yandex. He also noted that the Russia parliament has recently signed into law a requirement for all social media websites operating in Russia to maintain servers in Russia, as well as retain all data about users for at least six months.

Putin's remarks at the media forum in St. Petersburg saw the international leader say that Russia must "fight for its interests" on the Internet. He called the Internet "still developing" as a CIA project. He declined to go into specifics about how exactly the Internet was CIA-controlled, however.

Russia's own Facebook alternative Vkontate denied Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) information on the Ukranian protestors. A week after the denial, founder Pavel Durov sold the company to Alisher Usmanov, a businessman in Russia with extremely close ties to the Russian president.

The new law requiring social media servers be physically located in Russia is nebulous, and does not strictly define what qualifies as a social network. It does specify that social networks based in other countries such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter are not exempt from the law.

Yandex, Russia's largest search engine isn't hosted from Russia -- instead, it is hosted in the Netherlands. Putin verbally attacked the extraterritorial server location, saying that the company did it "not only for tax reasons but for other considerations, too" declining to go into any specifics. Despite the lack of overt threat, the search engine with more traffic than Google in Russia saw its stock fall nearly 5.5 percent on the NASDAQ.

by MacNN Staff



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