There is a restriction of access to information, according toShakirov. The legal ability to block websites was implemented through the adoption of Russia's internet law in 2016 and since then, Russia has expanded its technical capabilities to block websites. The possibilities for limiting access are getting better.
The idea of a Russian internet that can be disconnected from the rest of the world is helped by the internet law. More than 2,384 sites have been blocked in Russia since the start of the war against Ukraine. Independent Russian news websites and Ukrainian websites are included.
Grant Baker is a technology and democracy research associate at Freedom House. The country's media and communications regulators did not respond to a request. More than 16,000 peaceful protestors and the increased use of face recognition are some of the things that Baker says are tied to the internet control measures.
It isn't easy to build a spy empire. China is the most restrictive nation in the world when it comes to online freedom. The Chinese "sovereign" model of the internet took a long time to flourish, with even the creator of China's firewalls getting around it using a virtual private network.
Russia tried to copy the Chinese model but it failed. They failed in their attempt to block Telegram and gave up two years later. Russia's vision of the RuNet has been delayed multiple times. Many of Russia's most recent policy announcements are not designed for the short term. Some of the measures are unlikely to exist.
It is difficult to assess in detail the impact of all these measures, given the blurry distinction between a clear political signal and ambition from the Kremlin, and its effective translation into concrete projects and changes.
Many of the Russian language app stores have few apps available for download. According to The Moscow Times, one of the leading app stores has less than 1,000 apps.
The internet efforts of other countries have failed. Despite officials pushing its use, Russia's equivalent to YouTube hasn't gained popularity. The website of Rossgram warns people not to download versions of the app they may find online as they are from scam artists.
Russia has struggled to get off the ground with many of its internet measures, but its ability to block websites has improved since it tried to limit access to social networking sites. Other countries are watching. The countries are learning from one another. Russia made a Chinese version of its internet, and other countries of the post-Soviet space, Africa, or Latin America can follow suit.
The internet is at risk as more nations look to regulate the internet with their national security in mind. Lokot says that when the conversation changes from "the internet as a public good" to "internet and internet access as a matter of national security" the questions change. Some problematic choices may be made by states, not just by authoritarian states.