Putin's new Internet adviser explains how Russia could benefit from a digital Iron Curtain
In a recent interview with the BBC's Russian-language service, German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new advisor on Internet industry, explained how a virtual Iron Curtain could help stimulate Russia's Internet economy, saying that business “always seeks a monopoly.”
“If we close the virtual borders, all our websites win. Yandex wins. Mail.ru wins. Google, Facebook, and all the other companies are gobbling up our advertising market,” Klimenko said.
Klimenko stressed that he is merely Putin's adviser and not the government's Internet commissioner, Dmitry Marinichev, who landed in a public controversy last year, when he said Russia's two options in the global technology market are military confrontation with the United States or submission to the existing US hegemony.
Klimenko says his work as Putin's new advisor will focus on moderating contact between lawmakers and the Internet industry, channeling state spending on software, and promoting online payments and e-education.
“This isn't some kind of provocation. Another issue is that competition requires an open market. And here arises the important question: Would the level of competition be sufficient, if [Russia] went the Chinese route?” Klimenko asked.
For more on Putin's new advisor, see: Meet Vladimir Putin’s new Internet advisor: What we know about German Klimenko