Putin performs propaganda gymnastics and literally vehicles by proclaiming that Russia’s internet will have “no restrictions”.
While China has mastered universal control over citizens in a gaudy celebration of totalitarianism officiated by Big Brother’s brother, Mao Deng, the frumpy pixelated Panda bear, an implacable cold blooded moderator of speech and thought, other nations strive to divorce the traditional world wide web. The much-maligned deregulated creation of software geniuses striving for a pure electronic matrix of freedom plagued by rogue elements desrves much of the criticism for incurable electronic viral infections, but is still the best thing out there in paving the super highway of the information age, at least for democratic socities.
Putin and cronies are the latest organ of domestic leadership to experiment with an isolated and detached version of the digital hinterland, obscuring users from access to the main nexus of global servers proliferating interaction, news, and channels of commerce. The former head of Russian intelligence attempts to leave his mark on the world with a completely segmented internet, exclusive to citizens of the fatherland. So he thinks. Interestingly, near the intense bitter end of the Cold war, as Soviet hacking talent marinated in the dawn of the mainstream computer age, a Russian engineer developed the hit video game Tetris. At least in weighing probabilities and equivalencies, the precedent for greatness under the dense shadow of a tyrant is plausible, as Nintendo bought the rights for Alexey Pajitnov’s creation, and successfully distributed the game though the clever marketing phrase of “From Russia with Fun!”. The serial online dater admonishing doubt for opportunity would certainly relish in the cozy confines which dictate that the probability for success is slim, yet it exists none the less in the role of the loveable longshot far north of 91-1 odds. So there’s a chance?
Tetris, the crowning achievement of Soviet contributions to the 8-bit family of late 1980’s video game cartridges.
The bold undertaking, heedless when weighing logical circumstances, reflects the demographic specifics of a marketplace flooded by the prevalence and gravitation towards devices, at least in urbanized pockets of affluence. However, the majority of the country remains within a cold war feedback loop, and the aging population outside of the nominal access zones will not be subject to the latest innovative and obtrusive government surveillance efforts, an issue that Putin’s minions must resolve in justifying the highly ambitious endeavor.
As the listless and mechanized hundreds of millions of facial recognition cameras of China’s People’s Liberation Army rigorously store the movements of a 900 million citizens, and 100 million state slaves, the crowning moment for Xiping has been the implementation of the digital Great Wall. While not completely segregated from the internet, and with the help of Google and other Silicon Valley consortiums, users are restricted from visiting a cavalcade of sites and their online habits are tracked and flagged by automated bots if certain keywords are utilized. Digital totalitarianism is effective in ways similar to the psychological traditional mind games perfected by the red guards during the Cultural revolution. At anytime, and at any place someone is listening, and the consistent threat of potentially horrific consequences as a result of unacceptable behavior, manages to limit the number of dissidents criticizing the leadership.
While the Communist party still persists as a stronghold in Russia and the KGB remains prevalent, the existence of a vast black market underworld, and the nefarious presence of organized crime flanked by the most proficient cyber criminals in the world, will a closed digital matrix provide a feasible means of productive obsfucation, or lead to the ultimate online demise of Putin? In the modern world, managing an online reputation is a more relevant priority than social skills sparking intrapersonal communication, and at the very least low level interaction that liberates an individual from mom’s basement.
Somehow, the founding tenets of Glasnost have manipulated the fabric of space and time interwoven with a tapestry of intrigue, and reinventing an economic revolution through the promise of a dedicated platform of internet segmentation adhering to a specific ideology promoting collectivism, and favoring ambiguity over comprehensive awareness. Within the multitude of shadows and a forced environment of obscurity, aspects of the classic Iron curtain are reinforced, and the glory of May revolutions forever persist with the translucence of digital servers, and are not confined to the grayscale musty memories of historical texts, and anecdotes shared through the generational gap.
The reality of a Russian specific interest creates the opportunity for both digital isolationalism and laissez-faire economics, and offers the prosperous and momentous formation of cash grabbing elements, invading the highly secured domain with offers of goods and services for a population forcefully hindered from digital Capitalism. The gross oversight of officials echoing with Soviet sentiments to firmly believe that total online isolation is possible in a world of brilliant computing geniuses, is the precursor to the ultimate downfall to a technological endeavor that is doomed to be forged by the recklessness of bureaucracy. The entire contrived machinery fails to include the authenticity and fortitude of private ventures, that only one or two global business firms are capable of facilitating in a megaproject worthy of the “five year plan” tag. Somewhere amid the heavenly expanses, Stalin laughs maniacally, Khrushchev grins pensively, Andropov spins around in bounding circles, while Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin play chess and ponder what could have been if the Americans had assisted in stabilizing the perestroika campaign of a brave new world.
For now, similar to the glowing fake news propaganda of Sputnik’s ascension into a low earth orbit, the marketing professionals of the persistent Communist party have the complete attention of the Western civilization, and in capturing emotional extremes of tens of millions of citizens, the dream of an exclusive and boundless internet confined to the ideals of a few individuals becomes a tangible threat to the very components of freedom. The notion is both disconcerting and hilarious in that the lessons of remain cumbersome and irrelevant to a society that deems the trendy, new and flashy, as the most important ingredients in building a notion of reality, while truth is banished to the Siberian hinterlands of labor camp gulags featuring a rare cockroach as a culinary delight to accompany the relentless indoctrination and dehumanization. Within the 15-second news cycle, substance is obsolete, as instant gratification thrives, and the precariously naïve confused group of those confined to their mother’s cellar continues to proliferate in alarming fashion.
WATCH: Hackers engage in a game of Tetris through manipulating the lighting system of a building in Philly-
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